The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, December 22, 2003  

Actually, It’s From Her House to Yours

You may be pleased to learn that Mom came through with the recipe for butter cookies that I mentioned here last Tuesday. In fact, she sent two different recipes, the use of each variation depending upon whether the baker will use a cookie press or cookie cutters to form the shapes. (Who knew?)

Now, I want you to understand this is kind of a big deal, because I asked Mom for the recipe less than a week ago.

So what? Well, the patron saint of the Capozzola family is an obscure early church figure, either Roman or possibly merely legendary, known as St. Expeditus, traditionally invoked by diplomats, attorneys, and others seeking a resolution to stalled and troublesome negotiations, but better known to us as the saint whose assistance is sought against procrastination.

So from my her house to yours, enjoy.


Makes four dozen cookies.

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Red and green sugar, or candied cherries, for decoration

Refrigerate several large ungreased cookie sheets until ready for use. [Ed.: Where in her refrigerator Mom fits these I do not know, and that’s the last comment I’m going to make.]
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift flour with salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed or a wooden spoon, beat soft butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla (or almond) extract until smooth and fluffy.
Using a wooden spoon, add one-third of the flour mixture at a time, beating until smooth and well combined.
Fill cookie press with dough, then make shapes.
(N.B.: If the dough becomes warm, place it in the refrigerator for cooling, but keep it pliable. The dough becomes crumbly if over-cooled.)
Decorate cookies before baking.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.


Makes three dozen cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine butter, sugar, and egg in large mixing bowl.
Beat at medium speed until creamy.
Reduce speed to low, and add flour, orange juice, vanilla extract, and baking powder.
Beat until well mixed.
Divide dough into thirds and seal in plastic food wrap.
Refrigerate until firm (about two to three hours).
On lightly floured surface (or wax paper), roll out dough, in one-third batches, keeping the remaining dough refrigerated, to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut with 3-inch cookie cutters.
Decorate with sprinkles before baking.
Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

And have a merry Christmas.

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