Betty Whitaker was a whiz at many things, not the least of which was her elaborately decorated Christmas cookies. She started this tradition when her kids were young. They began this process in October. By "they", I mean all of them....shades of child labor! :) The dough had to be made (English Butter Cookies) and cut out with special cookie cutters that left imprinted designs on the cookies. These designs were used as the "canvas" to glaze and frost the cookies with ornamental frosting. They are quite labor intensive, but the results are stunning. I'll never forget my first introduction to them the first Christmas Wally and I spent in Yakima. I had never seen such elaborate cookies (my Mom was not a baker!). Hundreds of cookies were made and stored to be given to neighbors and friends each year.
I do not make hundreds, I make some...for family and whoever might stop by to say "hi". That would be Jamie (who always knows where there are free treats!) and Stacia who has provided us with homemade treats of her own over the years...ask me sometime about the incredibly wonderful shortbread cookies (in the shape of vegies) that she made and brought to me when Jess left for college and she knew my heart was aching...what a gal!
So...here's the finished product and thank you, Betty, for teaching me the fine art of cookie making!