|I used INDIA TREE Sparkling Sugar–Confetti “color.”|
I have a group of favorite Christmas cookies and I make most of them every year. Not all. Some years there’s just no time for the cranberry bars and the candy canes do only make it into the round up every so often. I’m not sure what gives one cookie a spot at the top of the favorites’ team or what makes another a relief pitcher, but I’m thinking it’s which little crispy piece of sweetness draws the most desirable oooos and ahhs from family and friends versus those that are still in the freezer at Easter.
|To say I love my grandson’s help in the Christmas kitchen is not an understatement.|
That I love to make cookies is undeniable. That I must, absolutely must, make a new recipe or two every year is something I know. If only there were more days for baking, more mouths for chewing, more mugs of cocoa that needed a sidecar, more glasses of Vin Santo calling out for biscotti.
In fact, since my kids have left home, I schedule a cookie party of some kind so that I have a reason to bake. And bake.
|An ornament I bought in Taos–it stays in my front window year-round.|
|This uses the add the sugar to the dough method. (See *)|
Inevitably, I drag out the old recipe box and find the tried and true blue friends of years past, and make those first, second, third…. Ginger Cookies, Chocolate Snowballs, 7-Layer Bars, Shortbread, Sugar Cookies, Pecan Bars, Date Bars… (The list goes on.)
|This is the add-the-sugar-to-the-top-of-the-hearts method described in the recipe.|
And the new cookie may wait its turn patiently. Might even have to wait until next year.
|Cookies at left have sugar added at top. At right, sugar added to the dough. (Same in next photo)|
But sometime its turn at bat will arrive.
The music will start….
I bake to Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Holiday Celebration — at least to begin with.
|Double hearts. This one just came out like this. Ah. Sigh.|
The counters are cleared of the coffee pots, salt and pepper, olive oil, crushed red pepper….
so that there’s room for a standing mixer, 3 or 4 favorite cookie sheets, and some cooling racks.
It takes a clear counter to bake a cookie.
This year’s new cookie not exactly new, but it’s a new version of my favorite shortbread. And I think it’s a perfect newbie. Tender, but crisp all the way through. Bright in affect. Tiny. Also a bit time-consuming, but worth it. These meltable mouthfuls are just an inch long and hence are perfect for those who want a cookie, but don’t want a cookie — if you know what I mean. An inch long cookie? What harm could that do? (None if you stop at one.) Here’s how:
stained-glass window shortbread hearts
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter–soft
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups white, unbleached flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- sparkling sugar (confetti)*
Around the ‘Hood
This year’s twins munching in my front yard. (above)
Their vigilant mom. (above)
The family out back. (above)
|Click here for my Ginger Cookie recipe. It’s a keeper.|
Our cookie party — “Cookies, Carols, and Champagne,” is Monday night. I am, uh, a bit behind. Think of me.
Happy December…as you sing a new song,