Everyone seems to have a treasured holiday food, something that brings you back to your childhood or, at least, a particularly wonderful holiday. My mother made these cookies a couple of times when I was very small–I loved them! I loved the fun shape and the colored dough. I loved the light, buttery texture and the sweet almond flavor. In fact, I loved these cookies so much that I looked and looked through my mother’s recipe boxes and cookbooks year after year hoping I’d come across this recipe. For whatever reason the recipe had disappeared–it may have been lost in the house fire we had when I was eight or it may have, like my goldfish, fallen victim to one of my toddler siblings scissor experiments.
Gradually, I stopped looking. Like many things from childhood the cookies were lost, never forgotten, but never to be replicated.
Then, one blessed day when I was twenty-three, my boyfriend’s mom handed down a book of recipes she’d collected over the years. Tucked in one of the pages I found a recipe clipped from a magazine: it was the cookies I’d been searching for, I just knew it! I baked a batch and there they were! Just as I’d remembered them!
They say you can never go home, but Proust and I believe that you can at least bake a little bit of it.
I encourage you to share your holiday food memories in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories!