As Our Christmas Cookies Go Stale

December went entirely too fast.  I never even got a chance to make my cookies, though our scale showed no regrets.

I decided that the Christmas season is not going to put a timeline on when I can bake and I will use any color sprinkles I want to.  Besides, there’s so much more time to create tasty confections when the holiday sales have past and the wrapping paper fills the recycle bin.

There’s a cookie I remember eating when I was about five.  It was pale pink, and in cut-outs like a regular sugar cookie, but it had a distinct taste that I now know to be rose water.  I always hoped to find them again.  Believe it or not, I recently found the recipe my Mom had copied from that lady who made them, when flipping through a stack of photocopied recipes she gave to us.  So not only do I get to relive a sensory memory, but the oven will do wonders to heat our little house this weekend.

If you’d like to give them a shot – I think it would be a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day in the form of hearts too.  The recipe states that it is originally from French origin.

Petticoat Tails Recipe

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 & 3/4 cups flour (Do not use self-rising flour)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. rose water
  • red & yellow food coloring (no particular measurement)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • Sugar-nut topping or Confectioners’ sugar icing (below)

Cream butter and sugar; add egg and mix well.  Stir together flour and salt; mix into creamed mixture.  Divide in half.  To one half, add the rose water and red food coloring.  Mix well.  To the remaining half, add the almond extract and yellow food coloring.  Mix well.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll dough 1/8” thick on well-floured cloth-covered board.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Cookies may be sprinkled with sugar-nut topping before baking or may be decorated with confectioners’ sugar icing when cool.

*Sugar nut topping: Mix 6 tbsp. finely chopped nuts with ¼ cup granulated sugar.  Sprinkle over cookies before baking.

*Confectioners’ sugar icing: Blend 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and 2-3 tbsp. cream (or evaporated milk), adding cream in small amounts.  Stir in food coloring.

Despite the recipe, my memory recalls a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and those small silver balls that threaten to break your teeth, as opposed to these two options.  I don’t care what anyone says, those are not edible.  I hope to make these tomorrow and share pictures and results, with teeth in tact of course.

Christmas time is here


For those of us who celebrate Christmas, it really is the best time of the year.  There is a warm and sentimental feeling that encompasses the soul.  But like everything else, time passes so quickly and before you know it, the lights are gone and the cookies stale.

This year, we didn’t wait to celebrate.  And I wouldn’t let the Grinches force us to hide our spirit, with their “Are you serious? The mall is decorated for Christmas already?” comments.  Well, excuse my French, but screw them.  As a matter of fact, we’ve been watching Elf since September.  (Who am I kidding, we watch it all the time really.)

I learned my lesson from this summer, when too many tomorrows passed us by and my plans for making real fresh jam went by the wayside.  I’m going to dig out the most sentimental family cookie recipes I have and get going.  Even the ones that seem too complicated and require odd ingredients will get a fair shot. 

As we hang our handblown ornaments and get out the old cookie press, we wish you a Merry Christmas.  Don’t forget  that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear”.