The powdered sugar coated the table and sprinkles fell
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Christmas Cookies Are What Truly Make The Holidays Special

Our family called them "Butter Balls," some call them "Tea Cakes," or "Almond Cookies."

Christmas Cookies Are What Truly Make The Holidays Special

The snow falls gently outside the window, the jingle jangle tunes from a musical Christmas movie is playing on the television. My holiday apron is decorated with red and green "Merry Christmas" lettering along with holly and peppermint piping around the edges. My Santa socks are keeping my toes toasty warm as I turn the oven to 400 degrees to preheat for a batch of my favorite Christmas cookies.

Our family called them "Butter Balls," some call them "Tea Cakes," or "Almond Cookies." But, no matter what they are called, they are a delightful cookie and fun to make. They consist of five basic ingredients: butter, flour, vanilla, salt, and a lot of powdered sugar. Chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts are an option. Some like them, but I prefer this cookie nut-free.

My mother learned how to make this sweet treat from her mother, and she shared it with me as I did with my daughters. I cherish the memories I have baking these cookies her. She was a pro at rolling out those tiny balls of cookie dough in perfect form. There were mounds of powdered sugar in bowls waiting for the baked goodies to cool just enough to coat them. Rolling them in the powdery sweetness two times before the cooled. Once again when they went into the cookie tin. I can recall the taste of the warm buttery sweetness melting in my mouth as my mother told me to save some for Santa.

Several years back, I shared this cookie making experience with my first granddaughter. And a few days ago, I enjoyed doing it again with my newest granddaughter. Her mother, my oldest daughter, bought her a pink apron and cookie utensils, like a rolling pin, wooden spoon, and whisk. My daughter put all the ingredients in a large plastic bowl and my granddaughter and me, with wooden spoons in hand, mixed it together. Puffs of flour and pieces of butter spilled over the edges as my granddaughter stirred with her tiny spoon. After a few stirs, she did what every other kid would do with a spoon in her hand and tasted it. She smiled and said, "Ummmm cookie," and stuck the spoon bake into the mix. My daughter and I laughed and decided that must be the secret ingredient that makes them taste so good.

When it was mixed to a soft pliable texture, we stuck our hands in a began rolling tiny balls of cookies and placing them on a cookie sheet. My granddaughter took a handful and squeezed it in her tiny fist as it oozed out between her chubby fingers. FYI, if you make them small enough you can get the entire batch on one large cookie sheet. They take approximately eleven minutes to bake and as we waited, we danced around the kitchen to one of her favorite holiday songs, "Last Christmas."

We sat at the kitchen table with a bowl of powdered sugar in front of each of us. My granddaughter was not used to having a big bowl of sugar sitting in front of her and she looked a little perplexed at first. I placed a cookie in her bowl and one in mine and then rolled my cookie in the powder and told her to roll hers the same way. She slowly pushed in around the bowl but wasn't turning it over, I reached in and turned it over and told her to do it again, then she reached in a grabbed the cookie and squeezed it.

It crumbled into pieces and she grabbed a piece and popped it in her mouth. She smiled with delight then screeched, "cookie" as powder came flying out of her happy face. I kept rolling the cookies in my bowl as she pushed the bits and pieces of the broken cookie in her bowl and ate them. She reached for another and was not as rough with this one as it survived her efforts to coat it with the powdery sweetness.

The powdered sugar coated the table and sprinkles of it had dropped on the family dogs like snow as they sat under my granddaughter's chair hoping a crumb or two would fall to the floor and they could taste some of our holiday treats. We topped the whole experience off with a big glass of milk and then let her mother clean up while we danced around the kitchen to more of my granddaughter's favorite music.

My daughter took plenty of photos of the experience, and we finished the day off with frosting sugar cookies. If was a day full of sweetness from the cookies we made to the smile on my granddaughter's face.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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