One of my first memories of baking is of my mom and I making Christmas cookies.The Christmas cookie recipe that we used came from an ancient cookbook that my mother has had for years.The book is so well used and loved that the pages are falling out, are dark brown and stained, and are starting to crumble on the edges.

This old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook has many recipes for dinners, side dishes, desserts, and even some cocktails, but there are really only three recipes that my family and I have ever used.And, Christmas cookies are one of them.Usually, every year we make dozen of these sugar cookies around Christmas time.Using some of the many cookie cutters that we have collected over the years, than sit down together and decorate them.I look forward to doing this every year, not just to make cookies but to enjoy the company of my family.

Recently, I started volunteering at a temporary home for children battling cancer called Brent’s place.I have gone twice now and worked as a personal chef with a friend of mine who also attends Johnson and Wales.We have made dinner for about 20 people who are currently residing at Brent’s Place.This past Friday I was lucky enough to make to make my Christmas cookie recipe and make them into hearts in celebration of valentines day.

When the cookies were ready for decorating, I had help from two of the kids that were staying there.It was so much fun and it really felt great to decorate cookies with these kids, and to see them get so much joy out of decorating them.Just like I did when I was a kid.It really amazes me just how happy and loving these kids are, even though they are going through such a tough time.These kids just want to act normal and have fun like any other child would.And, I’m happy that I could help them with that.

If you would like to make some Christmas cookies, any time of the year, here is the recipe.But, before you make them you have to promise me that you will enjoy making them as much as I do, and that you will share them with your friends and family.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 cups A.P. Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt

-Cream shortening and sugar
-Add eggs until evenly combined
-add remaining ingredients
-Chill about 30+ minutes before rolling out and cutting

-Bake at 400F until edges are slightly golden brown

-decorate with your favorite frosting and enjoy!