Even if your oven sits cold all year, chances are you're considering firing it up, right about now. As a holiday twist on our "What Are You Eating?" feature on Chow Bella and "What Are You Wearing?" on Jackalope Ranch, for the next few weeks we'll be bringing you "What Are You Baking?" Complete with a recipe, so you can DIY.
On the baking sheet today: J. Grace Ellis' family sugar cookies. Ellis, former owner of Capitol Coffee Company, is now co-owner of Galileo Project, a consulting firm for environmental projects in Tempe. She and her sisters -- Donna Hall and Karen Richard -- "have finally found holiday baking as a healthy outlet for their compulsive perfectionism," she writes.
What are you baking for the holidays this year?
Ellis Family Sugar Cookies with Grapefruit Cello Icing.
Favorite holiday treats?
Eggnog crème Brule, candy canes, fruit cake, and baked brie with cranberries.
The Ellis sisters graciously share their recipe after the jump.
Least favorite holiday treats?
Christmas candies with anise. Yuck. It's a mean trick as far as I'm concerned.
Any food items on your holiday wish list this year?
Pomegranates, lemon curd, caviar.
Any food-related New Year's resolutions?
To expose my son more to harvesting, hunting, and fishing so that he can have a greater appreciation of the work and beauty that go into keeping us alive.
Ellis Family Sugar Cookies
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
4 to 5 cups flour
Mix well. Refrigerate for 3 hours. Roll and cut into shapes. Bake at 350
until golden brown. About 10 minutes.
Grapefruit Cello Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Grapefruit Cello (see below)
Water to thin. Add food coloring and ice away.
1 bottle Everclear grain alcohol
4 cups simple syrup
With a very sharp paring knife, cut the rind off of the grapefruit. Be
careful to cut the rind so that there is very little pith, since the pith
will make the Cello bitter. Place the rind and grain alcohol in a sealed jar
for 3 weeks. Take out the rind, strain the infusion with cheesecloth, and
add the simple syrup. The rinds are extremely flammable, just saying. The
Cello is best served as a chilled aperitif, but it serves nicely as a
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.