Saying Thank You (with festive treats!)

J dislocated his shoulder last month which means he’s in a sling (and out of commission) for six weeks. Of course, as soon as this happens, the first epic snowfall of the year hits, leaving us snowed in and scrambling. I’m a pretty useless shoveler, and J couldn’t do anything due to his one-handedness, so we were just about ready to admit defeat. And then, our neighbours came to the rescue (along with their snow blower), and got us dug out. We were extremely grateful, and knew we needed to give them a little something to express our thanks.

I had a really cool resealable bottle that I’d been saving for who-knows-what, and I knew I could use this to create something fun to say  thank you.(Adults-only) apple cider, and a side of sugar cookies. The perfect wintry snack to snuggle up by the fireplace, and, let’s face it, who doesn’t love apple cider?

Apple cider is a farmer’s market gem this time of year; it’s easy to find, and relatively inexpensive. We bought a 2L jug to have around the house, but our bottle only held 750mL (that’s okay…more for us to drink!). We filled the bottle with apple cider, and added a few shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. Though the whiskey is optional, it’s delicious, and adds a little something special. Just make sure to label it ‘adults-only.’

I soaked the existing label off of the bottle, then I used scrapbook paper, ribbon, and some letter stickers I had lying around to make a personalized tag. I hung the tag around the bottleneck as a label, but you could use label stickers as well, if you liked.

To go along with the cider, I mixed up some sweet, fluffy sugar cookies. They take hardly any time to make, they go well with apple cider, and I knew the batch would make enough to have some left over for me to devour.

Finally, I packaged everything up in a festive bag, and sent J over to deliver. In about an hour, with just a little bit of planning, I had the perfect thank-you gift (that really didn’t cost much!) This could also make a great hostess gift for a holiday party!

Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup softened butter
2 cups white sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and sour cream, mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Add this to the wet ingredients, and mix until the dough comes together. It will be fairly soft. Roll the dough into balls, place on a lined baking tray, and flatten slightly with your hands. If you like, sprinkle some white sugar (or fun-coloured sanding sugar) on top. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then let cool. These cookies are soft and fluffy, and suit just about any palate.

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