Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Cookies (in case you still feel like baking. or haven't done any yet.)

I love to bake.
Anytime, and especially at Christmas time.
Want to know how much baking I've gotten done this year?
One batch of cookies.

And I have to be honest with you, I am trying very hard not to give in to feelings of Christmas blues as I sit here. Christmas is 3 days away and there is still so much I'd like to do and I know that it just isn't going to happen.

Being gone for almost all of last week was fantastic, but not super helpful in the getting things done department.  Also not helpful: sick kids over the weekend, endless ant invasions this week, a very sick husband, endless rain, trying to keep the kids out of the house or quiet in the house so very sick husband can rest, and ending each day so exhausted that I fall asleep on the couch at 8 pm.

None of that is very conducive to getting things done.
Deep down I know that none of the things I want to get done are that big a deal.
So what if no one gets fudge?
And so what if I can't find the wrapping paper because I have no idea where Aaron stored it in the garage and he is way too sick for me to ask him about it?
So what if I never made that wreath I was going to make?  (my one Christmas craft.)
So what if I am going to sit in my living room, alone, tonight and watch Holiday Inn, not wrapping presents or being productive?

At least the tree smells good and its lights make me happy.
At least there are presents to wrap.
At least everyone is not sick at the same time. (as has happened in the past)
At least no one is throwing up. (as has happened way too much in the past)
At least I made these cookies.

I know, they don't look very special.
Partly because there has been no good light this week due to the endless rain, partly because I ran out of sanding sugar and regular sugar doesn't sparkle like sanding sugar does, and partly because these were the ugliest cookies left in the batch that the kids and I made for their swimming teacher today.
We set them aside for ourselves.

But really, even if they all looked this unimpressive, it would not matter one bit once you tasted them.
They are butter cookies.
And they melt in your mouth.

Really.  They do.
They are my favorite cookie.
They are wonderful with tea.
They are good anytime of year, but I like them at Christmas when everyone is making sugar cookies.
You think these are sugar cookies but with one bite, you are taken away with their lightness, their delicate crunch, their buttery goodness and subtle sweetness.
They are pretty much perfection.

Also, they are easy to make.
It is a quick dough to throw together--just 5 ingredients.
I am too lazy to type out the whole recipe, so I am just going to link to it.
Go here.
They are from Orangette, my favorite food blogs.

Here are a few of my notes on her recipe.
1.  Butter.  She tells you to use the best butter you can find since these are butter cookies.  The first time I made them, I used Kerrigold Irish butter found at Trader Joe's.  It is significantly more expensive than their regular butter.
I did find that the Kerrigold butter made the cookies a lovely golden color that regular butter does not give.  But I did not find a big difference in taste.
I am going to leave the butter decision up to you.
2.  Flour.  She mentions the flour making a big mess when you mix it with the butter and sugar.  I remedied this by adding the flour 1 cup at a time and mixing it just a bit between each addition.  Perhaps this adds a little extra mixing, but I promise, the cookies did not suffer.
4.  Yield.  I must not be rolling my dough thin enough because I got no where near 9 dozen cookies.  I'm not sure how many I got, but it wasn't that many.
3.  Packaging.  The cookies are extremely delicate.  If you are going to give them away, don't pack them willy nilly in a bag.  Pack them in a stack or lying next to one another in a small box.  It will be worth the extra effort.

That's it people.
If you still want to whip up a batch of cookies to give or to take to a Christmas Eve event, give these a try.  
You'll be thanked profusely.
People will praise you.
They are a dream.
Sort of like all my plans for Christmas......

I won't be back here until after Christmas as we leave tomorrow to spend Christmas with our families in our old hometown.  Unwrapped presents, sick husband and all, we're driving south and we're going to have a great time.
Just like every year.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.
With love from,


Lillian said...

I love you Greta!!

farmgirl said...

I didn't make a single cookie this year, if it makes you feel any better! Maybe I'll try this recipe for Valentine's Day. They would be cute as hearts with pink sugar on top!
Hope your family is feeling better!
Love, Cassie