January 19th, 2008

viking princess necklace

Serendipitous competence.

Tomorrow we are having Virginia (The Friend Formerly Known As Ginger) over for dinner, and Virginia is unfond of chocolate and has some issues with dairy (except butter in small doses). So I was going to make oatmeal raisin cookies, on the theory that drop cookies were within today's verticality limit, and on the theory that oatmeal raisin cookies are good. Except that the person who snacks on raisins (hint: his name does not rhyme with Bimprov) had eaten the box of raisins down to the last four or five raisins and not put them on the grocery list. And we had just had an order of groceries delivered, and since it is officially bitchycold out, we were not keen on going out for more just because of a lack of raisins. Not enough berries in the house for a berry crisp or cobbler. Not enough apples, and anyway peeling and slicing apples is vertical time. So I started poking through the dessert recipes, discarding anything dairy-based, anything chocolate-centered, and anything requiring fresh fruit we don't have at the moment. Peanut-butter cookies didn't sound right. Hmmmm.

Eureka! Brun brod. I hadn't made brun brod in ages. In fact, I'm not sure I've made brun brod before outside of maternal supervision, and I've been making cookies without maternal supervision for a long time. Going on twenty years now, I think. And these are ball cookies, which did not unduly tax my verticality today.

I am so glad we didn't have the raisins, because these -- are -- perfect. They are just the right amount of soft with just the right amount of sanding sugar for texture, and oh, so fine. So familiar, and yet we just haven't gotten around to making them in ages. And with a cup of hot cocoa, the cinnamon cardamom flavor is not too much of a muchness, just enough different, but it'll go with hot tea, too, for Virginia when she's here.

They probably won't enter the regular rotation of cookies I make often. They don't need to. Today they were just the right thing, and on a day when I needed to be able to do just the right thing. I haven't been baking as much, and it's been for good reason with the vertigo, but when I can do it, I remember why I like to do it. Because when it works, it's fragrant and tangible and crumbles just right in my mouth, and gives me a sense that the rest of the stuff I'm working on is maybe going somewhere, too.

Edited to add: brun brod recipe.