Festive Tea Cookies

Santa will not be able to resist!

These tender, crisp cookies are enjoyed year-round by my family but take on a festive flair during the holidays.  Sweet, buttery goodness abounds in each bite.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

4 cups sifted flour

4 level tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Add dry ingredients and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

3.  Slightly beat eggs and vanilla together then add to creamed butter and sugar.  Beat well.

4. Add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time until all is used.

5. Separate the dough into thirds and flatten each third into discs.  Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at at least one hour.

6. Roll each disc to your preferred thickness (I usually roll between 1/4” and 1/2”) then use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out into fun shapes.

7. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugars, if desired.  Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Note:  This is a tender cookie dough.  Dust your rolling surface and rolling pin with extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Feel Good About Yourself!

It’s easy to question your worth as a person, especially in a world that lauds physical beauty, accomplishments and material possessions. If you are feeling down about your place in this world, remember Psalm 8:4-5: “What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him glory and honour.”
God created us a little lower than the angels an has crowned us with glory and honor! No one is here by mistake but by design. So if you are heavy-hearted this day, know that you are highly valued and loved by the Most High.

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg – A Review

Fannie Flagg, the author of one of my all-time favorite novels, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, delivers again with I Still Dream About You (Random House, November 2010).

The novel centers on Maggie Fortenberry, a former Miss Alabama and current agent at Red Mountain Realty.  Maggie, now 60, is still quite the beauty with impeccable manners and Southern charm oozing from every pore.  Yet, underneath, years of disappointment, guilt and self-doubt have simmered to the point that Maggie can only think of one resolution.  She devises a plan to finally rid herself of her demons but the dynamic cast of characters that surround her – ambitious Brenda Peoples, her dear friend and fellow agent at Red Mountain Realty who also hides beneath a façade; Ethel Clipp, the elderly office manager at Red Mountain Realty who longs for a return to the days of genteel manners and ruthless competitor Babs Bingington, owner of a rival real estate agency – create enough detours until Maggie realizes on her own and through memories of Hazel Whisenknott, the motherly founder of Red Mountain Realty, that life, although sometimes difficult, is wondrous.

To call Ms. Flagg a gifted storyteller feels like a gross understatement.  Her grasp of the tone and climate of both the Old and New South is masterful.  Her characters are multidimensional and believable rather than dim-witted caricatures.  Admittedly, this novel did not move me as much as Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.  That novel was so touching it brought me to tears (it may have something to do with my own Southern roots).  No, I didn’t reach for a tissue while reading I Still Dream About You, but I did find myself chuckling and pulled into the intrigue of a murder mystery that unfolds in the background.  At a little over 300 pages, this is a light-hearted read that will leave you feeling warm and renewed in your own belief that life is well worth living.