Tag Archives: decorated

Dorie Greenspan’s Spice Roll-Out Cookies

At this time of year in particular, when stopping by to visit the site of someone who lives in a more northern region of the country, I’m often indulged with engaging scenes and descriptions of wintery weather.  Narratives filled with tantalizing visions of powdery snow, icicles glistening in the morning light, and brightly colored birds flashing through bare trees lull me into a mood that has me wanting to cozy up with a good book and a hot cup of anything I can get my hands on.

The reverie lasts only briefly as I cast my gaze out the window to see a bright blue sky punctuated by wispy clouds, brilliant green foliage on trees and shrubs, camellias in full bloom, and sea gulls pacing about, waiting for a morning snack.  Those of us who choose to don a scarf most likely do so to make some sort of fashion statement, or to convince ourselves that it truly is December and that as much as we might be a bit chilly in the early morning, by noon, it will be a pleasant 70 degrees.

It makes good sense, then, to consider that snowmen cookies are one way to enjoy the season.  They’re a soft bite of spice that just might surprise you and are guaranteed not to melt on a sunny day.

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GingerDoodz: Gourmet’s Favorite Gingerbread Men

Yesterday I was a baking maniac, working to finish working on the remainder of my 12 Days of Cookies, belatedly.  With our bedroom in decent order, and the family room beginning to resemble a place where we can relax again, I was able to put in a full day while the resident hunkster kept one eye on the television and football, and worked through his honey-do list — laundry included.

I asked my 16-year-old to design some faces for Gingerbread Men, one of Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies from December 1959.  Of course you’d never find gingerbread men looking like this in the time of “Leave it to Beaver,”   so I’m thinking Gingerdoodz would be more appropriate.

Well, except for the one I designed.

He’s a bit on the happy side…or just plain loopey.  After all, no one sane would wear an outfit like that, would they?  Definitely a candidate for “What Not to Wear.”

But every group needs a cheerleader, right?

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Spiced Sugar Cookies

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date.  No time to say “hello,” “goodbye,” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…and if I could find my head, I’d scratch it and say that, sure.  I feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland, sitting here in a house shrouded in plastic.  I left early this morning, knowing that primer would be going up today, and when I returned, the painters were still busy, so I spent time on my patio trimming bushes, cutting trees, and raking leaves until they were done for the day.  Before they left, I was asked if we were sleeping here tonight.  Um, yes? The guy told me to “swish” the plastic our bed is wrapped and attached to the floor in.  Swish?

Ah…adventure.  Life is certainly never dull.

Last night after they left, I got out the dough I’d made the day before for Gourmet’s Favorite cookie from 1946:  Moravian White Christmas Cookies.  I’d nibbled on enough of the dough when I made it to know that it was wonderful so couldn’t wait to make the cookies.  I love sugar cookies and have a favorite recipe which will never be replaced, but this is a close second.

I’ll confess that I had to do some research to locate Moravia, which is in the Czech Republic, very close to the borders of Slovakia, Austria, and Germany.

If the guys asking, “Can we eat one yet?” is any indication of this recipe’s promise, then I’d say they’re worth trying.  The scent while they’re baking is absolutely wonderful.

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Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies

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.

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Strawberry Dream Cupcakes

Strawberry Dream Cupcakes

When I was growing up, we lived next door to a family that kept a small garden just on the other side of a small picket fence behind our house.  I’m sure there was a variety of things growing in that garden, but I only remember one.  Strawberries.  I watched them grow from tiny green berries into large, red lusciousness warmed by the afternoon sun and oh so fragrant.  There was no question that I’d inevitably pick a few whether invited to or not.  I couldn’t help myself.  Had my mother known, it would have been a problem because she’d say it was stealing.  Then she’d tell my father and that wasn’t a pleasant thought.  But somehow, when I leaned over that little fence and picked the first berry of the season, brushing off the damp soil before sinking my teeth into it, nothing else mattered.  I loved strawberries that much.

Fortunately, strawberries are available year round here, and although their flavor will never compare to those I enjoyed as a kid, I still love them.  So it was quite the coincidence when I was asked recently about a strawberry cake.  Not strawberry short cake, or cake with strawberries nestled between its layers.  A strawberry flavored cake.

Hmmm…what about cupcakes instead, topped with a swirl of strawberry buttercream.  Or maybe a little bit of white cake, and a little bit of strawberry cake…the possibilities are endless. Regardless, it did give me the opportunity to use a new cookbook,  The Cake Bible by  Rose  Levy Beranbaum. And since I had the entire day to myself, I decided to compare two recipes for strawberry puree:  one would go in a buttercream frosting, and the other would flavor one of the cakes.  The other would remain white.  Why the comparison?  Because surprisingly, Beranbaum suggests that frozen berries are much better to use than fresh berries, even when they’re at peak season.  Who knew?

In the meantime, Mike’s Table is celebrating this favorite fruit of mine with quite the seductive strawberry fest, so this qualifies as my submission.

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