Family Traditions

December 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm 3 comments

Every family has their classic Christmas cookie. For many, the standard sugar cookie brings back memories of rolling out dough and cutting out fun shapes. While we have great pictures of my sister and me covered in flour and colored sugar as little blonde troublemakers, the cookie that really reminds me of Christmas is my Grandma’s ribbon cookies. They are essentially a sugar cookie dough that is dyed to the colors of the season, then chilled in a loaf pan and sliced into simple, square cookies. They are unassuming on a cookie platter, often hiding behind the more decorative gingerbread men or sugar cookie shapes, but these are a cookie not to miss.


If it weren't Christmas time, someone might think our family has a lot of Italian pride!

Whether you make the red, white and green for Christmas, or change up the colors for a school sports event or other holiday, these are a simple and delightful cookie. Baking them makes me feel like I am with family, whether they are with us for Christmas or not. This is the second of Grandma’s cookie recipes that I am sharing with you, and contains the modifications that my mom, my sister, and I have made throughout the years to get them just the way we love them. Make sure the butter is soft, but not melted, and don’t overbake these cookies. They are best before they brown, while still soft and just cooked. These won’t stay around for long so don’t worry about storing them!


The original slice and bake cookie

Question: What cookie reminds you most of Christmas?


Ribbon Cookies

from a family recipe, makes 6 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 ¼ cups sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 ¼ cup flour

¼ tsp salt

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

Food coloring

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix next three ingredients. Divide dough into three equal parts. Stir red food coloring into one, green into another, and leave the third plain. (Start with a few drops, and then adjust to get the color intensity you desire). Line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with waxed paper. Pack green dough, plain dough, and then red dough. Fold waxed paper over top. Press down to smooth layers together. Chill for 12-24 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough and cut in half lengthwise, and then slice ¼ inch thick. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes but do not brown.


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