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I could eat Christmas cookies, or I could eat a salad.

December 29, 2010

Mid December I was lying on the beach in Miami. My thoughts were not of the torrential rain I’d left behind on the West Coast. Or of abstaining from pork belly at dinner that night. Or even of Shape magazine with a side of running shoes. No,they were much simpler thoughts. Pleasant ones in fact. Happy images of a cloudless sky. A picture perfect ocean. And an impossibly quiet beach (it wasn’t). And of course of Christmas cookies.

In my mind, Christmas isn’t Christmas without baking a few cookies. Or two dozen cookies. And so as I lay on the beach, reading the December issues of both Bon Appetit and Food and Wine magazine (cover to cover to cover), I thought of baking cookies. I also thought of and prayed for another warm day in Miami that would not be overshadowed by wind, rain and 50 degree temperatures.

Upon my return to the West Coast I immediately made cookies. Just a few. I immediately gifted them away. And it’s still cold in Miami.

And it’s time for me to eat salad.

Eggnog & Peppermint cookie, Stained Glass cookie

 

In the December issue of Martha Stewart magazine there is a great recipe for basic Vanilla dough. This is what I used.

Basic Vanilla Dough

For the Eggnog & Peppermint cookie: Made the cookie according to recipe. Rolled out and cut various Holiday shapes. Then glazed with a mixture of Eggnog  and confectioners sugar. I broke up a few candy canes and sprinkled them on top.

For the Stained Glass cookies: Let me first say that making Stained Glass cookies is tradition for me. As a kid I’d bake these cookies with my mom and I thought they were the coolest cookies ever, (except of course for Oreos) as well as being fun cookies to bake. The young artist in me found much joy in mixing the colors of the hard candy, to create a colorful stained glass effect. We also would punch out a hole in the top of the dough, and string them after they’d baked. Making them this year, I still think they are cool cookies.They did bring me nostalgic joy. But I honestly would have had much more fun had I’d been in the kitchen making them with my Mom. I know she’d tell me to follow the directions!

Make the Vanilla dough according to the recipe. Roll out and cut shapes desired. With a tiny cookie cutter, a knife, or even the back of a piping tip, cut out shapes in the middle of the cookie. Fill the holes with your favorite flavor of hard candy (broken into pieces). I usually smash the hard candy in its wrapper with the back of the rolling-pin. Carefully.

Hard Candy that I like to use:

Butterscotch

Assorted flavors of Jolly Ranchers

Lifesavers

Peppermint

Ultimately it is up to you. Use your imagination. And break the rules after you have learned the recipe!

 

 

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