A heritage from my Grandma Lena's kitchen at Christmas time was a cookie called Lover's Knots. It wasn't my favorite, but its name had a cool ring to it and the cookie did taste good. Fast forward to the early 70s when we pastored a small church in South Dakota. I was elated to be invited to a "cookie recipe party" put on by none other than Karen, the high school principal's wife. I looked up to Karen--she seemed to have it all together. We were told to bring a favorite cookie and write up several recipe cards to give away. I chose Norwegian Lover's Knots (This would be different, I thought, because this was not Norwegian country). I assumed everyone would exchange recipe cards with all those present, but that was not the case. After sampling all the cookies, if someone asked for your recipe you then produced your neatly written card. Well, guess what? Not one person asked for my recipe of lover's knots. I looked at the 10 salmon-colored cards in my hand thinking what will I do with ten recipe cards of lover's knots. (I'm still using one of them in my recipe box). I must confess I was a tad disappointed and wondered why no one had asked for my recipe. But the evening was not wasted. It was that night that I gleaned many Christmas cookie recipes that became traditions in our family like: pecan tassies (I think I suggested exhanging cards with this lady), Christmas Church Windows (so delicious!!), and Date-Nut Finger Rolls (no longer a tradition because I quit making them!)
Yesterday and today I made lover's knots. I didn't especially want to make them, but a couple of ingredients I wanted to get rid of in my frig were in the recipe, and my "saving self" got the better of me.
It wasn't easy or fun. The dough was too soft and I couldn't make the lover's knot. I didn't have the right kind of sugar to sprinkle on top. My penchant for perfection kept pinching me until I realized I was in charge here and I had the autonomy to decide whether or not it had to be done "the right way" (Isn't that always freeing?). That's when the lover's knots turned into lassos. It was so much easier, though symbolically it wasn't good! I used the only color of decorator's sugar I had on hand--pink. The egg whites made a mess on the baking sheets obligating a washing inbetween batches. I was never so happy when I pulled the last sheet out of the oven.
Ummmmm! Those broken pieces sure taste good...