Friday, December 19, 2008

Susie’s 4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange!

I am with others participating in Susie’s 4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange:


Every December from the time I was such a wee lad that I had to stand on a chair to reach the table, I made sugar cookies with my aunt Abba. (Her name was “Alma,” but in my toddler speech it came out as Abba and to everyone thereafter that was her name).

We made lots of cookies and after rolling out the dough used Abba’s huge collection of Christmas cookie cutters to shape them into stars and Santa Clauses and reindeer and angels and, oh, so much more.

It’s been about 45 years since Abba and I made these cookies. Of course, I had no idea of the receipe, so I checked the Internet and this one from Alton Brown seems to be it:


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough


Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack. Serve as is or ice as desired. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week. 


I now have all of my Christmas gifts purchased! This is the earliest I have had that accomplished in my life. All of then except for Alex’s gifts were purchased on the Internet, may from the Alex the Kat Shop:

I may find the reaction of some of the recipients of these gifts very interesting: there are a couple of relatives who claim to abhor cats! But… who couldn’t adore Alex!

Alex’s gifts (cat nippie, favorite treats, and 2 new toys) are already in his Christmas stocking:


Below are a few photos from past Christmases:

Me at Christmas a very long time ago

Back row: son Nick, Sibyl (Nick’s significant other), sister Deb

Me, son Rob, and son Nick’s children

Me & my grandchildren 2006

My Mother in 2006, the last Christmas she spent in the house in which she had lived for 50 years

Here is Alex opening the catnip that was in his 2007 stocking

Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy ~ David Bowie & Bing Crosby


  1. excellent and lovely family pics. thanks so much Nick for your continued means the world to me, dear friend.

  2. Wow! I can tell that is you from a very long time ago! And that catnip is the same kind my cats love to rummage through.

  3. I'm glad you played this year. Love the photos, especially the one of you as a little boy. Wishing peace, love, and joy to you and Alex too!

  4. Thanks for joining in, Nick! Like Squirl said, the photo of little Nick by the tree is absolutely precious. The one of your Mom in her last Christmas at home is bittersweet.
    Wishing you much love, joy, peace and good health in the new year. :)

    (And as always, thanks for giving a rat's ass.)

  5. This is wonderful, Saint Nick! I love the pictures! Alex really opened his catnip, didn't he! I never heard that song. It is wonderful, too. MERRY CHRISTMAS,Saint Nick & Alex!

  6. Aaaahhh... sugar cookies cut out in Christmas shapes. That's my memory, too. I can taste them right now!

    I enjoyed your photos, Nick. Thank you! I love family photos. And you were a cutie!

    Bowie and Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy is in my list of top two favorites. Not only because of their voices, but also for the mix of styles, eras and genres they bring to it. Endearing...

  7. Nick,Great photos.Merry christmas to you and your family my friend!thankd for the Binger and Ziggy stardust.

  8. Wow! What a beautiful family you have. I'm not going to tell you what I thought was on your son's lap, until I finally realized I was looking at the back end of a dog! I'm not going to tell you, because I had no idea - a Christmas Seal?

    Your grandkids are gorgeous. You are a fortunate man and Alex is one lucky cat!

    All the best for a wonderful holiday!


  9. I hope you have some more good memories created this year Nick. Christmas is a time for looking back it seems.
    Have a wonderful happy and holy Christmas Nick.

  10. The old photos were lovely to look at Nick. Your grandchildren are beautiful!

    I hope your Christmas is happy and peaceful and may the new year bring you better health and happiness. x

  11. Great family photos and great bunch of young folks coming up in the world I am sure ; )

    Our best to you too ; )

  12. Lots of Christmas joy here, Nick. Thanks for teh photos and the cookies,

  13. Glad your Christmas shopping is done. I wish mine was. Thanks for sharing pictures of your past Christmases with us.

  14. Thank you for sharing your pohtos of Christmases past. Very nice looking family and the grands are too cute. How special to have lived in your home with your Mother for over fifty years. Did I say that right? Not sure...

    Thanks for the recipe of those cookies, they sure looked beautiful. Blessings for the coming year.

  15. Great family pics. I hope you and Alex and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

  16. Wonderful Christmas stuff, Nick. Thank you & Merry Christmas.

  17. Very nice. Merry Christmas, Saintly Nick & Alex!


  19. You are organised, Nick. I still have four more to get, but not having to guess them...I know what to buy. It's just a matter of getting to the mall early enough to get parking.

    I hope you and Alex have a wonderful and blessed Christmas, Nick.

  20. Robin: Thank you! Many blessings and much healing to you, my dear friend.

    S E E Quine : Yep, that’s little Nicky sitting at his new table and chairs. I hope your kitties get as much of a buzz—I mean, “enjoyment”—from that catnip as Alex does.

    Squirl: Thank you. This was an fun post to create. Christmas blessings to you and yours. (Including your delightful sisters whom I haven’t visited in much too long).

    Susie: I shall always give a rat’s ass for you, my dear! My this be a grand Christmas for you and for all whom you love! Alex says “Purrrrrrrrrr.”

  21. Abby: Thank you! Yep, Alex really gets into catnip. And then I had to bush the stuff back into the package. This year I’ll not put the open package before him! I just offer him a pinch. Christmas blessings to you and yours.

    Carol: I, too, can taste those sugar cookies! I would love to have some, just like Abba and I used to make. Yep, everyone said I was a cutie back then—dark blond curly hair and deep blue eyes. I wonder what happened as I grew older? Yes, I really like Bowie and Crosby singing Little Drummer Boy! To me, it’s a rather special song. Christmas blessings to you and yours, dear Carol.

    Tug: Thank you. May you have the merriest of Christmases, my friend.

    Mike G.: Thank you, my friend. May all of the blessings of Christmas be with you and yours.

  22. Poetikat and the Hyggecats: Thank you. Yes, that is Rob’s huge, part wolf dog that he adopted when he lived in New Mexico. As Alex can confirm, he’s really a very gentle woofie doggie. Christmas blessings to you and yours, Kat.

    JMB: Thank you! Good memories are already being created for this year: yesterday I had a very long lunch with my son, Nick. It was the first time we have done that in almost a year. May Christmas blessings be with you and yours, my friend.

    Akelamalu: Thank you. I find that finding old photographs can be a fantastic experience and sharing the with friends is especially nice. May Christmas blessings be with you and yours, my friend!

    Coffee Messiah: Thank you, my friend. I’ll be dropping by for a cuppa later today. OK? May all of the blessings of Christmas be with you and yours.

  23. China Girl: You are most welcome! Christmas blessings to you and yours, my friend.

    Dr. John: You are welcome. I am surprised that my shopping is completed this early: I wonder whom I have forgotten! Christmas blessings to you and yours, my friend.

    Finding Pam: Thank you. Mom lived in that house in Louisville from 1956 until 2006, when she purchased a condo in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, to be closer to my sister. Christmas blessings to you and yours, my friend.

    Pauline: Thank you, my friend. Alex and I plan on a very merry and peace-filled Christmas. The little furball is curled up beside me on the desk now and occasionally requesting and chomping down kitty treats. May all of the blessings of Christmas be with you and yours.