Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Haul Out the Holly"....

It's December .... now, we can focus on Christmas!

 Ah, yes.  Christmas is upon us and that gluttonous feast called Thanksgiving is a brief memory (unless you get on the scale everyday like I do).  Come to think of it, Thanksgiving was behind us well before we even celebrated it.  Seems every year, Christmas inches closer and closer to Thanksgiving.  Before we know it, we will be celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving on the same day.  How does Christgiving sound?  Hum?  I do believe I like the sound of that. Or, how about Thanksmass ... this is a name the retailers could use when they open their doors to shoppers on Black Friday.  So, maybe you can hear the spirit of mockery in my words.  I am old fashion.  I like fall in November and winter in December.  Thanksgiving is "fall" and Christmas is "winter".  Keep the pumpkins on the doorstep till December 1st and tree at the farm, at the lot or in the box inside the attic until the same said day.  No Christmas specials on television, no Christmas decorations on the house or in the yard and PLEASE no Christmas music in the stores or on the radio until December 1st!

Don't I sound grouchy?

December 1st means much more to me than the start of the Christmas season.  This is the day my oldest son was born, Gabriel Christian.  Wasn't he adorable?  He still is!

Gabriel and I celebrating his second birthday in 1977

The first week of December, in my home, is dedicated to buying the tree, decorating it and the house.  I hang the seasonal garden flags, buy poinsettias, mark the calendar for special holiday events and dig the cookie cutters out from behind the stacks of pots and pans.  By the way, I didn't mention hanging Christmas lights.  That's my husband's job and let me tell you, we rival the Griswold's.

So, back to the cookie cutters.  I did say, I have to "dig them out", that's because I hardly use cookie cutters ... usually, just for Christmas.  I have heart shaped cutters for Valentine's Day, cutters shaped like pumpkins and autumn leaves for the fall.  I have baby chicks and egg shapes for Easter, I even own cutters shaped like grapes, a teapot and the Eiffel Tower.  But, I rarely use them and some, well, never. Cut-out cookies, covered in frosting and decorated with sparkly sprinkles, seem more like Christmas to me.  


Recently my mother gave me a basket of cookie cutters she had purchased at an estate sale.  As Mother and I gingerly spread the cutters across the dining room table, we put them in groups ~ holidays, barn animals, house pets, biscuit cutters and cutters shaped like the symbols on a deck of cards.  My mother explained the diamond, spade, heart and club cutters were designed to use when women made cookies for bridge clubs.

"you forgot to make the cookies"?

I won't bore you to tears about the history of cookies cutters but, if you are interested there is a site solely for the purpose of cookie cutter research ~

The cookies cutters now for purchase at Ooh La La, Maui, are from my mother's treasure trove.  Most are made from aluminum, have either raised or wooden handles or no handles at all.  My favorite cutters are these two tree designs.  Their shape is more realistic than the generic tree shape you find on cookie cutters today.

Oh, Tannenbaum! Vintage Tree Cookie Cutters $5 @ (SOLD)
Gingerbread Man with a curved attached handle ~ $5

Star Cutter with Pointed Wooden Handle

All Four Wooden and Metal Handled Cutters $11 for sale @

A Sweet Flambeau Aluminum Angel ~ $3

A reindeer, an angel, a snowman and Santa's boot  ~ lot of 4 vintage cookies cutters $5 @ Ooh La La, Maui (SOLD)

You may need a vintage rolling pin to go with those vintage cookie cutters .....

Sold @ SadieOlive on

Rolling pins are one of the few vintage items I really appreciate.  Think about this .... these rolling pins were used most likely on a daily basis.  Women would roll our biscuits for dinner, dough for loaves of bread and cookies for special occasions.  I'm sure a few husbands got knocked over the head a few times with a rolling pin.  They were handy because they were needed.  Driving to the store to buy bread was a luxury and sometimes not possible to do.  It was a necessary kitchen utensil in the vintage home and amazingly, being constructed of hardwoods, could last for years and years.
This one piece beauty can be purchased at Ooh La La, Maui! for $16 
Now if you don't have a favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe, here is the one I have been using for eons!  It's from my very old Betty Crocker Cookbook whose pages are yellowed and crinkled with spillage from pie baking, cookie making and the occasional potato au gratin dish.  In my opinion, every household should have a Betty Crocker cookbook.

Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies

1 1/2
cups powdered sugar
cup butter or margarine, softened (I never use margarine ... always use the real stuff ... butter)
teaspoon vanilla
teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2
cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon cream of tartar
Granulated sugar or colored sugar
Hide Preparation
  1. Mix powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
  3. Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 5 dozen 2-inch cookies
Show Tips
Hide Nutrition

Nutrition Information:
1 Serving (1 Serving)
  • Calories 60 
    • (Calories from Fat 25 ),
  • Total Fat 3 g
    • (Saturated Fat 1 g,
  • Cholesterol 5 mg;
  • Sodium 60 mg;
  • Total Carbohydrate 7 g
    • (Dietary Fiber 0g,
  • Protein 1 g;
Percent Daily Value*:
  • Vitamin A 2.00%;
  • Vitamin C 0.00%;
  • Calcium 0.00%;
  • Iron 0.00%;
  • 1/2 Starch;
  • 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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