It's a bit humbling to realize that when you've been denied access to your computer, that life just isn't the same. Actually, it's pathetic. And nearly three days of sustained denied access? It's downright painful. No kitchen, no computer, garden all spiffied up…what was I to do? My poor doggo and cat — both no longer youngsters — kept me company on a bench outside with my pile of food magazines and cook books on the last day until I couldn't stand it a minute longer. I decided to leave the dust heap and do some "window" shopping for a final few items for our remodel: a bathroom mirror, shelves, and bedding. So much for the "window."
Sitting in front of my Mac saves money — I know that for sure now.
Thank goodness for Saturdays and construction men who have the weekend off! I am firing up my oven to finish my 12 Days of Cookies and beginning to unravel our house. Hopefully by Tuesday, things will be completely back to order — but with lovely new changes for us to enjoy — and a holiday to prepare for.
And speaking of holidays and other special occasions…
Since I don't have my own cookies to share with you, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some delicious cookies I recently sampled from Organica Deluxe. The oversized chewy ginger morsels were delicately spiced and perfect on a morning when I needed something pleasant to take my mind off noise and dust.
Organica Deluxe is an Eco-Friendly organization that produces a variety of products beyond yummy baked goods. Purchasing just one of their gift boxes helps support 15 eco-friendly businesses such as sustainable manufacturers, organic farmers, and community artisans.
I like that idea.
Now, off to my oven. I have my own cookies to bake! Let's see…I think I have only three left to go.
Tune in later!
If I think about it, I’m only a day behind on my production for our 12 Days of Cookies Extravaganza, and that’s not too bad. If I hadn’t gotten into the kitchen early this morning, I’d be two days behind because no sooner had I popped my latest creation in the fridge, than I was banished outside to keep the dog company. The nice thing about it was that although a bit chilly in the shade, a clear blue sky and Santa Ana winds helped keep me on task as I trimmed creeping fig from the back wall, raked up the piles I’d created over the past few days, and then settled down on our bench to relax and look at recipes seriously lacking in sugar and butter. Perhaps by osmosis I might be able to gain from the healthiness, right? Right, and pigs fly, lady.
I hadn’t originally intended on making Chocolate Coconut Squares, Gourmet’s favorite cookie from 1997 because my husband isn’t too fond of coconut. Unfortunately, I love it in all shapes and forms, so I decided to treat myself since these require only a short baking time on the front end, and a long refrigeration time. The most interesting aspect of this recipe was making a custard base to stir into the chocolate before refrigeration.
I’m thinking these are perfect if you’re in the mood for something a little fudge-like, but more creamy, and with a fantastic coconut crust. I decided they deserved to be partied up a bit by presenting them in wedges and a lace petticoat.
Day Seven of our 12 Days of Cookies Extravaganza brings a bit of sunshine on a day that surprisingly absent of it, which makes it a very pleasant day to be baking. I’d like to say that Bing is crooning holiday songs on the Bose and there’s a fire crackling in the family room, but I’ll have to wait at least a week for that.
My 16-year-old chose these delicately lemon-flavored “glittering” cookies from the stack I’d bookmarked because he thought they’d be a nice change from the others I’ve been making. At first, I wasn’t thrilled because citrus-flavored baked goods make me think of Spring or Summer, but I’m glad I listened to him, because these are quite the lovely treat.
One of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies from December of 2008, I’d say this is the best recipe I’ve tried so far. They aren’t fussy to make even though they appear to be headed for a bridal shower or elegant afternoon tea. In one or two bites, you’re treated to an exterior crunch of sugar, a flaky cookie, and a light butter cream that only hints of lemon.
Day 4 of The 12 Days of Cookies is starting a bit better than yesterday ended with the last cookie attempted. Being the planner I am when confronted with a lot of work, I not only chose all 12 cookies I’d make, I organized them into pairs by production so that I could get two done a day. They’d either have very similar elements (okay, so I’m not talking about butter, sugar and flour…), or one would need refrigeration and I could continue on with the second while…you get it, right?) I printed out the recipes, and sorted through them making sure I wouldn’t have any hang-ups, like realizing I didn’t have oatmeal after coming home from the store.
I know you hate that as much as I do when it happens, right?
So did I hop back in the car to get oatmeal? No. I went back through the cookies featured in Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941 – 2008 to choose another — one that wasn’t very complicated and for which I had all ingredients.
Brandy Snaps, Gourmet’s choice for 1949, looked to be the best for my particular dilemma. Although I’m not usually thrilled with the prospect of booze in my baked goods, I am able to deal with a little, and the cookies reminded me of Florentines: crisp, crunchy, and caramelley. Plus I happened to have three bottles of molasses in my pantry — light, dark, and Barbados “unsulfured.”
I was set. Or so I thought. Innocent looking little things, aren’t they?
Amidst the sawing and banging that is going on in my home right now which escalated to an unbelievable level yesterday, my kitchen — usually the most “used” looking room in the house — was an oasis of calm.
Okay, so maybe not. But it was under control and I was able to hide there and know that all the chaos would be worth it once the work is done.
The nice thing about having so many guys in the house working is that I can leave a plate of cookies for them, and in a matter of minutes, they’re gone. Yesterday’s Mocha Toffee Bars were a big hit!
Welcome to Day Two of The 12 Days of Cookies whereby Kelly takes on Gourmet’s selection of best cookies from the past seven decades. Today’s cookie is quite the festive looking morsel if you’re one who associates red and green with the season. If you’re not, then you’re most likely going to consider that the combination of pistachios and cranberries in a sweet, tender bite is healthy. But there is that sugar around the edges….and the butter.
Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies are one of Gourmet’s picks from 2006. And since I’ve got tons of pistachios and cranberries right now, this cookie was a no-brainer. Besides, I’m an icebox cookie kind of person considering that you can make the dough and pop it in the fridge to deal with later while you pay attention to a more fussy cookie.
The only issue is — a “log” isn’t shaped like a right prism which is what Gourmet’s photo depicted. And me being me, well, I had to skip the log, loving the square cookies.
A log is easier to roll. Trust me.