Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

Waffle Iron Cookies

 

Waffle irons and instructions

When my sister, Paula Kaser Price, inherited our mother’s waffle irons and the oil-stained recipe , she also inherited memories and tradition. Paula’s story gives us a  great example of how donning an apron can lead us back to our memories of those family members long gone. Besides traveling back in time, the story travels from Hilliard, Ohio to Scottsdale Arizona to her home today in Virginia.

UPDATE: Paula adds, “It is a team effort as one cook frys the other dusts each cookie with powdered sugar. They are delicate so the rule is if any break the cooks must eat them immediately.”  And what a shame that would be!

A Note From My Sister, Paula Kaser Price

In later years Mom and I spent  a day making waffle iron cookies. The boys were sent away and we started cookin’. We had a wonderful time especially when the “boys” (Dad, Wayne, Eric and Aaron) showed up and gobbled them up getting powered sugar everywhere. Several dozen cookies were carefully hidden away before their arrival.

  Dad, Paul Kaser; Wayne Price (my sister’s husband); Eric and Aaron (my sister’s sons. Aaron’s name is Paul Aaron and he now goes by Paul.).

Paul and I carry on the tradition spending a day making them then distributing waffle iron cookies to friends. Still use the stained recipe paper with Mom’s handwritten notes.

The Original Recipe

Because each cookie is made individually, given time to dry then sprinkled with powdered sugar, it is a time consuming and messy project. We always made at least a double batch, many times a double double batch. Mom wrote the doubled amounts on the recipe. The recipe came with the box of irons that are  in the shape of a snow flake and a Christmas tree.

Waffle Iron Cookie Recipe

Recipe for waffle iron cookies with Mother’s hand-written doubling amounts

The past several years, because the recipe paper is torn in half and so oil soaked as to be difficult to read, I have thought I should rewrite it on clean paper. Then I reject the idea because using that recipe paper with Mom’s calculations is like having her spirit there watching over Paul and me and joining in with our fun listening to Christmas music, laughing, getting powdered sugar everywhere, anticipating the joy our labor will bring and the happy exhaustion at the end of the day.

So like Mom and I did In the 80s standing around the counter in my little house on Latham [Street, Scottsdale, AZ],  Paul and I  stand around the counter in our little house in the woods and fry us up some Christmas cookies.

Waffle Iron cookies with Santa

Sorry they don’t ship well. Also sorry I wondered down memory lane. Oh well, it is that time of year.

PS. Do you recognize the table cloth under the waffle box? It was always on the Christmas dining table in Hilliard. I think I remember being with Mom when she bought it at Lazarus [Department Store in Columbus OH].  Unfortunately now I can only use it folded in half as there is an ever growing hole on one side.

Recipe for Waffle Iron Cookies, AKA Rosettes

Waffle Iron Cookies

Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Christmas
Region Swedish
Mother made "waffle cookies", a deep fried confection known as rosettes in Scandinavian countries.

Ingredients

  • 2lb shortening or oil (For frying)
  • 1 cup flour (Sifted or fluffed before measuring)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (Beaten)
  • confectioner's sugar (To sprinkle over finished waffle cookie.)

Directions

1. Heat about 2 inches of oil or shortening 350 degrees
2. Mix milk, water, sugar, salt and egg together. Stir slowly into flour, then beat until smooth. Batter should be smooth and alost as thick as cream.
3. Heat waffle iron (rosette) in hot oil.
4. Dip iron into batter being careful not to get batter on top of the iron.
5. Dip the battered iron into the oil. As soon as batter begins to separate from the iron, gradually lift it up and allow Waffle to drop off into oil. When waffle is brown on one side, turn to brown on other side. Remove waffle from oil. Drain on paper towel.
6. Sift confectioner's sugar over the waffle when cooled. (Optional: add cinnamon and/or nutmeg to the sugar)
7. Store in air tightly covered container. May be reheated in warm oven.

A reader asks about the term “fluffing the flour”. Here’s my source.  I suggest this alternate because I realize to younger cooks, the flour sifter is a relic of the past.  Sifting is no longer “a thing.”  Do you use a flour sifter?

 

Christmas Cookies Time

Christmas Cookies

Pfefferneuse Christmas cookies and German, Swiss and Dutch ornaments

Are you ready for Christmas cookies? Check out the recipes I posted last year and stay tuned for this year’s versions for a German Christmas cookies.

Grandma Vera’s Sugar Cookies

Adults Only Christmas Cookies

Pferfferneuse Fruit Cake Cookies

Rhema’s Raisin Bars

Agnes’ Refrigerator Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Grandma Vera’s Sugar Cookies

Traditional Christmas cookies

Traditional Christmas cookies

Finally, we get to the quintessential Christmas cookie.  Yes, there are worthwhile traditions and delicious reasons to make all those other cookies, but the cookie that really means Christmas is the cut-out, frosted, sugar cookie.

In our family, that means Grandma Vera Anderson’s Sugar Cookie recipe. It also means help from whatever youngsters are around for some creative decorating.  I love the traditional Santa Claus and Christmas tree cookies, but gather a bunch of 3 to13-year-olds around colored icing and bottles of sprinkles and you never can tell what the final product will be.   A blue Santa. A Christmas tree with tiny dinosaurs and stars?

Creative Christmas Cookies

Creative Christmas Cookies

This is  the recipe that is so similar to the sugar cookie that Brette Sember told us about — the one that originated in her family with her great-grandmother.  As Brette explained, the dough is difficult to handle and the full recipe makes way too many cookies, but the taste and texture are unique and it is all totally worth it when you bite into Grandma’s sugar cookies.

I usually make these with sour cream, but this year went back to souring milk with a little vinegar the way that Grandma did.  I also used Crisco, since that was what I remember her using in her cookies.  Although I usually use butter,  they do not taste all that different.

Christmas sugar Cookies

Cookie decorating station

Finally, don’t worry if you have to add flour. It’s a sticky dough and I probably use another two cups of flour by the time I’m through–on the cloth I roll them out on, on the rolling pin sleeve, and on the dough itself.  It is a delicate balance, because too much flour and you wind up with a cardboardy cookie instead of the crisp on the outside, soft on the inside texture you want.

Andrew decorating Christmas sugar cookies.

Andrew decorating Christmas sugar cookies.

This time around, the recipe made 8 dozen sugar cookies–and that includes some large Santas and Christmas trees as well as small bells and stars.

Although I did not include a frosting recipe, I use a simple one– two cups of confectioner sugar to 1/4 cup butter, with a couple spoonfuls of milk and a dash of vanilla. I probably made four times that much for this batch of cookies. Kids slather the frosting on more thickly than you might, so take that into consideration.

Grandchildren and Christmas Sugar Cookies

Rachael is wearing her great-great-grandmother Vera’s apron, and Andrew his grandmother’s apron.

Plus you need to have separate dishes of red, green, gold–and, yes, blue besides leaving some white. Make the cookie dough two days before decorating and store in fridge.  Bake a day before so the kids won’t have to wait impatiently for cookies to dress up. Then all hands put on their aprons and away they go.

Grandma Vera’s Sugar Cookies

Serves 8 doz.
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup lard, Veg. shortening or butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour milk
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour

Directions

1. Sift together dry ingredients
2. Cream butter and sugars
3. Add eggs, sour milk and dry ingredients to butter/sugar. Mix. Chill
4. Roll out to 1/8" thick and cut with cookie cutters.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes

Note

Our ancestors might leave out their milk to sour, but ours is pasteurized and will spoil rather than sour, but  you have options.  I use sour cream.  You can also use buttermilk. Or, you can create sour milk by adding 1 Tbls. vinegar to 1 C. fresh whole milk and letting it sit for five minutes. (My grandmother taught me that trick.)

I use butter instead of lard or vegetable shortening because I like the buttery taste, but to be completely authentic, lard would be best.

The amount of flour I use seems to vary from year to year.  Grandma's recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups, but I seldom can get a solid dough and have to add another 1/2 cup, plus very liberally flouring the surface on which I'm rolling out the dough.  At any rate, it will be a very soft dough.

You do want the raw cookies to be as thin as 1/4 inch or less because these cookies puff up, and you'll lose sight of the shape you are trying to create if you make them any thicker.

Because they are so thin and so delicate, be sure to keep a close eye on the oven while you are baking.  I find that the first tray may take a little longer to bake than subsequent ones. Whether you are using dark or shiny pans will change the equation.  Just keep an eye on them. They need to come out when they are showing a hint of brown around the edges.  They will still feel puffy-soft when you gently touch the center, but because they are thin, they will finish baking on the cooling rack.

If you don't want to bother with frosting, you can sprinkle the tops with sugar--white or colored--before baking.