Way back in the day when you could make treats to take to school, we would make Halloween pumpkin cookies each year to take to our classmates during the Halloween party at elementary school.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has made the best sugar cookies in the world. It's partly because they are incredibly soft and its partly because she also makes the best icing!
But every year at Halloween, mom would help Johnny and I make sugar cookies. We would cut out circle shapes, and then color the icing orange. Mom had three bowls of decorations including candy corn, chocolate chips and M&Ms. She would put icing on the cookies and we would decorate faces.
One year, one of my classmates had diabetes and we made her a special cookie so she could share in the fun too!
And even though you can't bring homemade treats to school parties anymore, mom and I have taken that tradition to my girls. I can't say that we have made them every year since Grace has been born, but it's always fun to get together and bake cookies.
This year, we were a little short on time, and made some slice and bake cookies for the decorating. I have to say the cookies weren't as good, but the memories were even better. While I was getting Grace situated, mom set Charley up at the table with a circle cookie with orange icing and three bowls of decorations. It didn't take her long to figure it out, and she was so proud of each cookie she decorated. She couldn't wait to get home and show one to her daddy.
Some of Charley's looked liked smiley faces, while others were more jumbled. But it didn't matter to her. It didn't matter to her that we didn't make the cookies from scratch. What mattered is that we were together, and having a really good time. Oh, and she got to eat a lot of chocolate chips.
I think that's why I always enjoy baking so much, even if I don't get a chance to do it as often as I would like. I have such great memories baking with my family, and I hope that Charley will enjoy it just as much over the years.
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
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4 teaspoons milk
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Thoroughly cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add egg; beat til light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Chill one hour.
On lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut in desired shapes with cutters. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375-degrees about six to eight minutes. Cool slightly; remove from pan. Makes about two dozen.
1 bag powdered sugar
1 cup Crisco (use Crisco)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
Milk to the consistency you want
Beat all ingredients together. This will make enough icing for a 13x9 cake. For cookies, it can be cut in half.