Baking history

The Spin Cycle over at Sprite's Keeper is all about your holiday baking recipe this week. I love to bake; I'm not a half-bad cook, either, but baking is my forte. I mean, really - would you rather have a greasy pork chop for your efforts, or a smooth chocolate cream pie?

Also, there's no real feasible way to make pastries healthy, so I don't even feel obliged to try.

These cookies are my 'go-to' recipe for holiday baking. I make lots of good things, but these ones get the most requests and disappear the fastest. I first made them in 1993, for my bestest bud in Vancouver. She requested them over and over; we would make them and boil cinnamon potpourri and listen to Sarah MacLachlan and pretend it was Christmas, even if it was just grey and pouring rain in February.

On her birthday one year, I was late to class because I was baking her a batch. I arrived triumphantly with them and sang "You Are My Sunshine" at the top of my lungs. When I left Vancouver, occasionally I would FedEx her a tupperware container full of cookies.

I know, right? I should have been someone's boyfriend. I even used to put little notes in Fashionista's shoes telling her what a fabulous person she was.


I don't just make them at Christmas - once I tried to make them on an Australian farmstead with some extremely ancient cream of tartar and they were rather flat - but in December I make them at least twice. If I don't get them out of the house immediately I just eat the whole damn plate. Last year, I inadvertently sparked an office 'bake-off' by taking them in to share. Yeah, that wasn't very good for my HASAY progress.

This year, I made them with my son. They're quick and easy enough to keep a 2-year-old's attention. Also, he was pretty thrilled with the resulting "nummies".

The copy I have of this recipe is from 2001, when I had a sudden brain fart and couldn't remember how to make them, and my Mom had to email me the recipe. She wrote: "I've copied it into the message 'cos I don't think hotmail does attachments very well". Heh.


2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon


1 c. butter/margarine
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix 2 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of cinnamon and set aside.
2. Cream butter, sugar, eggs
3. Add dry ingredients and mix well
4. Chill for at least an hour
5. Shape into balls approx the size of walnuts
6. Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture
7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press flat with a spoon
8. Bake at 375 for approx. 10 mins

There's a bit of a science to the time depending on your oven, altitude, and cream of tartar (it must lose its leavening ability over time or something). But once you have that sussed, you're golden.

And about 10 pounds heavier. I could do without that little historic reminder.