Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight;
Make me a child again just for tonight.”
~ Elizabeth Akers Allen
‘Tis the season for cookies, cookies, cookies, those crispy chewy crumbly tokens of love, sweet love ❤️.
If pies are the best part of Thanksgiving, then cookies are definitely the best part of Christmas. We all have our favorites — cookies we make for gifts, parties, exchanges, or just for ourselves (because we deserve it, right?). What will be on your cookie platter this year?
Hmmmm, let me guess — sugar cookies cut in the shapes of stars, bells, or candy canes? Or maybe Chocolate Crinkles, Snickerdoodles, Mexican Wedding Cakes, rich Butter Cookies or old fashioned Gingerbread? Oh, I know! Molasses Spice! Spritz! Raspberry Thumbprints! Pecan Shortbread, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Classic Chocolate Chip? Maybe you’re into Stained Glass Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, or (you saucy minx) Rum Balls! Oh ho! 🙂
As much as I love eating cookies, I must admit I like making them for family and friends even more. When you hand someone a homemade cookie, you tap right into their child heart. After all, a cookie is more than just a cookie — it’s comfort, after school, Grandma’s house, a glass of milk, good times. Did you know that no matter how old you get, your ‘cookie age’ always stays the same? 🙂
Kevin Pilkington’s poem transports me to Aunty Ella’s kitchen. She was the one who made popcorn balls and gingerbread boys every year, who owned Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book (which I frequently borrowed), and she was the only person I knew who had a cookie press (I still find them magical).
I wish you a fond memory with each cookie you devour this holiday season. Don’t forget the milk. 🙂
EATING A HERD OF REINDEER
by Kevin Pilkington
My wife is in the kitchen making
holiday cookies she will place in tins
and send to family and friends.
I walk in to find her humming as she
mixes eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl
with a wooden spoon like the one my mother
chased me and my brothers with as kids.
I watch her fill the press with dough
thick as clay then rest the front down
against a pan and clicks the trigger
until there are enough wreaths to hang
on every door in the apartment building.
On top of the oven a tray of stars cools,
an entire galaxy covered in white icing.
She sifts powdered sugar over another
batch on the counter, it falls over them
like a light dusting of snow, that covers
everything but the street. And I enjoy
watching her — maybe it has to do
with the way she measures things
exactly, or how I can always find
a smudge of flour on her neck and forehead.
The world I knew is the one I bolted
the door against every night when I got home.
But this is something I didn’t expect, a world
that is as warm as a favorite old sweater
with holes in its elbows. And I can simply
walk into it, open a tin of reindeer cookies,
bite off an antler or two, sit down at the table,
eat a few more, then pour a large glass
of milk to help wash down the entire herd.
~ from Feast: Poetry & Recipes for a Full Seating at Dinner, edited by Diane Goettel and Anneli Matheson (Black Lawrence Press, 2015).
🍪 MR. CORNELIUS’S COOKIE CAPERS 🍪
After reading Mr. Pilkington’s poem, Cornelius was keen on making some edible reindeer of his own. Though we have two cookie presses, neither came with a reindeer plate. But. Cornelius had been reading about the good people at Kellogg’s, who removed their ads from a controversial website that features racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content. Could we make reindeer using one of their products as a way to say thank you?
Cornelius found just the thing at one of his favorite sites, Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons: Reindeer Rice Krispies Treats! With just a few ingredients — pretzels, red M&M’s, and candy googly eyes, he and the Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers were able to turn plain Rice Krispies Treats into funny Rudolphs. 🙂
We think everyone should make some of these for gifts. Or you could make Ina Garten’s English Chocolate Crisps like we did last year (they’re made with cornflakes). Both are easy, no-bake holiday treats with a conscience, sure to be gobbled up by munchkins and short grownups of all ages. We love you, Kelloggs!
Ten minutes after Mr. Cornelius polished off the last Rudolph, the doorbell rang. Eloise and Ramona Quimby had invited themselves over for tea!
Eloise was craving Linzer Cookies (rawther delish!) — those luscious Austrian sandwich cookies filled with raspberry jam. But of course we needed something to go with our tea that was easier to make, so the ever-resourceful Mr. Cornelius (gotta love him) baked up the next best thing: Raspberry Lattice Bars.
There was no flour-y fuss or muss with a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Instead, twelve of us each rolled a small ball of dough into a long strip, then we crisscrossed them over the jam.
Needless to say, all the resident bears were ecstatic — they LOVE anything with jam in it. Even the Paddingtons were happy to forego their marmalade for a nice raspberry lick. And of course Eloise and Ramona were only too pleased to sip sip sip and nibble nibble nibble all afternoon.
Do give these a try — they’ll look lovely on your cookie tray!
Raspberry Lattice Bars
- 1-1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup raspberry jam
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 teaspoons water, divided
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, the brown and granulated sugars, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in mixing bowl. Mix well. Using two knives, a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add egg and almond extract. Mix with a fork. Transfer 1/2 cup of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Press the remaining mixture into a greased 9-inch square cake pan. Spread jam evenly over top.
Add 2 tablespoons flour to reserved mixture and stir to blend. Stir in water until the dough holds together (it will resemble pastry dough). Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll into pencil-like strips. Crisscross the strips diagonally over jam to form a lattice.
Mix the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Brush over lattice.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely in pan on rack, then cut into bars.
- Use a thick jam for this recipe.
- I used an 8″ x 8″ pan and lined it with parchment for easier slicing. I also used an 8″ x 8″ sheet of parchment as a guide when making the dough strips.
- It’s a little tricky making the longest strip (that is laid in the pan from corner to corner). The dough was pretty resilient, though, and stretches easily.
~ from Robin Hood Baking: Over 250 Recipes from Robin Hood’s Baking Festival and Home Baking Cookbooks (Robert Rose, 2010).
I will be on holiday blog break until mid-January. Thank you for visiting Alphabet Soup this year; our humble table wouldn’t have been the same without you. I appreciate your taking the time to read, comment, and share. You are the smartest, best-looking, hungriest blog readers ever, and I wish you the merriest of holidays!
More than ever, we need these things in abundance:
PEACE — LOVE — JOY — HOPE — EMPATHY
Let’s stick together, support each other, stay active and vigilant for what promises to be a very challenging, transformative 2017.
In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. ~ Anne Frank
Talented and tantalizing Tabatha is hosting the Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference. Take her a reindeer treat and a raspberry lattice bar, then check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere this week.
This post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put your bells and Santa caps on and come join the fun!
by U.A. Fanthorpe
Driver: Christmas (F)
Still baffled by postcodes.
And stay up later.
Mission in spite
Of all this
🎄A BEARY MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎁
Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.