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Holiday Baking is in Full Swing!

Each year it seems I start my baking later and later.  I’m not sure if it feels that way or if it’s actually true.  I guess I should look back at past years’ journal entries and figure that out!  I had made a couple small things earlier this year but feel like I really started yesterday. 

The first batch I made were Tennessee Sugar Cookies.  I have started with these cookies for years!  They are easy to throw together and make a fairly large batch so I always feel like I’ve accomplished something right away.  I got this recipe from one of my cousins years ago when she brought the cookies to one of our annual family picnics.  The original recipe just specifies to roll the cookies in sugar but at this time of year I mix red and green sugar sprinkles in with the granulated sugar for a more festive look. 
Next on my agenda were two batches of Spritz.  Again, these cookies come together very easily, they don’t need to be chilled and you can pop several dozen out in a matter of an hour or so. 

The first batch I made were "regular" Almond Spritz.  This is the most traditional flavoring but these cookies are very versatile and can be flavored a number of ways.  In past years I’ve made them with everything from black walnut to butter rum to rosewater.  This year I decided to make a batch of green trees and flavored them with mint, since I wanted the flavor to match the color!  Don’t you hate it when your eyes tell you one thing about food and then the taste doesn’t match what you’re expecting? 
Total number of cookies baked yesterday:  Just over 20 dozen.  That’s a good start!
I’m working on my plan for today – stay tuned for more baking information! 
Tennessee Sugar Cookies 
¾ cup margarine
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour 

Cream margarine, vegetable oil and sugars until light. 

Add vanilla and eggs. 

Sift together all dry ingredients and then add a little at a time to mixture until entirely incorporated. 

Refrigerate at least three hours. 

Shape into 1” balls, roll in sugar (or a mixture of sugar and colored sprinkles), place on baking sheets and then press down lightly with a fork. 

Bake at 375° for 10 – 12 minutes. 

Makes 6 – 7 dozen. 

  1. 05-Dec-2005 8:44 am

    What kind of camera and lens do you use? Your photos are outstanding.

  2. Culinary permalink
    06-Dec-2005 6:56 am

    Thanks, BH! I certainly have a way to go but I\’ve been trying to actually think more about my shots. I use a Sony DSC-P200 Cybershot 7.2MP. It\’s really just a point and shoot, although it has a lot of manual controls. I keep the resolution at 3MP, as the 7 MP files are just too huge and really don\’t convert well to low, web resolution. When shooting food I generally use the macro mode, no flash or if I really need light I\’ll take the camera back out, use zoom for a closeup and then the flash isn\’t so harsh. It\’s small enough to fit in a pocket or small purse which was one of my requirements. ~ B


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