Christmas Traditions: Part Two

How is everyone? I hope y’all have made it through the holiday season without too much stress.

I cannot believe we have only few days left of Elfred!

Since both our moms have passed, Bu and I have taken to sharing family recipes–from mustard to pralines to cookies to gravy. Oh, I suppose we could go to Google. Or Pinterest. But there is something comforting about knowing that you have a family recipe that’s tried and true.

Like Bu’s mom, my mom also did a whole lot of homemade gift-giving around the holidays. Many of these gifts were family recipes: cookies, fudge, caramel corn. It is only since I decided to give  mostly homemade gifts for Christmas this year that I truly appreciate the effort that she went through–although she made it seem so effortless.

One of the treats my mom would make is the Good Luck Cookie, which is MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE COOKIE. EVER.

A Little History about the Good Luck Cookie: per my Grandmother

My grandmother spent her formative years growing up during the Great Depression. Although her family was quite poor, they fared better than most. On Saturday mornings, my great-grandmother would bake the Good Luck Cookies with help from my great-grandfather. My grandmother would always say that although her parents were not in love when they married, they grew to have a deep and abiding love for one another.

(BTW, I have NO idea where the recipe originated from. More than likely, it came from my great-great grandmother who was from Germany.)

I smile to think of my great-grandmother busting about in the kitchen with my mild-mannered great-grandfather by her side.

A Little History about the Good Luck Cookie: per my Mother

After my great-grandfather died, my great-grandmother moved in with her daughter and grandchildren (i.e., my grandmother and Mom.) According to my mother, my great-grandmother was a loving and gentle person who doted on her grandchildren.

Every year at Christmas time, she would make the cookies and given them to her grandchildren in a special Christmas tin: a roll for each of them. My mother said it was one of her favorite times of the year.

A Little History about the Good Luck Cookie: per me

Like her grandmother, my mother chose to continue the Good Luck Cookie tradition. She only made them at Christmas time, and she always put the cookies in a festive Christmas tin. Until I learned to make the recipe myself, my job was to sprinkle the colored sugar and sprinkles onto the cookies.

Mom: Make sure you sprinkle sugar onto the cookies and not onto the cookie sheet.

(I tended to use a liberal hand.)

Great-Grandmother Catherine’s Good Luck Cookies
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 lb. butter (four sticks)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1 t baking soda
pinch of salt
5 1/2 c flour
wax paper
sprinkles (optional)

Melt butter in sauce pan on low heat. Add white and brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let cool and add eggs one at a time. In large bowl, add the flour and other dry ingredients. Slowly add in the butter mixture. Add vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Roll out cookies into a roll using wax paper. Batch should usually yield about five rolls. Chill 2-3 hours or until dough is firm. (I usually freeze mine overnight.)

Slice cookies and sprinkle with the toppings of your choice. Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes.


One thought on “Christmas Traditions: Part Two

  1. One pound of butter — this has to be delicious!! And what a delicacy for your grandma during the Depression. Wow. I’ve GOT to make these (though I’m confident I remember eating these at your house growing up).

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