My uncles usually host this Christmas Eve event; and they pass the hosting responsibilities back and forth with each year. This year, however, my dad stepped in and offered to host. He hasn't hosted the party in 10 years. Momentous indeed! Of course I offered to bake the cookies, and bake the cookies I did! Dad had in mind a family recipe for cherry cookies that had been handed down to him from my late Grandma Butch. The cherry cookie is like a thumbprint cookie, with lots of butter, a little sugar, and some orange and lemon zest... oh yes, and a bright red candied cherry crown! This recipe, along with her Hungarian Nut Roll, are the only two "secret family recipes" that I know of. Grandma Butch was neither Hungarian nor a cherry; her family's heritage was mainly Polish and Russian... close enough!
So this was my first time making these little guys and the result was a delicate, buttery, citrusy, nutty cherry cookie... if you can imagine ;) And the taste was so freaking familiar! It reminded me of times forgotten. I love and am intrigued by ability of taste and smell to arouse memories and feelings of nostalgia. So many times those senses can say much more than words or pictures. They are unbiased and uninfluenced and they are completely our own.
|zest of orange and lemon (LOTS)|
|chilling the dough (very important)|
|finished product: delicious|
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!!!