Food on Friday: The Senter family’s famous Christmas cookies

Cookie-TimeLast year I shared one of my favorite Christmas cookies to grace the Senter family cookie plate. The tradition of baking and plating these cookies, so steeped in memories, love, and butter, is perhaps my favorite activity of the holiday season. Years ago this event was written up in the Kansas City Times, so I think it’s only fitting that we continue to write about it in the PVPost.

Just picture it: Three generations of Senters, covered in flour, hands busy icing cookies, unwrapping chocolate kisses, rolling out dough. The family patriarch, in charge of the complicated count (we’re talking about hundreds of cookies), just like his father before him. Foreheads scrunched, trying to remember the perfect way to get those sprinkles to stick to the frosting – what was it that we figured out last year? And how did Marty used to do it? And called dibs on the latest broken cookie? Passing down this tradition to my daughters, spreading holiday cheer the same way Jay’s family has done for so long – can you even handle it? A Lifetime movie is probably in order, people.

Last year I shared the most complicated recipe of the bunch – the Iced Sugar Cookies. So good, but so difficult to make (they’re paper thin and break super easily). This year I thought I’d share their less sophisticated, but equally delicious, cousin – the Thumbprints.

The Thumbprints are nice because they include that holiday staple – nuts. Take some liberty with the quantity, but keep in mind that the more nuts you add, the likelier the cookies are to break. We fill them with a basic buttercream frosting, but I’ve always thought they’d be delicious with Nutella. But that would be breaking with tradition, of course ;)…

Happy Holidays, Prairie Village! There’s no place I’d rather be this Christmas.

Thumbprints (makes 2-3 dozen)
½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped nuts

In large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla and blend well. Gradually add chopped nuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet about an inch apart. Flatten and press thumb into center of each ball. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before frosting with colored icing (just cream butter and powdered sugar to your liking for that).