photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Caffeine + Christmas Cookies = Breakfast of Champions

People love my Christmas Cookies. Not because they're beautiful, because they're not- they're round (using a juice glass for a cutter) and frosted with uncolored frosting and all the sprinkles a young boy can fit on them.

They're loved because they are absolutely the best melt in yer mouth sugar cookies ever devised and baked by the human hand.

The recipe came from my friend Lynn, who I've unfortunately lost track of over the years.

Lynn and I were Jaycettes way back in the dark ages when being a Jaycette meant you had to be married to a Jaycee. Jaycees/Jaycettes were basically community service organizations that raised money for good causes. That those fundraisers took on the cloak of being big ol' excuses to drink beer, eat good food and play cards didn't matter- we did honest good while having a riotously good time. (Back then, the organizations were also limited to folks between the ages of 18-35, ensuring that no party got sullied by some old farts trying to run things).

The Jaycettes in Racine Wisconsin circa 1980- 1990 were a tight group. We bowled two mornings a week- leaving the kids in the nursery and noshing on sweet rolls and coffee while making a half-assed attempt at keeping track of who was "up". We were a disgrace to the "serious bowlers". The only time we gave a damn was if our trophy for last place was endangered- then we just tried harder...errr...less...whatever.

We lived for the KaffeeKlatch- most of us were stay at home moms, or had part time employment, and we took to heart the importance of socializing our youngsters. (At least I think they were socializing, we sort of lost track after we tossed snacks and toys into a bedroom, waited till they all scurried in there, then shut and blockaded the door so they wouldn't interrupt our conversations- in the summertime we did the same thing, except in the backyard).

The afternoon Lynn had us all over for strawberry daiquiris went down in Jaycette history as an epic example of "Wow. Those taste great and go down SO easy. Why is the floor spinning?" It was the only time the husbands had to be called to drive all the wives/kids home, but it was totally worth it.

Eventually, of course, "progress" reared its ugly head, and some idiots took the Jaycee/Jaycette organizations to court as being unconstitutional- some unmarried chicks wanted in but didn't want to go to the trouble of marrying to gain admittance.

Like there weren't other, non-marital-status related community and/or beer drinking organizations to join? Puh-leeze.

The day we were told "There will be no more segregation- everyone is now just Jaycees" was the day we all quit.

I mean, what the hell? It was supposed to be a "leadership training" organization for young adults. When they opened it up to both sexes, guess what happened? All the hard, onerous jobs? Yep. The men immediately backed off and 'let' the women do them.

Besides, our Jaycette meetings were OUR night AWAY from the guys- seriously. If you've ever spent 30 minutes with a man under the age of 35 (especially with a beer or four in 'em)you know it's like having one more kid around to watch. "Don't lick that". "Stop making that noise". "Dude. Basic hygiene and personal space".

We were together through thick and thin- literally as we all grew tummies and gave birth to children, celebrated good times and bad with our families.

So every time I make these cookies, I think of Lynn- who besides blending up Killer Strawberry Daiquiris, was an excellent baker. And all my other Jaycette Sisters-

Lynn and her husband went bankrupt and moved to Chicago, Cheryl's little boy survived cancer, Karen's husband hung himself in their basement, hopefully Donna got some help for her wild dark mood swings, Barb, Sandy and Jill just sort of drifted out of my radar after I moved to Texas, and Cathy and Chris remain in my very best friend circle- even after 30+ years.

Hope your Christmas was Merry- but just because it's the 26th of December doesn't mean you can't make more Christmas cookies.

And stop licking that.

Lynn's Sugar Cookies and Vanilla Butter Frosting

1 1/2c powdered sugar
1c butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2c baking mix

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla/almond extract. Stir in baking mix and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Divide dough in half and roll out. Cut into shapes, place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350. Cool and frost with

Vanilla Butter Frosting

1/3c soft butter
3c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
about 2 tbsp milk

Cream butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and enough milk to make frosting.
Color frosting if you like, decorate with sprinkles as desired

1 comment:

  1. Love hearing about the Jaycettes. It sounds much like some of our "women's clubs" in Saudi Arabia. Being out in the middle of the desert meant making your own fun. I wish we could go back in time and watch one of your bowling nights. What a hoot it would be for me and even more of a hoot for you. Thanks for sharing your memories AND your recipe. I've got everything I need to make these, including large amount of sprinkles. If they make me fatter, it's all on you. :)