Sometime last week it was brought the the attention of my 4 year old nephew and 6 year old niece that they were part Jewish, which they instantly realized meant more holidays and potentially more sweets and gifts. My sister told them she couldn’t deal with anymore holidays this late in the game and if they wanted to do Hanukkah they would have to ask Aunt Amiee. I have to admit I am a total sucker for those two and will pretty much do anything for a hug from them (I’ve even gone so far as flat out bribery with $2 bills). They were headed over to my mom’s on Friday night, so my sis and her hubby could get some much needed quiet time, so I schlepped myself out to P-town with everything necessary for latkes and some rolled cookie-cutter cookies. On Wednesday I found myself in the middle of Congregation B’nai Shalom’s Hannukah sale and bought some cookie cutters for the bargain price of $2.50. I also found a fantastic book, that I highly recommend for interfaith families, called The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story. On Thursday I mixed up the cookie dough and chilled it so all we would have to do was roll, cut and bake. It was a somewhat challenging evening and I learned a few important lessons: 1. Grandma is an even bigger sucker than I am and lets her little angels do pretty much whatever they want at her house and 2. When trying to teach kids about Hanukkah do not let Grandma decide this is the perfect time to start decorating for Christmas. After several disagreements, cat-trap-building from my nephew, and distinct eye-rolling from my niece, latkes were made, cookies were baked and the menorah was lit by dictatorial fiat. Sometime around 9pm when I was sitting by the fire in silence with a glass of wine, my niece snuck out of bed, gave me a big hug and said, “thank you for doing Hanuukah Aunt Amiee, I love you”, which of course melted away my desire to sell her on craigslist and ensured that I will do it all over again next year.
cookie recipe after the break
I used the Cooks Illustrated Master Recipe for Rolled Butter Cookies, but did the butterscotch variation which simply substitutes the granulated sugar for 1 Cup packed brown sugar.
Rolled Butter Cookies
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 C. flour
- With mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt. Add yolk then whole egg and vanilla. Add flour until fully mixed in. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Remove dough from fridge and allow to warm up about 10-15 minutes and roll to 1/4 in thick. Cut dough into desired shapes. Bake on a lined or greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container.