Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's That Time of Year...

...when my weekends are booked solid with HOLIDAY MERRIMENT!

Today I went out to hang with my family and start some of our traditions--including baking a million cookies for the Winter Party at the Commandant's House tomorrow and sewing my stays for said event.  Hooray!  I'll have much more to share as the month progresses of December throughout the 19th century (or the modern version of it anyway), but tonight I am going to bang out these stays while watching White Christmas, which is one of my favorite movies.

Also, to start off right, it snowed today!  So here's a clip from White Christmas in honor of the great New England tradition.

Also, here are the cookies I'll be bringing to the party tomorrow!

They are Dolley Madison's sugar cookies, First Lady from 1801-18017.  They are quite cake-like in consistency, and the cinnamon is a nice change.  All in all, not what we expect in a sugar cookie but quite nice!

(Adapted from the Jane Austen Centre, Bath UK)

2c. butter
3/4 c. milk
4 c. sugar
10 eggs, separated and beaten (yolks to a custard color, whites "stiffly")
1 tsp. cinnamon
flour to suit

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Beat egg whites stiffly.  In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg yolks and cinnamon.  Fold in beaten egg whites, then add milk.  Add flour about a cup at a time until the dough reaches a consistency where it will stay in lump up spooned onto the cookie sheet (or however firm you like).  Spoon (I use a melon baller) into 1/4-inch balls and back for 10 minutes.

One thing that always throws me off with this is that the cookies will not change color as they bake.  To make sure they are done, lightly tap the top.  They should be spongy but firm.

Enjoy, and Happy December!

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