Friday, December 19, 2008

candy cane cookies - a Rhien tradition

Now most years I haven't made these cookies - because I can't seem to master them like my mom has. I'm one of those people who want things to turn out great the first time around, and don't like to work at them (for instance - when I started gymnastics I was pretty ticked on the first day when they didn't teach me how to do a back handspring - what a waste of a lesson!)

Anyway - this is probably the 3rd time I've made these. This year I was feeling extra nostalgic and wanting to work on passing on traditions from my childhood to my children. As I looked through a Christmas cookbook that Mama Rhien put together for us I saw the Candy Cane Cookie recipe and thought the idea of making cookies for my kids that my grandma had made for her kids was pretty cool.

After I made them I called my mom to talk about things I coudl have done differently, found out that hers haven't always been perfect, and laugh. She mentioned that Nicole had made these recently and had made them skinnier than my mom makes them, but that Paul had said they turned out. She said, "I don't know how she did it - she made 4 dozen cookies from the recipe". So I counted my cookies.

19 cookies

Apparently mine were a bit 'chubby', Nicole's were a bit 'skinny' and I bet when my mom makes them later this week - they'll be 'JUST RIGHT'. (There is a HUGE difference between the 48 cookies Nicole got, and the 19 I got - 29 cookies difference!)

Anyway - here are our cookies. I had to take picture of the broken ones and the ones that (all-be-it chubby) turned out.

(Side note - as I ate one I thought, "Wait a minute - I don't even LOVE how these taste - why go to all this work?" I guess it's all about the tradition.)


Brian & Charlotte Carper said...

Sandy used to make these in the Whisler house, too, along with her dozens of beautifully painted sugar cookies.

I watched her make them for 15 years, and I never did master them. I manage to eeke out sugar cookies that are full of calories and good to eat, but not beautiful like hers. And I only tried the candy cane cookies once in my adult life. They just don't work for me.

Can't believe you made the cookies and so much **&((## caramel corn. I usually only make 2 batches a year and I never get to give it away.

One year, we made it for gifts for Alicia's friends in high school and Brian got up on Saturday morning and said, if Shawnisty doesn't come over right now, I'm going to eat her gift.

I called her and said you have to come over and get your gift or Brian's going to eat it. And she didn't come and he actually ate it. It was kind of funny, but Shawnisty came over a week later and was surprised her gift was gone. But she knew Brian so she got over it.

Sandra said...

Wow thanks for the memories. The year I was between jobs at home ( 1998?) I made 130 dozen christmas cookies--but even then I didn't make candy cane cookies. And I simplified my sugar cookies big time--make all circles, frost them all white, pipe a green wreath around the outside and put three redhots or silver drangees at the top. but i do remember those cookies I made as a teen.

The trick to sugar cookies (or those ginger molasses cookies, which I have now made stronger and richer) is 1) not work the dough too much and 2) don't bake them a minute too long. It varies from year to year, and I think they are easier to make if it is humid outside.

I personally think the candy cane cookies aren't worth it--if I am going to make that kind of plain cookie without frosting, I'd rather make some sort of shortbready cookie with nuts in it.

Last weekend I had promised to make ginger molasses cookies for my office holiday party, but I got way behind and ended up paying someone else to make my recipe. Yikes.

Love you all, Sandra

Liz said...

I love those cookies! I am SO making them this week! (But nobody loves them as much as my dad, I think!) Great job. I'm going for 2 dozen cookies. :)

The Candlands said...

I had those plates! I just barely got new ones though.