It all started with a photo of cookies on Instagram and Facebook. There are the 'Likes' and "yum"s, and then the requests for the recipe.
I say that's where it starts, but really it is decades back into my childhood. Deep into the hills and winters of past Christmases at home - either living with my parents, over break in college, or spending time over the holiday after moving away - there is a cookie. A cookie that shows up once a year for a couple weeks, then vanishes leaving nothing but crumbs and deposited calories. And memories.
This year I wanted to make the cookies myself - my mom's fruitcake cookies. Before you wince at the dreaded Yule time F-word let me clarify that these are sweet and soft without the astringent citrus that plagues round tins and white elephant parties. I had to get the recipe. A simple phone call is all it would take, and within 15 minutes I was typing onto Notepad as quickly as my mom was reading. I could see the folded piece of paper from the brown recipe box as surely as it was lying in front of me.
The next day I went to the store and scoured the baking aisles for chopped pecans, candied chopped dates and candied cherries. Those translucent fruits only seem to be in season this time of year. I went up and down searching high and low. I finally found the treasure I was seeking on the end cap of the baking aisle - specially displayed because, well, apparently they are only in season this time of year.
The process is messy - especially chopping the cherries. I just take my shears and chop away in the little plastic container. The batter is one of the stickiest you will ever encounter. The bowl is incredibly heavy after all the sifting and adding and beating into sweet submission. The cookies, oh the cookies, they are like Christmas to me and worth the effort.
I'm sharing this recipe with you. I have no idea where it came from, maybe the pages of Southern Living or a relative. I'm also sharing some of the tools that I use to help the process along. If you make them, I'd love to hear what you think.
My favorite tools to help create the YUM! (These are affiliate links, thanks for clicking through.)
|Cookie scoop for consistent size and even baking|
|Chef'n Silicon spatula/scraper stick for the beaters|
I'm linking up with Crystal Stine for Behind the Scenes. Click over to find other stories that lie outside the frame of the photos.