Advent is one of my favorite times of the year, replete with warm memories from my childhood: feasts with relatives, sledding and snowball fighting with my brothers, religious celebrations with the whole family, and baking Christmas cookies with my mom. Although it’s a time for waiting, I always get impatient for Christmas to come…
With Vanderbilt’s Curriculum 2.0, our Homeostasis block (hematology, cardiology, nephrology, and pulmonology) goes right on through winter break, which means, if one wants, (s)he can spend the entire winter studying. Sounds great, right?
Personally, I’d rather indulge and lose myself in the season. I was longing to get into the spirit and celebrate with my classmates, hoping to spread the hope, peace, joy, and love of the holidays and live some of my memories again. Some of my classmates dressed up in Christmas sweaters and Santa hats every day. Others went out to dinner and concerts more frequently. I wanted to add my own touch to it all and share something special that I had done growing up, so I invited classmates over for a Christmas cookie decorating party. I modified my grandma’s recipe (below), whipped up a triple batch, and bought lots of icing and sprinkles.
That night ended up being a great way to end of classes for the year. We played games, listened to Pentatonix and Michael Bublé on repeat, decorated cookies, and ate a ton of food. Although medical school is stressful at times, I’m incredibly thankful to be going through it with such a great group of people, people who love to have fun and celebrate the seasons along the way.
Grandma Loch’s Christmas Cookies
1 c softened butter
2/3 c sugar
2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour, plus extra
1. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat eggs and vanilla in.
2. Fold in flour and work ingredients into a nice handling consistency (will need extra flour!). It may help to refrigerate the dough at this point.
3. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface. Cut out shapes and place cutouts on a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper).
4. Bake at 350 °F for about 8-12 minutes. Let cool. Decorate to your heart’s content. Enjoy!