Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bake-a-Memory Day at Ruthy's!

This was Emma and Beth at last year's "Bake A Memory" day.....


Isn't she adorable? She's precocious, wicked smart and incredibly competitive and she already makes up long, involved stories that live in her head.

:)

A couple of years ago we decided we should work more on making memories at Christmas instead of worrying about presents.

Memories last forever.... Presents often break or get out-grown.  

Bake-a-Memory day is a simple, fun gathering of grandchildren, their parents (any who want to stay and eat and help) and Grammy....

Me.  :)

We bake. We make crafts (time allowing) We decorate cookies. 

We eat.

This year we made cut-out cookies. 

This is Emma this year.... What a difference a year makes!
THIS RECIPE IS FROM MY MOTHER'S BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK, 1950 EDITION. IT'S THE ONLY SUGAR COOKIE I MAKE. I OMIT THE CREAM OF TARTAR AND THE GRANULATED SUGAR. WE FROST THEM WITH THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING RECIPE THAT'S ALL-TIME FAMOUS AND SIMPLE!

DELUXE SUGAR COOKIES (MARY'S SUGAR COOKIES)

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (I use equal amounts of vanilla and almond, so 1 tsp. each)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar (I don't use this.)
Granulated sugar (I don't use this)

Mix thoroughly butter, confectioners' sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend in flour, soda, and cream of tartar. Cover; chill 2 to 3 hours.

WHEN READY TO BAKE:
Heat over 375 degrees F.

Divide dough in half. Roll each half 3/16-inch thick on lightly floured cloth covered board. Cut into desired shapes; sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.

The original directions called for baking until light brown on the edge, but I cut that a little shorter. I want these cookies tender and moist, like the Lofthouse ones you find at the stores. A slightly slower oven (350) and keeping the time to 7-8 minutes works well, but test your own oven to see what combination of factors gives you a chewy, moist but firm outside cookie.


Xavier is helping rinse the dishes. How stinkin' cute is he????




Now he wants "in" on the real action... He's eyeing Emma across the table. And here is Emma, a year later.... Look how grown up she is and how beautifully she handles the dough and her job of cutting out the cookie shapes! Emma, you rock!



A moment of levity...  That's Dave, 'Lijah, me and Emma. Dave and Lijah were cutting out gingerbread boys and bears... Oops. We had BODY PARTS everywhere. They missed the memo of not overlapping. It was a Christmas Cookie War Zone!!!  But we squished them back together, re-rolled the dough and cut out real people.... Not like REAL, but in one piece. You get it!

FROSTING RECIPE:

1 stick butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar (also called confectioner's sugar or 10X sugar)
3 tsp. almond extract (or three squirts from my big bottle!)
1/4 cup milk (or so... you don't want this frosting thin like you usually see... you want it to be more like old-fashioned buttercream frosting)

Mix at low speed (or by hand) then whip for about two minutes. Add a little milk if necessary or thicken with a little extra sugar if needed.

Spread on cooled cookies and sprinkle holiday jimmies and sprinkles over fresh frosting. Frosting will "sugar crust" quickly and then the sprinkles won't stick...

They'll roll all over the floor and the dogs and babies will love you.

Mandy, daughter-of-my-heart with Xavier, saving his life and saving cookies for the good of mankind.


And we made Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip cookies.... (RECIPE HERE)  We used the basic Ruthy's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and (NEWS FLASH!!!) added a bag of Reeses' peanut butter chips.

:)

I love easy!!!


Just so youse don't think the Fresh Pioneer chick is the only one who can dress up a table... when it's not being used for art projects or homework, LOL!

Bake A Memory Day, 2012.... Lovely!


16 comments:

  1. What a great idea Ruthy, I know I have great memories from when I use to make biscuits (cookies) with mum. I use to mix till I couldn't mix anymore and mum would finish it off. When we did the old forcer biscuits/cookies with the mincer with the forcer attachment, I would turn the handle and mum would cut of a strip and cut it into the size for cookies. I would get the little bit on the end. It was good memories and memories I will have for life. I learnt to cook several of the cookies and it was always a good time. Its interesting she taught me to cook cookies etc but never taught me to cook main meals like roast, vegetables etc.

    I am sure your grandkids will treasure these moments.

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  2. Jenny, some moms love to bake.... and only cook because they have to!

    Also, it's trickier to teach kids cooking because a stove and burners are involved. And that's not nearly as much fun as mixing dough! I'm so glad you have those lovely memories... That's such a comfort to me when I remember those who've died. And I can picture them, points of light, waiting for me to join them rocking baby angels.... ;)

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  3. Oh mum loved all cooking. she was always baking and she cooked alot too.

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  4. I love your "make a memory" days! It's an inspiration for someday...in the far future...if my children ever find their true loves and get married.

    They think I'm anxious for grandchildren, but I'm not in any hurry until the aforementioned events take place :)

    But you're right about memories lasting longer than toys. They're much more precious...after all, what are you really giving them?

    Time. You. Christmas.

    That's what makes the memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, that's what I keep telling them!!! :)

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  5. Oh, I love this!

    I like the pictures from year to year. It's like grass growing. When you watch it, nothing is happening. Then you wake up one day and your yard is a jungle and you don't know how it happened.

    And waddya mean I dress up my table?? It looks like that all the time. Fine china, lit Advent wreath, fancy food.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    'Cause there's no way you can check on the veracity of that assertion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahahaha! I had to threaten 3 sets of 2 year-old hands this week to keep hands off the table and stay out of the bay window seat where they love to play and put on shows because I've got clear plastic tacks holding lights and ornaments in all the cute little window panes... How stinkin' cute and possibly lethal is that to babies???

      BABY!!! SPIT OUT THAT TACK. NOW!!! Oy.

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  6. P.S. You're beautiful.

    Your daughter is beautiful.

    That girl Mandy is beautiful.

    Is that the way they grow them in NY??

    Yikes.

    I'm stayin' over here with the cows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I stole Mandy from my older sister years ago. I figured if she looked like me, acted like me, and loved me with all my weirdness, clearly she belonged to me.

      My sister is not amused, but she's a nice gal and just pretends Mandy wasn't dropped on her doorstep by a directionally challenged angel.

      My oldest daughter is in NC. But she called this week to check a recipe, so now we can "cook" and "bake" together via the phone when her baby is sleeping. And her oldest daughter is our model for the identical twins in the 2013 series.... Sonya and Dorrie are adorable and naughty and they DO NOT WANT TO GO TO SEPARATE KINDERGARTENS. EVER....

      So Katie is my model for these two girls who drag the little farm goat around like it was a stray puppy.

      :)

      Gotta love a good goat in a story, right?

      Thank you for your sweet compliments. All photos are "shopped" to remove sag-lines, missing teeth and wrinkles.

      (Okay, I'm kidding. I don't believe in re-touching photos to look younger. But I do believe in SURGICAL METHODS, LOL!)

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  7. Love that phrase Bake a Memory -- that needs to go in a book, Ruthy! Maybe for next year's Christmas novel? :-)

    I baked with my daughter on the weekend and it's so much more fun to do complicated recipes with a buddy. All those cutting out sugar cookies can get tedious on your lonesome. And she showed me how to make this nifty lemon poppy seed swirl cookie which is scrumptious!

    I still have more memories to bake so I best get on home and go about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kav.

      You Must Come And Share That Lemon Poppyseed Thingie.

      Delete
  8. Yes, lovely! What a beautiful table and a beautiful day.

    My daughter had oral surgery today, so I'm in caretaker mode. Will think more about baking once she's up and about and ready to help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Missy.... Poor thing.
      Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

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    2. she's doing well. Sleeping late, so the pain must be bearable.

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  9. Such wonderful memories! =)

    Wonderful photos!

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    Replies
    1. Melissa, thank you! Beth is our photographer and she keeps eyeing up a more expensive camera but none of us are willing to part with the $500-600 for it so we muddle along with my duct-taped Sony and her whatever-it-is that's not fast enough to get quick exposures.

      Whatever those are.

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