Sorry I have been MIA this past weekend. I spent the weekend in Alabama celebrating my Aunt's life. This post is really in her honor and I've included one of her fabulous cookie recipes below - shorthand just as she wrote it. Aunt T was fabulous cook, chef, baker, canner of goods, easy bake oven extraordinaire, frosting maker, gingerbread house builder and so much more. I remember these magnificent gingerbread houses as a child - ones the size of doll houses. Covered in gum drops and frosting and snowcaps and more candy than any 5 year old could ever need, though this 5 year old certainly wanted it. Every holiday season we were guaranteed one of these and it sat in the corner of my grandparents dining room for all admiring eyes and overreaching hands. I also remember the canned goods. There were pickled onions and jams and fruit galore. Actually, there was a basement full of mason jars brimming with goodness (or at least that's how I remember it). There were cookies and brownies and pies and tarts - all made out of Aunt Ts kitchen with a whole heck of a lot of love. She eventually opened her own bakery and I can remember the first time I saw it, or more importantly saw her in it and she was so happy. She had the equipment she had probably always dreamed of owning and a walk in fridge. There were doughs and frostings and more dough and more frosting and my cousins and I, much older than 5 at that point, ate and sampled and ate some more. When I graduated from college, her one request was that she make food for my party. And she did - she made food and drove it down to North Carolina, all the way from Illinois, with her. Now we never ate that food (she left it at the hotel) but you get the point. In the last year of her life, Aunt T wanted to make goats cheese. You see, food was always a part of her. Whether it was the gingerbread houses 20 years ago or the desire to buy a goat and make goats cheese just last year, food was at Aunt Ts center - at her core. We celebrated this weekend with family and sunshine and a whole heck of a lot of food. So here's to you Aunt T. Thank you for being such a wonderful human being, for inspiring us all a bit more, and for keeping us fat and happy for the last 24 years of my life.
Aunt T's Cookies
Servings: 2-3 dozen
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup walnut chopped, if desired
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, beat butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, vanilla and honey together.
- Add flour and salt. Mix together with your hands.
- Form 1 inch balls.
- Place on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Place remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar in small bowl.
- Roll balls in powdered sugar while they are still warm.
- Let cool on baking rack.
- When cool, roll again.
A little over a year has gone by since my Aunt passed away. Recipes are a thing of family. They stand for memories and past lives. They get carried down from generation to generation. In many ways, I hope this blog acts as a chronicling tool for my recipes, so that they one day may be passed down to my children and their children. Instead of handwritten recipe cards, they will get a website filled with words. Words that consist of stories, details about my life, good days and bad days, and memories. Lots and lots of memories. As I pulled out this recipe a few days ago to make these cookies, memories resurfaced - good and bad, happy and sad. Because that's what recipes and food does. As you read this post, and make this recipe, I hope you think about your family and the memories you have made and continue to make while baking and cooking. With that, I wish everyone a very very happy holiday. Thanks for reading all that I have to share. May my recipes help you make some memories of your own.