THER THAN getting to see my family in Los Angeles, this hasn't been the best Christmas for me. The conditions of visiting family have not been pleasant; my grandma was rushed to the emergency room and we were told she would not make it past a week. Since being admitted to the hospital her condition has stabilized, but it's been a sleepless week for everyone involved and we're still not sure of her fate. My grandpa also was rushed to the hospital today and they're waiting to hear the prognosis but it's looking like pneumonia.
I try to remind myself that there are many silver linings: this year has been a really great one in a lot of ways. My friends have proven time and time again that they are there to help me back up when I've fallen. It is one of those things in life you don't really seem to notice until you're down. I've met someone who complements me to the core, who so puts the meaning behind contentment for me, it gives me shivers. This year I got to explore China with my family, and my grandparents who are all over 90 years in age have lived really complete, fulfilled, lives. Every so often I try to see things through an objective lens: a situation is never really good or bad, our attitude is what makes it so.
Before my sister and I rushed to LA, we had made these festive sugar cookies that I planned on giving out to friends. They're really easy to make and taste great too.
MELTED SNOWMEN COOKIES
Yields 30 cookies
- 3/4 cup softened butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until consistency is smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/3" thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter or cup.
- Bake 6 - 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
- Once cookies are cool, spread the icing on each cookie and allow to dry (see below for homemade icing instructions).
- For the 'head' of the snowman, cut a marshmallow in half and microwave them on a plate for 15-20 seconds or as soon as the marshmallow starts to puff up. Remove and position them on the cookie.
- Using colored icing, decorate the faces on the marshmallow and the arms and buttons on the snowman's body.
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tsp milk
- 2 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth.
- Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. Add corn syrup to thin the icing if it's too thick. When you put the icing on the cookie, allow icing to firm up and go from a glossy finish to matte. This will take several hours.