Cookie Time

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on December 22nd, 2009

It’s the time of year when I become a slave to tradition.

The Wagner family had many Christmas rituals: cutting a Christmas tree, sledding at Thom Field, visiting relatives near and far, and the dreaded Christmas baking.

If ever there was a time when my sister, brother, and I could “go missing,” it was when our Mom started mixing and baking Christmas cookies.

Of course, we all loved to eat them.

Mom was consumed by the need to have enough cookies, even though we were still eating some varieties until the 4th of July! In Mom’s kitchen, baking continued over consecutive days (7 or more) followed by a one-day icing marathon and decorating hundreds of cutout cookies.

Mom made large or double batches of several varieties to give as gifts to her baking-challenged friends.

In an ironic twist of tradition, I’ve continued Mom’s baking frenzy. My husband, Dennis, thinks it’s more like manic behavior.

What should be a labor of love becomes a race to bake as many delectable treats as I can choosing from dozens of recipes I collected over the year. During all this madness I think I’m having a great time, but apparently Dennis doesn’t understand my flip comments. For instance. . . six hours of baking and only four varieties are ready, UGH! Or perhaps he misinterprets the anguished cries when I discover a missing ingredient that requires yet another trip to the grocery store!

Regardless of perceived or real stress, I’m always pleased and proud to take my home-baked selections to holiday gatherings. A beautiful red Christmas platter–a gift from Marcia Theel–perfectly complements the goodies and is now part of the Weinke cookie tradition.

Dennis gives this recipe two “thumbs up.”

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies Recipe

1 cup butter softened
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until well combined, Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract; beat well. In small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to cream cheese mixture; beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours. Roll out dough, half at a time, to 1/8″ thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut out with cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost cookies. Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

Share This!

Subscribe to our weekly blog. Please enter your email address.