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I love to cook even more than I love to eat so it makes sense for me to gift folks with things that I whip up in the kitchen. One night last week I baked multiple batches of my Mama's cookie recipe with the tree cookie cutter. This weekend, I added colored icing and sprinkles. It's one of those traditions that I'll never give up until I can't drag my old butt to the stove. By then, I feel sure somebody will bring me some in the nursing home ;) Wearing felt reindeer antlers and singing carols! My hands are stained with green from the food color, and I made some blue ones too for my little friend Robert, Yaya's grandboy. His favorite color, dontcha know.

Today was cake baking for the folks up at the grocery store that I stop at every.single.day.without.fail. Family owned, which is a nice touch of rurality in today's fast paced world. I can't ever remember it NOT being there in my lifetime. They stock whatever you ask for because they know you're a regular and will habitually drop by for the sake of convenience and a smile.

Just in case you're in a cookie makin' mood, here's the recipe.

Mama Staff's Cutout Cookies

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups self rising flour

Cream soft butter and sugar together. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour a little bit a time and stir well. Roll dough out thin on a floured board. Cut with cookie cutters and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes or until very slightly brown around the edges.

For a bright glaze, combined powdered sugar, food color and a few drops of hot water. Or, use the canned kind! For a Santa's face you could use blue eyes, red mouth and hat and white whiskers and beard. Let your imagination run wild. That's the fun of it...kinda like painting. Sprinkle with candy decors. The kids will have a ball and so will you :) It kinda puts the "merry" in Merry Christmas.

Janice Stafford
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