Sunday was about baking. The Mistress was left to her own devices since the Boy-Toy went to finish up his Christmas shopping. He couldn't get all his gifts since I was around him all day at the mall Saturday, so he went to purchase gifts yesterday while I baked the Mistress 's Mother's famous Sand tarts! Sand tarts are a very thin sugar cookie that has been a tradition in our family since my mother's grandmother. When I was little, my mother and I spent the two weeks after Thanksgiving making JUST sand tarts. My mother still does. I usually make mine the week before Christmas for friends and work cronies at my abode. The recipe is very easy. It should be made the night before and kept in the refrig overnight. The recipe calls for:
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 cups of butter (1lb)
4 cups of flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix.Add flour working it in well.Mix thoroughly with no lumps. Chill overnight. When you go to bake the cookies pull the dough out and let soften before you start to cut the dough into balls. After the dough is softened, I cut the dough off in pieces and into medium size balls, which I love to handle. Who doesn't like to handle balls!
Place wax paper over the dough ball and roll till very thin. Pull off the top layer of wax paper and use for the bottom piece on the next roll-out. Select your cookie cutter of choice. This year I used bells,trees,and a star. Every couple of cuts with the cookie cutter I'll dip it in flour so the cutter won't pull the dough up.
Once the dough is rolled out very flat and the design has been pressed,you remove the extra dough from around the design and place back in the dough bowl for the next batch to be made. The last thing to do is sugar the cookies with a dusting of the colored sugar before sending off to the oven. If you don't care for the sugar you can take a pastry brush and dip in egg white and brush the cookie with it and then garnish with crushed nuts.
Once they are in the oven for anywhere for 6-8 minutes the little gems can come out. After 6 minutes I check on them .Everyone's oven is different,so when they look a little golden I take them out. Sometimes I 'll keep them in a little longer for a darker color. The crispy dark ones some people like too, so I will do light and dark ones. Once they come out of the oven,they will look like this.
Then it is off to the cooling table.On the wax paper. You can slide the whole sheet of wax paper off the sheet to the table. Once cooled,you can pop them off and cool them awhile longer.
The finished product. This tray was going to the Christmas luncheon for work function that we had today. When I have a party here I sometime garnish the platter with mixed nuts or sometimes frame the platter with pine boughs.
If you have the time,these cookies really are a hit. But I warn you they are time consuming to make,so I hope you have at least a day set aside. Whew! After all the baking was done,the Mistress was bushed! But in the end it was all worth it. She made herself a very nice cup of mulled spiced wine and went to bed for a long winters nap. Well at least till 5AM this morning!