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Cookie Day Two: The Re-Cookenating - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Cookie Day Two: The Re-Cookenating [Nov. 26th, 2014|11:25 am]
Marissa Lingen
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I had a list. We ignored the list. We burned the list to the ground.

You see, Mom and Grandma and I: we are experienced in the ways of Cookie Day. But having already done one, we had a lot of our usual tricks kind of…handled. One of the ways that you keep three experienced bakers working all day with only one oven is to make things on the stove. Well, we’d already made two kinds of fudge and caramels. That was on Gluten-Free Cookie Day. But! We are versatile! We are fierce! We are determined! So onwards. Onwards to glory and lots and lots of treats.

We made: pepparkakor, brun brod, pretzel hugs, strawberry shortbreads, blueberry shortbreads, pecan penuche, hazelnut toffee, blueberry meringues (bluemeringues! they are boomerang shaped!), and strawberry jam filled amaretti (pink, to distinguish them from the raspberry jam or frosting filled lavender ones on Sunday). We would have also made lemon curd, but I ran out of butter and have to run out to the KwikTrip today to get butter for that and the yams. (Because I am I going to brave a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving when the gas station sells perfectly cromulent butter? Hahaha I am not.)

Note: some of the linked recipes are old recipes in which I reference using oleo. I don’t really bake with oleo any more unless I’m baking for someone who needs non-dairy treats. You can; most of those recipes were passed down from relatives who grew up with butter rationing if they weren’t still on the farm. But I pretty much always bake with butter.

The amaretti are the great discovery of this year. They’re really not hard if you’re comfortable with a pastry bag (which includes being comfortable with a Ziploc with the end snipped off), and we totally didn’t do the thing she talks about with switching the racks of the oven, and it worked fine–my cookie sheets are large, so we can only bake a sheet at a time because they block air flow from each other. But fifteen minutes in the middle of a 300 degree oven, no fooling around, they do exactly what they’re supposed to do, they’re an easy gluten-free dairy-free cookie, go team.

You notice that some of the things yesterday were still gluten-free, even though the gluten-free focused Cookie Day was Sunday. Here’s the thing. There is so much out there that’s good that doesn’t have to have gluten in it in the first place. Penuche, toffee, meringues. These things are just–they’re just treats. They’re just goodies. They aren’t funny-smelling pseudo-treats. Life as part of a family that contains allergies can be rich and festive and joyful. And it should.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux


From: vcmw
2014-11-26 08:49 pm (UTC)
Everything you made sounds extremely delicious, and I now want to make dozens of the amaretti. Marzipan is my favorite Christmas treat so chewy almond cookies sound ideal. (It would be very hard not to just eat the whole log of almond paste in pinches, though.)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-11-26 09:00 pm (UTC)
I didn't find it hard at all, because I find the almond smell of pure almond paste overwhelming. But ymmv.

Note: you have to be very careful when buying almond paste, because not only do you not want marzipan for this, you also don't want almond paste with flour in it. Grocery stores will sell you both. Grocery stores are tricksy and false. This is definitely one for reading the label.
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2014-11-26 09:18 pm (UTC)
I was just going to ask: what's the difference here between almond paste and marzipan? And which is the one I make myself, with confectioner's sugar and ground almonds and an egg? We don't distinguish: as witness, the recipe I have always followed (from Jane Grigson's English Food, since you ask) is labelled "Almond Paste, or Marzipan"...
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-11-26 09:44 pm (UTC)
Marzipan has sugar in. This will be sold as "pure almond paste," and when you read the ingredients, they will list only one, and that will be almond paste or ground almonds.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-11-27 02:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, cost almost certainly had to do with it. But I think that rationing was key in getting my relatives (like many Americans of their generation) to accept oleomarge in the first place. If you've used it for several years because of shortages/rationing, I think it's easier to tell yourself "well, it's been good enough so far, and no one has complained about getting chocolate chip cookies!" than if you have to start from scratch to use a thing that you're not even sure is really food and comes with (apparently) those horrible dye pellets and yes, it's cheaper, but it's Not What We Do. It's easier to let it not be taking a stand about What We Do any more if you've had that stand removed from you for several years. Then when you're looking at the grocery bills, gosh, butter is so much more expensive, and those cookies were really fine with the oleo, weren't they? we were glad to have them, let's just make this batch that way too....
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[User Picture]From: ethelmay
2014-11-28 04:07 am (UTC)
The kind of margarine we ate when I was growing up frequently cost as much as or more than butter, but having been brought up on the stuff most of us kids preferred it, and for quite a long while our parents were under the delusion it was more healthful (which is now known to be Not True).
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[User Picture]From: carbonel
2014-12-01 04:09 pm (UTC)
Last Wednesday, I made fruit shortbreads with the fruit being fig and ginger preserves. The entire process would have gone much better if my stove hadn't dropped from the requisite temperature down to 225 degrees without my noticing.

I need to call the electric company (that's where I have a service contract), but on the Wednesday before I was leaving for Chicago for Thanksgiving with family, I didn't have that option. I ended up finishing them in the toaster oven in batches of six. All things considered, they turned out quite tasty, though the ginger flavor was so subtle as to be practically unnoticeable.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-12-01 04:14 pm (UTC)
Hurrah for versatile fruit shortbreads, and I'm terribly sorry about your stove.
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