Sunday, December 13, 2015
Cookies and snow
This weekend, we had our annual cookie-baking marathon. Every year, on the weekend preceding the final week of school before the holiday break, I get busy baking dozens of cookies. We keep a lot, but we give a lot away too. The school gets about five dozen to sell in a fundraiser this coming week. Then I send some to work with the Bear, to share with his coworkers, and I give some away to neighbors too. We'll still have way more than any of us needs to eat, but it's nice to have lots of cookies in the house at the holidays, I think. You never know who might stop by.
Our baking days (which began Friday afternoon and continued through most of the day on Saturday) were very cozy. The weather, which had been unusually warm all week, began to change Friday. It was cloudy and windy, not quite cold yet but certainly brisk. We usually play in a park near the school on Friday afternoons but hardly anyone else showed up because it was really quite unpleasant down there, with the wind whipping up and down the soccer field and rattling the backstops. We only lasted about twenty minutes before I rounded them up to head home. They were mostly agreeable, soothed by the knowledge that cookies were in the offing.
By Saturday morning, it was raining hard and the temperature was falling. The wind had picked up even more. Inside, the baking was at fever pitch, so we didn't mind. By dark on Saturday, it was snowing. We woke up this morning to about five inches of snow. This is our second snowstorm of the season, and this time around, the snow was perfect for playing in, so the small Bears headed out to the backyard after breakfast. We have plans in the afternoon today (a friend is performing in a holiday ballet), so they had to get out there while they had a chance. They built a tiny snowman and threw snowballs. I'm glad we're having a real winter this year. It's really cold now, though; that storm left behind the iciest wind I've felt in a long time. Cookies should power me through.
And a pretty bunch of cookies they are, I think. Clockwise, from the top of the plate, these are the recipes I used: Classic Sugar Cookies from Betty Crocker (I used the recipe in my trusty 2000-edition cookbook, but the online version is the same); Cranberry-Chocolate Chip Biscotti (I substituted white chocolate baking chips for regular ones); Nestle Toll House Mint Chocolate Delights; and in the center, Strawberry-Coconut Thumbprints (I substituted raspberry jam for strawberry). I think the Thumbprints are my favorite; there's cream cheese in the dough and they're very tender and not too sweet. But who are we kidding? Favorites - pssht. They're cookies. They're all awesome.
We may have a cookie problem, though. Come by for a cup of tea and a cookie with me. My door is always open.