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Marissa Lingen

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The cookie day report [Nov. 23rd, 2013|09:48 am]
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(Since Tili asked so nicely!)


We did thirteen kinds of treat yesterday: chocolate comfort cookies, pepparkakor, strawberry shortbread, lime shortbread, blueberry shortbread, pretzel hugs, sea salt caramels, peanut butter/chocolate fudge, chocolate hazelnut fudge, chocolate-dipped apricots, hazelnut toffee, [redacted as it is a surprise for someone who reads this], and cashew clusters. It is the year of hazelnut; one of the things I didn’t manage to do yesterday was make the chocolate sandwich cookies which will be filled with hazelnut cream, and one of the things my mom did not manage to do yesterday was to make chocolate-dipped hazelnut fingers to go with her usual chocolate-dipped almond fingers. Also there will be hazelnuts in the apple bread when I get around to making that. Also “[redacted...]” actually contains hazelnuts.


Filllllberrrrrrt.


And why, you might ask, did we not get around to making these lovely things yesterday? Well. (Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know this.) Did you ever hear the expression that it’s not what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you know that ain’t so? Um. So I was very sure that I knew how to make the fruit shortbreads from years past. Ten tablespoons of jam, I was sure, ten. I remembered measuring in ten tablespoons of jam. So for the intended single batch of lime shortbreads, I measured in ten. For the intended double batch of blueberry shortbreads, I measured in twenty. The blueberry was really moist and sticky when we pulled it out of the fridge to roll first, so we put it back in the fridge and did the chocolate comfort cookies then instead. And for some reason I glanced at the recipe card when I was stirring up the triple batch of strawberry, and…oh. Five tablespoons. Um. I remembered ten so clearly because a single batch is really hardly enough to be worth it. So…five tablespoons. Um. Okay then.


So we used up literally the rest of the butter in the house making up enough of the rest of the recipe to mix in with the over-jammed recipes. And then my mother rolled and cut out fruit shortbreads. And rolled. And cut out. And rolled. And cut out. Oh mercy, so many shortbreads. Grandma and I made a great many of the stove-top candy items while Mom kept on at the mountain of shortbread dough.


It’s not like they will go to waste. I have several parties in mind who would appreciate shortbreads, and at least one of them lives in this very house. We keep the cookies out on the shelf in the garage, right outside the door for easy access, so they are frozen and will keep. (I have no idea how people in warm climates do Cookie Day. With only a fridge and freezer to chill things! Who could work in such conditions!) Also Timprov went and got us more butter, so we could get on with the toffee and like that.


One of the big successes this cookie day was that the oven was almost never empty. There has been a tendency in years past to have to scramble for what goes in the oven next while we’ve been doing other things, and I think having some of the doughs already mixed up when Mom and Grandma arrived really helped with that.


Am I done with the holiday baking? Hahaha no. Did not expect to be. I still have to do the aforementioned sandwich cookies, and I have promised Mark cashew toffee as well as hazelnut (and possibly almond as well, if we have the time and are running short of toffee), and there are the breads (Cookie Day is not for bread, and there are four breads to be done), and then there are possibly some additional experiments. But the point of Cookie Day is not to get all the everythings done, it’s to spend time together and get a lot of the everythings done, together. And it was a great success at that.


Even if my poor mother is not likely to want to look at jammy shortbread dough for, oh, let’s call it a year.




Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cakmpls
2013-11-23 03:19 pm (UTC)

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Wow. I am tired, just reading about it! My mother never did much cookie-baking; most of what was done in our house when I was a teenager, I did, but that wasn't a lot. In early adulthood I often baked three or four kinds of cookies for the holidays, but I'm afraid my kids seldom had home-baked cookies as they were growing up. (It wasn't all Oreos; they had GOOD bakery cookies, too.) I am in awe.
[User Picture]From: mechaieh
2013-11-23 03:52 pm (UTC)

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(I have no idea how people in warm climates do Cookie Day. With only a fridge and freezer to chill things! Who could work in such conditions!

We make fruitcakes instead. ;-)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-11-23 04:10 pm (UTC)

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I'm sorry.
[User Picture]From: mechaieh
2013-11-23 04:33 pm (UTC)

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Pfft. Bourbon fruitcake + a cup of Drew's Brews = breakfast of champions!
[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2013-11-23 03:56 pm (UTC)

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I WILL TAKE ALL OF YOUR EXTRA SHORTBREADS!!!

Ahem.

Cookie day sounds like it was a resounding success, despite the excess shortbread (is there really any such thing as excess shortbread? I think not)
[User Picture]From: athenais
2013-11-23 03:58 pm (UTC)

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Wow. Wow. And I thought seven sorts was a lot of cookies. That is some kind of organization you have going there.

Mmm, hazelnuts.
[User Picture]From: redbird
2013-11-23 04:32 pm (UTC)

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I wasn't planning to make this the year I try to hold cookie day, but it sounds like the whole thing is completely infeasible as long as I live here (for values of "here" that include both "Pacific Northwest" and "apartment with relatively small refrigerator/freezer"). However, I am told that there may be some pie experiments in my very own kitchen in a couple of days.
[User Picture]From: sartorias
2013-11-23 04:52 pm (UTC)

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Shorgtbread . . . yum!

I cannot imagine having the oven going all day. Yow! I'm hoping T-day isn't blistering.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-11-23 05:31 pm (UTC)

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My fingers were not cold yesterday! Today, cold. Very cold fingers.
[User Picture]From: finnyb
2013-11-23 04:54 pm (UTC)

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How does one make fruited shortbreads? I have only ever had the plain sort, of which I am not overly fond. And I love blueberry things most passionately.
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-11-23 05:31 pm (UTC)

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It is like this.
[User Picture]From: finnyb
2013-11-23 05:56 pm (UTC)

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Oh, happy day! Thank you ever so muchly!
[User Picture]From: vcmw
2013-11-23 05:58 pm (UTC)

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Oh that sounds so good. And I have many possibly-interesting-in-cookies home made jams that I could thus use up in cookie experiments. Thanks!
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-11-23 06:04 pm (UTC)

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That is part of the fun every year. "What should we try in the jam shortbreads this year? Uhhh...lime marmalade! Oh! That was awesome! What next?"

Some of them work better than others in terms of being able to get sharply defined cut-out shapes and/or having the jam circles on the top not spread. But if you don't care about shapes, you could probably just roll out the dough, take a pizza cutter to it, and end up with tasty fruit shortbreads from just about any kind of jam.

We made the pepparkakor in the shapes of little bitty hearts and stars. Then we wanted variety, so we made the strawberry shortbreads shooting stars, the blueberry ones snowflakes, and the lime ones trees.
[User Picture]From: thanate
2013-11-26 06:52 pm (UTC)

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Hah-- I thought perhaps I ought to check the comments before asking about that.

They had fruity shortbreads at the SCA event we were at on Saturday, but I think those were the kind with bottle flavoring. I may have to try this sort at some point, though right now our best jammish option in the house is a very chunky marmalade. (Have you any thoughts/experience with either using chunky bits, or rendering marmalade less chunky?)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-11-26 06:55 pm (UTC)

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Well, you're taking the pastry blender to the stuff, so at least some of the chunks will get sliced by the blades of the pastry blender. (Or pair of knives or whatever you use as a substitute if you don't have a pastry blender.) Other than that, chunks of fruit are not actually a detriment to the goodness of these cookies--you just need to use larger shapes with less fine detail for your cookie cutter if you've got a chunkier jam.
[User Picture]From: thanate
2013-11-26 08:18 pm (UTC)

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I think these marmaladed lemon bits are mightier than my pastry cutter. But perhaps we shall see.
[User Picture]From: blue_hat_guru
2013-11-25 03:38 am (UTC)

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Better hope it's only a year?

Still, they sound delicious.
[User Picture]From: tilivenn
2013-11-26 04:39 am (UTC)

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Good God. Well, I'm glad I asked for this to be recorded, because it would have been a loss to history if it hadn't been.