These cookies are not going to win any awards for presentation and I definitely wouldn’t invite Gordon Ramsey over to eat any. But they represent something else to me: Mom.
Every year this was the one item on the list we could count on Mom to do at Christmastime, even in the last years when she didn’t go out to buy us cards. At least she still made the cookies. When her original Mirro cookie press broke, we found her a new one at an antique store.
But I will be the first to admit they are not my favorite recipe to make simply because of the cookie press. The dough has to be at an exact temperature for the cookies to come out perfectly. I used the trigger-operated press once but I never found it to be easier to use and now that Mom has died, I have her second generation press.
However, if I wanted any of her cookies this year, I had to make them. While the they are made of cookie basics (flour, sugar, butter), these also have almond extract which gives them that distinct flavor. And in my laziness, I combined the two colors of dough but found that they actually create tie-dye looking cookies.
Mostly, this was about eating the cookies and tasting the memories that came with them.
Mirro Cookie Press Recipe
2 ½ cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
green and red food coloring
Sift together flour and baking powder. Cream butter; add sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Beat in egg, almond extract, and food coloring. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Fill cookie press. Form cookies on ungreased baking sheet. Decorate with candies. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 6-7 dozen cookies.