Calling Agents Mulder and Scully

So some of you (Lori) have been asking about my mad baking skillz. I indeed baked cookies for our women’s Cookie Exchange at church and, if I do say so myself, they were quite yummy. However, it’s no secret it takes a special gift to create something that both tastes and looks good at the same time.

A gift I do not have.

Just ask Luke about my Thanksgiving Turkey marinated in battery acid. But then, that my friends is a story for another day.

Let me see if I can set the Cookie Baking Scene for you…..

Suppose for just a moment that a Martian of the green variety found itself in my family’s kitchen. I don’t know how, maybe accidental teleportation or an abduction gone horribly wrong. Anyway, let’s also just say that in a War of the Worlds fashion, this misplaced Martian discovered our atmosphere wasn’t agreeable to its advanced metabolic makeup. Or something like that. Now, imagine now this alien writhing in pain and gasping for air when suddenly,


It spontaneously explodes.
And my kids are standing there in amazement saying, “Coooolll”.

I’m thinking if all that were to happen, it would look something like this:

These, girls, are not hunks of alien carnage but rather my beloved Mother In Law’s Thumbprint Cookies. Now that woman has the gift of making them delicious and pretty all at the same time. Her icing is always in perfect little circles on the top and color coordinated to the holiday for which she has baked them. Her icing advice to me was to “make it pretty thick!”


She also told me how it would take some experimentation with the food coloring to get the icing a deep red. After all, you are adding red to white icing which makes pink. That is unless you dump half the bottle of food coloring in to skip the tedium of adding 2 to 3 drops at a time.

I’m nothing if not patient.

Who cares if our internal organs are permanently dyed Santa Red? Nobody ever sees them anyway. That is except for the surgeon who’ll be doing all our liver replacements.

My word can ya’ll tell I’m tired?

Anyway, we did have a good time at the Exchange and I brought home quite a wonderful sampling of cookies that did not look intergalactic at all. I’m still cracking up that Deedra skipped the red cookies. I think the Martian visual I gave her on top of her pregnancy queasiness was just a little more than she could take.

For those of you who are interested in replicating this recipe in the proper way, here it is:

The Preacher’s Wife’s Mother-In-Law’s
Thumbprint Cookies

2 Cups Flour

1/4 C. Granulated Sugar

2 Sticks Margarine

1 Tsp. Vanilla

2/3 Cup Crushed Pecans

For Icing:

1 Box Powdered Sugar


Food Coloring of your choice


Mix Flour and Sugar. Melt margarine, add the vanilla, and pour over dry ingredients. Mix well.

Stir in Pecans.

Refrigerate until dough is stiffened.

Roll dough into balls, place on cookie sheet, and put your thumbprint in the middle. (Hint: I usually use a spoon halfway through to mash the thumbprints back down. You can probably fix this by not using self-rising flour, but I’m obviously no pastry chef.)

Bake at 310 degrees for approx. 30 minutes or until cookies have slightly browned.

Cool cookies completely before Icing.


Fill measuring cup full of powdered sugar and add a tiny bit of water at a time. Mix the sugar until you have a very thick icing consistency. Add your food coloring remembering the liquid from it will soften your icing a bit more. You want the icing to barely be able to drop off a spoon. Also remember it spreads more than you think so go easy while putting on the cookies until you get used to how much to use.

And I’ve just realized I’m officially the worst recipe writer in the South. A disgrace to all my Southern grandmas who came before me.

If this doesn’t make sense, just ask and I’ll give you my mother-in-law’s email. :)