For awesome pal Arielle’s annual Festivus fete, I brought frosted butter cookies made with the Hannukah cutters my cousin Nancy gave me a few years back. They include the usual suspects. The menorah. The dreydl. Green stars. Blue diamonds. And the traditional Jewish phallus, bottom right, under the wine glass. (Where it belongs, in order of importance.)
As if there just weren’t enough iconic Hannukah images to warrant a full set, they threw in some holiday sidekicks. Like the shofar, usually associated with Rosh Hashanah:
It’s a ram’s horn. It’s a primitive wind instrument. You blow it. Which is why it was amusing when my Hannukah shofar cookies looked so much like a male body part. Of course, we ate them before I thought to take their picture, but this gives you an idea:
Butter cookies with buttercream frosting are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. I’ve used lots of recipes, but my favorite is called “Rich Roll Cookies” and I got it from my mom’s Joy of Cooking cookbook, with the pretty robin’s egg blue cover and the red ribbon bookmark. (Aw, I love my mom.)
But sometimes I cave into the need for speed, like when I’m baking cookies an hour before the party while also blowdrying my hair, talking on the phone and applying mascara. Then I rely on another Betty. Crocker, that is. This Sugar Cookie Mix is genius, and it’s just about the most forgiving dough you’ll ever roll:
They’re made with real butter you add yourself, giving them a homemade taste that masks whatever chemicals Betty uses to give the mix eternal shelf life. Just roll, cut, bake, cool, frost, POOF, you’re Martha Stewart.
I use my mom’s standard buttercream recipe (turns out it’s the same one on the box of powdered sugar) but do what you like. Food coloring is pretty, though snowy white works too. And I love the crunch of sanding sugar, a.k.a. colored sprinkles. Happy almost Festivus, everyone!
Mother Drucker Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, room temperature (NOT MELTED!)
2-4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat up butter and vanilla with mixer until fluffy. Alternate additions of powdered sugar and milk until you reach desired consistency.