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Enjoying food and family at Christmastime

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Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 4:30 am

Most of my Christmas memories are wrapped with food and family.

As a child, I remember rushing my parents to finish snacks at my great-grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve so we could go to sleep after I mistook an airplane’s flashing red light for Rudolph’s nose.

This year, I’m looking forward to watching my niece celebrate her first Christmas.

Judging from the massive pile of presents under the tree, she’ll have as many gifts to unwrap as the rest of the family combined.

New memories will be made as my family enjoys a feast prepared by my sister-in-law.

Today’s menu is a surprise, she said, but I hope it includes prime rib, which is my favorite dish she cooks.

Refusing to let her do all the work, my mom, sister and I are taking care of desserts.

There will be iced sugar cookies galore, mini cheesecakes and shortbread cookies along with fudge and a wonderland of almond bark-covered popcorn, among other treats.

Here’s to another year of food, family and warm memories.

Merry Christmas.

Simple sugar cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.

Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Roll out dough on floured surface ¼- to ½-inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters.

Place cookies 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes until edges turn golden.

Cool completely and decorate as desired.

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