Mom's Christmas cookies

Something about the synthesis of a particular set of components is the secret of the amazing results Mom got when she baked her Christmas cookies.

My mom’s cookies look like normal, boring, everybody’s-had-one frosted sugar cookies.

Then you take a bite.

And fall off your chair.

The Kid and I discuss them each time we’re lucky enough to get our mitts on some. We can’t figure them out. How is it that this little, regulation baked good can pack such an extraordinary punch? We joke that maybe she puts crack in them, or fairy dust.

When Kid was in college, Gramma baked a batch freshman year and shipped them up to our little scholar in Vermont.

Those NECI people had no idea what they were in for.

There were probably four dozen cookies in the box. The Kid ate some and then decided to share with a few lucky souls.

Nobody was very enthused to be offered boring baked goods from some random grandmother in North Carolina. My child didn’t try to talk anyone into a sample. If they didn’t want one, it was just more for The Kid.

Then one person took one. Eyes lit up, and word got around. People came out of the woodwork wanting these miraculous confections. Chef-instructors approached The Kid to ask when Gramma would send more.

When making them, I’ve tried to gentrify the ingredients.


Something about the synthesis of these particular components is the secret of the amazing results. Don’t substitute butter, or cake flour, or speak with a French accent while making them (unless you legitimately speak with a French accent).

When icing the cookies; more is better. A 50/50 ratio of frosting to cookie is just about right. Sprinkle each one right after frosting it, so the decoration sticks.

These are not the gorgeous showstoppers of the cookie platter. In fact, they kind of look like near-sighted kindergarteners put them together. But, that’s part of the charm. The astonishing deliciousness is all the more special for their, shall we say … rustic countenance?

About two weeks before Christmas, Mom has a frosting party. Everyone shows up and decorates hundreds of cookies. We have lunch, and then negotiate how many cookies we can take home.

There is one rule: you break it, you eat it.

You’d think, awesome! You’d think we break as many as we can, and gorge on frosting cloaked shards.

Yeah, not so much.

Mom’s no dummy, and she can tell when cookies are intentionally broken. And that woman has a mom-eye glare that can chill your very soul.

So, we usually only scarf about two per session.

Thanks for your time.

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