Pat Spire makes the ultimate Christmas cookies

By Michaela Bowyer

Pat Spire, Maryville, is known for creating amazing Christmas cookies.

She has been making these cookies for years; they are a tradition to her and her family. Every year, she makes these cookies for her children, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other relatives and special friends of hers.

When asked about her frosting recipe, Spire revealed that she actually uses canned frosting for her cookies. She says this frosting not only tastes great but is easy to work with and makes beautifully-decorated cookies. These cookies store very well.

When asked for any baking tips she could give, Spire says she believes the secret to making really good cookies is to use higher-quality shortening and vanilla. This apparently makes quite the difference.

Here are two of Pat Spire’s favorite holiday cookie recipes. These are from an older “Better Homes and Gardens Cookie Book.”

Gingerbread Christmas Cookie

1 C. shortening

1 C. white sugar

1 egg

1 C. molasses

2 T. vinegar

5 C. flour

1-1/2 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

Cream the shortening, stir in egg, molasses and vinegar. Mix dry ingredients and stir into molasses mixture. Chill the dough, then roll out onto floured surface and cut as desired.

Bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes on greased cookie sheet. Decorate as desired.

Sugar Cookie

2/3 C. shortening

3/4 c. white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

4 tsp. milk

2 C. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Cream shortening, sugar and vanilla. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk. Mix together dry ingredients and blend into creamed mixture. Chill the dough, then roll out onto floured surface and cut into desired shapes.

You can decorate before baking or frost and decorate after baking. For the icing, you can use a confection icing or buy canned frosting. To make a confection icing, take 2 cups powdered sugar and add enough cream to make the mixture so it will go through a pastry tube but still hold its shape. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 6 minutes, depending on how thick you want them to be.