christmas tradition

Friday, December 11, 2009

for as long as i can remember, my grandmother always made lizzies at christmas time. if you don't know what a lizzie is, well it's a cookie with candied fruit, pecans, bourbon and a little bit of dough, a fruitcake like cookie. she would make these by the batches and give them as gifts. i am not sure if people really liked them. personally, i think they were too afraid to tell her they didn't like them and graciously accepted them each year. i have this vision of lizzies being thrown out by the dozen all across austin. i think they are awful and i always asked her why she had to make cookies with fake fruit in them. she would calmly reply that candied fruit is not fake fruit. we never resolved this little disagreement.

my father, however, LOVES lizzies and looked forward to their arrival each year. when my grandmother passed away two years ago, the logical question was who was going to make the lizzies? it seems that tradition has fallen on my shoulders. however, i am not making batches of them, nor am i giving them as gifts. they are a labor of love for my father. and well, i am the oldest grandchild.

so yesterday morning tradition called, and i set about making lizzies. One batch calls for 6 pounds total of candied fruit and pecans. that's alot of fake fruit. the only redeeming ingredient is the 1 cup of bourbon. my father likes bourbon, and has some pretty high end stuff here at our house, so i decided to use that, hoping that it would make them edible. well, i almost got drunk off the smell of the bourbon, but it didn't really help the taste.

all the cookies are boxed and ready to ship out tomorrow. the good thing about making these cookies, is that i am not tempted to eat any while baking them. i did choke one down to see if they tasted like my grandmother's version. i think they did, perhaps that is because she was looking down smiling that i was carrying on her beloved tradition and telling cooper how i despise fake fruit.


  1. I love your story and pictures about Lizzies. It makes me miss Sissy even more, especially seeing her recipe in her handwriting. She loved Christmas and you and I got a lot of our holiday spirit from her. I'm
    happy you are carrying on the tradition.

    Sunny Gayle

  2. How I loved Sissy's Lizzies and remember so well helping her make Multiple recipes one evening that lasted far into the night. Sweet memories.
    She was so protective of her recipe,not in a stingy way. It was just that no one followed it exactly and then complained that theirs didn't turn out right.
    Her Lizzies were a precious gift!
    Love, Aunt Virginia