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Reverb11: Community in my Kitchen (and the best sugar cookie recipe ever!)

Unfrosted sugar cookies. (photo by Tui Snider)
Unfrosted sugar cookies. (photo by Tui Snider)

Community in my kitchen

I could fill several blog entries talking about all the places I have experienced community in 2011 – online, offline and even overseas – but for this Reverb11 post I’m going to expound upon the sense of family I’ve enjoyed right in my very own kitchen.

My husband has two grown kids, and one of the ways I have gotten to feel like part of the family is through time spent cooking together at our house. I love it!

Our cookie assembly line (photo by Tui Snider)
Our cookie assembly line (photo by Tui Snider)

This Thanksgiving, for instance, we assembled and decorated a gingerbread village with them while the turkey roasted. We were playful and silly (my specialties) and had a great time.

Last week, we had a blast decorating sugar cookies which we’ve sent off as Christmas gifts for our friends and family. We frosted a LOT of cookies. By the time we ran out, we were getting pretty creative, as you can see by these photos.

Texas shaped cookies (photo by Tui Snider)
Our Texas shaped cookies feature a dot to show where we live. (photo by Tui Snider)

It may not sound like much, but working on projects like these is much more relaxed than sitting around the living room trying to keep a conversation going. It really takes the pressure off. No one expects you to say anything unless you feel inspired to do so. As a result, the conversation flows easily and no one feels “on the spot.”

Our holiday tradition

Actually this whole “sugar cookie thing” has become a holiday tradition for me and my man. It started on Christmas Eve of last year, when my then-fiance and I listened to my eclectic collection of Christmas music (everything from Elvis, The Nutcracker and the Partridge Family, to a guy who uses power tools as instruments) while baking sugar cookies using a fantastic recipe I found online.

Hipster Christmas elf cookie. (photo by Tui Snider)
Hipster Christmas elf cookie. (photo by Tui Snider)

This particular sugar cookie recipe comes from the blog of someone who goes by the name of Not Hannah, who – like me – had been on the quest for the ultimate sugar cookie recipe. As she put it:

“…for the past couple of years, I’ve been trying to find THE perfect sugar cookie recipe. The recipe I have in mind yields a soft cookie, slightly cakey, crisp around the edges, sweet (but not too sweet to take a good butter cream-ish icing.)”

Not Hannah, I think it’s time to shout, “Eureka!” because you, my dear, have found it.

Pirate sugar cookie - Argh! (photo by Tui Snider)
Pirate sugar cookie – Argh! (photo by Tui Snider)

Serendipity leads to the best sugar cookie recipe

Yes, choosing Not Hannah’s fabulous sugar cookie recipe out of the thousands which Google offered was a wise decision indeed, because the cookies it produces taste freaking awesome. What really clinches it, however, entailed a bit of serendipity on our end.

We were out of regular salt, you see, so we substituted coarse grain sea salt. I was worried that our cookies would taste salty, but au contraire! That coarse sea salt sent people’s palates over the edge. Everyone we sent them to raved about how well the surprising touch of salt complemented the sweetness in these cookies. Phew!

So, thanks to Not Hannah, our Christmas Eve dinner last year consisted of warm-from-the-oven cookies and red wine as we basked in the glow of our newly-purchased fiber optic Christmas tree. Very festive.

Cat astronaut sugar cookie. (photo by Tui Snider)
Cat astronaut sugar cookie. (photo by Tui Snider)

Today’s #Reverb11 – #Resound11 writing prompts

The #Reverb11 writing prompt I chose for this post came from GeekinHard:

A Community I Love – Online & IRL we’re all part of a multitude of communities. Tell us about one that moves you.

The #Resound11 writing prompt I combined it with comes from Jaemie Gyurik

Traditions – This is the time of year when families are upholding decades old traditions and working to create new ones. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate (or don’t) … please share with us your December traditions: how they got started, why you continue them, and why they are special to you.

What is #Reverb11?

#Reverb11, #Resound11 and #Relish11 are just a few names for a fun end of the year project that mindful bloggers all over the world are participating in. Each day in December, folks choose a prompt from one of several lists, then use that as a launchpad to express themselves on their blog. The prompts are especially geared towards reflecting back on 2011 and paving the way towards a better 2012.

Everyone is welcome to join in. If you don’t have a blog, respond to the prompts offline through journaling, painting or whatever direction your inspiration takes you!

Tui Snider
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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
Tui Snider
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16 Comments

  1. I took your recommendation and tried this recipe. I’ll vouch for it, too. They were a huge hit! I have a new sugar cookie recipe.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Cristin,

      So glad you tried this great recipe! Also, good to know that the recipe works down in Oz, as well as in this hemisphere.

      Speaking of, I need to swing by your blog. It’s been a while since I visited. Hope all’s well!

      ~Tui

  2. I love sugar cookies, and love your very creative cookie designs! I plan on baking some sugar cookies with my son tomorrow afternoon and Saturday.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Philzendia,

      Let me know if you and your son try this recipe. I think you’ll have a lot of fun!

      ~Tui

  3. Perhaps Friday since my son has a half day I will spend some time baking cookies with him. It may be the only way it gets done!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Mimzy Wimzy,

      Let me know if you try this sugar cookie recipe. Creative baking is fun – especially with kids. Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Tui

  4. Stopping by again from #commenthour. I need to doa #Reverb11 blog hop too.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Chasing Joy,

      Like you, I need to do some major blog-hopping. This time of year, though, it’s easy to get behind!

      Always nice to see you here and on Twitter, though. :)

      ~Tui

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Chasing Joy,

      Yes, it’s nice having something to focus on besides the conversation. Seems to make everyone more relaxed.

      Btw, I need to go on another #Reverb11 blog hop and will check out your site again soon!

      ~Tui

  5. Yay! This really is THE BEST recipe. I’ve had several folks worry about the salt (my salt, not your salt), but my feeling is that it really does send these cookies right over the edge into baking bliss. Woohoo!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi NotHannah,

      So glad you stopped by and saw the effect your sugar cookie blog post has had on me! They are definitely part of my holiday repertoire now.

      ~Tui

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hiya Hans!

      I’ll check out your link – thanks! Glad you and your family are having holiday fun. :)

      ~Tui

  6. Your cookies have killed me with cuteness. Luckily I am only mostly dead.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Susan,

      Yeah, them that cookies came out pretty dang cute. Didn’t stop us from eating them, though! :)

      ~Tui

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