aspen & pine

a journey in creativity and mindful living

Month: December, 2014

AP Cookies


These cookies were passed down from my Grandma to my Mom. I loved helping Mom make them as a girl, especially decorating them with colored sugar! The past two years I’ve gotten to make them with my Grandma who told me about the Pennsylvania Dutch cookie making tradition. Her and my Grandpap moved to Pennsylvania when they were young, where they picked up lots of yummy Christmas cookie recipes!




Makes: a lot! You can halve or quarter this recipe if you like.

1 lb butter (4 sticks or 2 cups)
4 eggs
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking powder
2 lb powdered sugar (~7 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
8 cups flour

Combine all ingredients, adding the flour in last. Divide dough into 4 sections, wrap each ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out dough to about 1/8″ for nice crispy cookies. (This is how we like it, with a cup of tea or coffee.) You may have to let dough sit out at room temperature several minutes if it is too hard to roll out. Cut out desired shapes and sprinkle with colored sugar. Bake for 6-11 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of your cookies, so keep an eye on them! Let cool a little on the cookie sheet to harden before removing to a cooling rack or wax paper.




link love

apple pie

I may sound cliche, but I can’t help myself: this is my favorite time of the year! There are just so many warm feelings (and food) being passed around. This is usually also the time of year when I am most productive. It makes me wonder why we don’t just keep that festive spirit around all the time, think of all the stuff that would get done! Of course, I understand that there are also those people out there that wish the festivities would stick to one day, NOT the whole month of December (my husband is one of them). While I respect that, it’s not going to keep me from stringing lights, making origami trees and stars, planning a cookie baking session with my sisters and making gifts. On second thought, it’s probably a good thing we don’t stretch the holidays year round considering all those cookies.

This week I loved:

How to Control Clutter Creep and Gratitude by Courtney Carver.

Seth Godin says don’t be afraid to start something new because “it’s been done before”

Take this global poverty quiz. For me it put this coming holiday season, and my spending in general into perspective. Part of living a simple life is to give more, and I think I really need to re-evaluate my spending priorities!

A study on lasting relationships, which just confirms what we all already know, kindness is the key.

This beautiful hiking journal makes me want to hike, backpack, and journal more!

I am doing The Road to Christmas Bible study by Love God Greatly. To get the materials just sign up for their emails.