OTHO - The cookies may be new and fresh, but the recipes can date way back and have been enjoyed by many generations of the Heatherington family and friends.
Carol Heatherington said she's has been baking Christmas cookies for almost 50 years. Heatherington doesn't just bake a few batches of cookies here and there; with some help, she has managed to bake upwards of 3,000 cookies to be shared over the holidays.
Although she is unsure just how many she will bake this year, one thing that is for certain - there will always be a variety of cookies, including traditional favorites.
-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Carol Heatherington carefully removes a batch of pepparkakor onto her table to cool. Heatherington makes it a yearly tradition to make hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies.
Heatherington keeps a list of cookies made from years past readily available to reference inside a kitchen cupboard. The usual recipes found on those lists include pepparkakor, spritz, kringla, cut-out cookies, date pinwheels, creme cookies, sour cream drop cookies, chocolate chip with Andes mints cookies, monster cookies, ice box sugar cookies, molasses and any other recipes she may want to try.
Heatherington said her mother, Francis Sandgren, used to make cookies and sell them during Christmas. When her mother decided to no longer bake cookies for sale, Heatherington stepped up.
"When she decided to stop selling, I took over and sold some for a few years," she said.
Once Irene Strait, a neighborhood friend of Heatherington's, wanted a lesson in baking cookies. That lesson turned into an annual cookie-baking get-together that's been ongoing for more than 40 years.
"She wanted to learn, and it evolved from there," said Heatherington.
Strait no longer makes the trip to help with baking cookies, so now Heatherington's daughters-in-law, Lila Heatherington and Lynette Heatherington, help out. Even granddaughters will lend a hand, she said, if they are available.
The Heatherington clan gathers and bakes when it can. However, Heatherington said, she prefers to have the majority of the cookies done before Thanksgiving.
When they get together, each person has a certain chore. Even just watching the oven to be sure the cookies are removed on a timely basis is a big help, Heatherington said.
Heatherington, a self-described picky person, puts in the extra time it takes to achieve the perfection of each cookie.
Over the years, Heatherington has learned through trial and error what it takes in certain recipes to achieve that perfect cookie.
She said that if using margarine, be sure to use a 100-calorie-per-serving brand.
"Otherwise there is too much water in the margarine and the store brand is the best. No need to buy the name brand," said Heatherington.
Depending on the recipe, Heatherington will use margarine over butter, and, for example, when making pepparkakor, uses margarine cold from the refrigerator.
In recipes calling for sour cream, Heatherington has substituted yogurt to save on calories.
She also takes full advantage of using parchment paper for easier removal of cookies from sheets.
When it comes to making spritz, Heatherington recommends using the old-fashioned cookie presses, with the crank.
She said she searches for them at auctions and second-hand stores.
When making pie crusts and peanut butter cookies, she said she will always use lard.
"The cookies just melt in your mouth and the pie crusts are so flaky when I use lard," she said.
Heatherington said she will bake cookies all throughout the year, but only at major quantities for the holidays.
1/2 pound margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon white syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cloves
2 1/2 cups flour
Mix together, and using a cookie press with the disc resembling an old wash board, place on to cookie sheets and bake at 350-degrees for 8- to 10-minutes.
2/3 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
5 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla, add the two egg yolks, mix well.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix together baking soda and buttermilk. Before buttermilk stops foaming add to the butter mixture, then mix in flour mixture.
Using a small amount of dough, roll in to a pencil shape and twist and place on to cookie sheet.
Bake at 450 degrees for five minutes.
1 cup sugar
1/2 pound butter
1 cup flour (maybe a little more)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Melt butter, stir in part of sugar and two eggs. Stir. Add rest of ingredients.
Mix with spoon no mixer.
Prepare using an electric krumkaka iron.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
Cream together butter, sugar, almond extract and egg yolk.
Add two cups of flour and using a cookie press, place cookies on to cookie sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
Breakfast bundt cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs add one at a time
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Mix in order given and beat eight minutes.
Pour into pan alternately with a mixture of 1/4 cup sugar and two teaspoons of cinnamon.
Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Nuts are optional.