The best Christmas cookies are the ones you’ve been making with family and friends for as many years as you can remember. Here’s a photo tour of one longstanding cookie-baking tradition, with a recipe for my favorite Christmas gingersnaps.
Fifteen years ago, a coworker and I were talking about how we loved to make Christmas cookies, but somehow didn’t find the time anymore. We decided to meet in her kitchen to bake together.
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That year, her oldest daughter was two years old. She happily spent the afternoon decorating both sides of a single sugar cookie. We hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting her second girl, who would come along a few years later. Now they’re beautiful young women — one working on her college applications, the other in middle school — and we’re still meeting every year to bake.
|Mother, daughter, and dough|
By now, we’ve honed our roles. Mary and the girls prepare the dough for gingersnaps and sugar cookies while I knock off a couple batches of Kraft Fantasy Fudge, something I started making with my own mom when I was about two. (I make the original Fantasy Fudge recipe, not the screwed-up version they published a few years ago — the New Coke of old-school holiday fudge. Sniff.)
Their dad, who has a true artist’s touch on the acoustic guitar, plays Christmas tunes while we sift and stir, roll and bake.
Then we all start decorating . . .
While I can’t get past using white frosting for everything . . .
Zoe inspires with her skill and sense of humor. Here, Blue Tree and Nordic Stripper . . .
I couldn’t resist making this cookie for my friend Emily, the world’s best Giants fan . . .
And then there are the perfect gingersnaps. Mary’s cookies have a snappy flavor but they’re still a little bit chewy, which is what I like. She could sell ’em if she wanted to, so I’m lucky to be able to share the recipe here.
The Best Christmas Gingersnaps
3/4 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
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