Chicken Scratchin’s: Made with love

Has everyone tried all of their new Christmas presents yet? I found a new cookie cutter in my gifts this year and couldn’t wait to try it out.

My grandmother had me making sugar cookies with her from the time I could stand on a chair with an apron tied around my neck. We didn’t have a written recipe because these were the everyday cookies and they were made at least once a week. She had all shapes of metal cookie cutters from stars to trees to little Scotty dogs.  A sprinkle of sugar was all we ever put on them but we used tinted sugar for holidays. The recipe that was attached to the cookie cutter was almost the same as Grandma Williams’ recipe from the past.

I mixed up the dough and rolled out the cookies thinking I was 10 years old again and smiling at the memories that make me who I am. Using the new cutter I cut out the cutest chickens that I have ever made. Once they were baked I decided I had to frost them so I mixed up white, yellow and red frosting. Nothing says homemade like frosted sugar cookies on the counter.

We tried to make all of our Christmas gifts this year. We did have to purchase a few materials that we were unable to create ourselves and it was a fun experience. Most people received a gift that I am sure they were not expecting, but that was half of the fun. There is one gift still in production, but Sheryl wanted a mosaic artwork like we found on vacation last summer and you cannot rush a masterpiece.

012214-chicken-quiltAnother special gift I received was a beautiful quilted and beaded wall hanging with several fancy chickens on display. Only a sister-in-law that really loved me would want to stare at chickens for hours upon hours as she made this quilt. Sue Jean also made special gifts for others. Her mother, sister and I received aprons made from one of her dad’s blue plaid shirts. Mama’s apron was made from the front of the shirt with the collar going over the neck and the buttons down the front. The back of the shirt made a full length apron for Sheryl, and both sleeves sewn together with the cuffs making the waistline completed my apron. It was very special for us to receive this gift from the past.

When I was a child I never wanted anything handmade. It was all so old fashioned and never seemed as good as store bought. Now that I am older and much wiser I like the handmade items best as they are always made with love.

Here’s the recipe for the cookies I made:

Ann Clark’s Chicken Cookies

  • Cream together: 1 c. butter and 2/3 c. sugar
  • Beat in: 1 egg
  • Add: 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ½ c. sifted flour

Mix until all ingredients are well blended. Chill dough 3-4 hours before rolling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out ¼” thick and cut. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until barely colored. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

Frosting

  • ¾ c. powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. lemon juice
  • Melt butter, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth. Add food coloring if desired. Yield 1/3 cup.

In case anyone would like a chicken cookie cutter or one with another shape, I was told it came from Ramblin’ Rose, in Osage City.


williams_jan_1Jan Williams is a farm girl, but was raised in a town. She has finally gotten back to where she thinks she belongs – in the country. She occasionally shares some of her rural experiences with a side of Chicken Scratchin’s. She lives in Osage County, Kansas, with a husband, a dog, two cats and four chickens.

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