Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Aunt Chick's Cookie Cutters

Christmas was never Christmas unless my mother hauled out her red basket of cookie cutters. My favorite was a funny old Santa that she would decorate; coconut beard, raisin eyes, and blushed cheeks. When I grew up and had kids of my own, I asked my mother if I could have her cookie cutter. It was to my horror, however, that she had given the red basket of cookie cutters to my sister.

I asked my mom where she had bought them, so I could also get some.....uhm 30 years later? It was in Oklahoma in the 1960's. Aunt Chick's was the manufacturer. It was started by a little woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her name was Nettie McBirney. The line of cookie cutters was started in 1948.

Although the company was out of business, I was able to find an Aunt Chick's following on the Internet. Grandma's Cutters is a website that sells replicas of the old Aunt Chick's cutters as well as many other vintage knock offs. Ebay is a great place to look if you want the original antique version of the cookie cutter. I went for the antique set. Make sure there is a recipe included. Only Aunt Chick's special recipe works.

Rolling and pounding the little Santa's is arduous work, but well worth the happiness as the form takes shape. Raisins are put in for the eyes before the dough is cooked. After the dough is punched out, it helps to put the sweet little faces in the fridge to chill before popping in the oven.

There are many variations for decorating the Santa's. The instructions noted using coconut for the beard. My mother did use coconut, but since my son has an allergy to coconut, I used sparkling sugar crystals. To make the cheeks blush I used, as did my mother, watered down red food coloring. Applying it carefully makes the Santa come to life.

Now when I ask my boys what Christmas cookies they want to make this year, they do what I always did and ask for the Aunt Chick's Santa faces. It makes me happy to carry on the family memory.

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