I’m doing a rare thing, and beginning this post on the home computer. Usually this is where I polish up a post I began using the phone whilst waiting for Kate to finish up a lesson or class or something. Today, because of the snow and cold and our frustration at having no time at home this weekend, we have stayed home from church, and as a result I am enjoying the luxury of getting a little work done and having a little time left over for writing here. A very good thing, to quote Martha. I may even bake. I will not, however, take the time to snap a picture and then hook the camera to the hard-drive, etc. I apologize for offering only bare words on the screen.
I have shopped for groceries, Kate has practiced and studied for her math midterm and Bruce has shoveled the driveway twice. This afternoon we’ll head out to a church youth event (if it’s not canceled) and strap on ice skates for an hour. Then we’ll rush to Eastman where Kate is participating in her first voice recital. But for now there is calm and catching up.
So this baking adventure… Here are a few more details. The Joy of Cookies is by Sharon Tyler Herbst. I’ve probably had this cookie cookbook for about 20 years, and it’s an absolute shame I’ve never made anything from it as the two cookie varieties baked thus far are spectacularly good, and both freeze well
There are over 125 recipes in the book, from over 50 different nations. Several of the recipes are centuries old. The book is as educational as the cookies are delicious. I’m not sure which of those two features I admire more! And the photographs are stunning — which, knowing myself, is probably why I bought the book in the first place.
The Cream Cheese Cookies are Kolacky from the part of the world formerly known as Czechoslovakia. They are soft, almost creamy, and rich, with a honey-nut filling. Amazing and so decadently good.
Fat Rascals are from England; Herbst calls them “a favorite teatime biscuit” from Yorkshire. Flavorful, buttery and crisp. We loved these, and even though they were a little too brown — overbaked slightly by a minute or more — they were delicious.
Jumbles, the cookie next up (as appointed by Kate — I’m not in control of the order in which we do these at all!), was originally spelled “jumbals” and is supposedly from the US, although Wikipedia begs to differ. Butter, egg yolks and sour cream, flavored with rosewater for historical accuracy. Herbst suggests orange juice or vanilla and almond extracts with milk if we can’t find or abide rosewater. Kate has insisted on rosewater, however, which I was able to find with the Indian foods at Wegmans in the international aisle and with the various extracts in the baking goods aisle. Based on the cookie recipe’s provenance I chose to purchase the US version of rosewater rather than the import. I’m planning to mix the dough this afternoon, refrigerate overnight and bake tomorrow.
365 days, 125+ cookie varieties? May have to lift the time constraint on that…