The Cookie CountdownDecember 16, 2014 by Susie
I am, and always have been, a cookie person. I’m happiest when there’s a nearly-full cookie box or jar somewhere in the kitchen, just waiting for me to have an excuse: a story filed, a disagreeable chore completed, or just plain “lunch dessert”. A cookie doesn’t make you feel as guilty as a big juicy slab of pie, or a dense wedge of cake. It’s just a cookie – sweet, perfect, and of short duration.
The difficulty at this time of year is deciding which of my many, many favorite cookies will get my attention. Last year, it was all star cookies, of which my perennial favorite (and the one I always make time to make) is La Befana, the sprinkle star from Gina dePalma’s Dolce Italiano, which has never once let me down.
If I’ve really got my ducks in a row, I might have time to make stroopwafels, which require a bit of careful timing and keeping your wits about you so you don’t burn yourself on the waffle iron. You also have to eat them while they’re warm and still pliant, but that’s the least of our problems.
My husband’s favorite cookie – and one I’m also crazy about – is the double dark chocolate cherry cookie from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. He makes giant double batches with jumbo bags of chips and cherries from Costco, and he gives them out to his students. But there’s always some left over for the rest of us.
This year around Thanksgiving, I discovered another favorite cookie – The “Ischler” – from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Baking Bible. It’s a sandwich cookie filled with apricot preserves and ganache, and I think it will be my Death Row request cookie if I ever find myself in that situation.
While I’ve been dreaming about cookies, my cousin Barbara and my aunt Mimi have been making them. We got an incredible package this week in the mail, overflowing with little meringues and wrapped truffles and, best of all, crisp pecan sand tarts. Barbara says these are the Joy of Cooking sand tarts, which means now I have another cookie to add to my Try list. My plan is to use them for this year’s reindeer cookies – oh, I forgot – that’s another favorite, but mostly because we get to practice our royal icing technique on them.
My long-term ambition is to someday get all these cookies done early enough to mail them to friends and family, the way Barbara does. But for now, it’s just one more thing I’ll be dreaming about. What’s your cookie of choice?
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