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Thursday, November 11, 2010

C is for Cookie. And Crazy. And Crap we didn't really think this one out, did we?

I have a wonderful friend, Kate and Kate has a wonderful mother , Helen. Kate and Helen do not cook. They don't just not cook, they really hate to cook. They like to eat but they hate to cook so I am a handy kind of friend to have, no? Kate doesn't cook but she is a terrific photographer so she can take pictures for me to share with you on my blog. She is also a handy kind of friend to have.

Helen has to attend a cookie swap and was told, in no uncertain terms, that she could NOT bring store bought cookies to this event. As i said, Helen doesn't cook. I cook. See how these things work?

We decided that I would make Martha Stewart's Lime Meltaways because all the old ladies I know love them and Helen is a fabulous old lady - my father in law would call her a great dame. I sent the recipe to Kate and had her buy the ingredients and bring them to my house and I would make them here. She would then take them home, package them up in some sort of pretty packaging and pop them in her mom's freezer so that Helen would only have to take them out the night before her party.
Perfect.
I got started on the lime meltaways

lime carnage

These cookies are so tart and citrusy and delicious and they really do just melt in your mouth. I make them every christmas and I have to physically restrain my mother in law from eating all of them in one sitting. The party was supposed to be at the beginning of December so I thought that if they stored them properly, they would last just until the party. Oh, what's that you say Kate? Your mother was given the wrong date and the party isn't until December 17 ????  Hmmmm. These cookies will not last until then and you can't freeze them after you toss them in the icing sugar. I asked if Helen would mind defrosting them and throwing them in a warm oven for a few minutes to get heat them up enough to toss in the icing sugar on the day.
I was assured that this would not work. Helen does not heat and toss.
Hmm
I now have the dough rolled out into logs to chill in the fridge


So pretty, no? We decide to put the dough in the fridge and go and have pho and think about what we can do to make this work. Halfway through my pho I decide that we cannot make these cookies because they are far too tart to serve without the icing sugar coating. I cannot have Helen bringing an overly tart cookie to this swap meet. Old ladies love the icing sugar coating, they love to lick it delicately off their fingers after popping one into their old lady mouths.
The lime melt away dough will go in the freezer and be baked at a much later date.

I am going to make Martha's molasses-ginger crisps, another cookie I make every christmas. Frankly, I don't know why I didn't think of them sooner. They are crispy, and grown up and sparkly and festive and they freeze better than any other cookie I have made. They are one of the only cookies that I have no self control around. I do not really have much of a sweet tooth and will generally ignore sweets in favour of something salty and crispy and fatty but this cookie is so gingery that it is almost spicy and it is crispy like a kettle chip so it's like the cookie version of Miss Vickie's Jalepeno chips for me.
Back off to the store for candied ginger and home again to make another batch of cookies!






a little pat of butter in each corner of the pan is like culinary super glue for that pesky parchment

I really love these cookies but the dough is very soft and you have to roll it into tiny 1" balls which you then roll in coarse sugar. The warmth of your hands starts to make it all really messy and disgusting (like rolling chocolate truffles in your warm hands) so you have to either put the dough in the fridge for a bit first or, when you don't have time to do that like I didn't have time to do that since i had wasted the morning making dough for a cookie I wasn't going to bake, you can keep running your hands under really cool water . Make sure to dry your hands off really well or it's even worse, not like I would know about that from personal experience. I'm just guessing.



In the end, this recipe made more than enough cookies for Helen with a bunch left over for me to keep. I use the cookies that aren't perfect enough for gift giving purposes to make a gingersnap crust for pumpkin cheesecake at christmas but the last thing I need right now is pumpkin cheesecake so we are eating them by the handful instead. They are very small cookies so I estimate that four or five equals one normal sized cookie, right????



Oh, and they are very, very popular with old lady dogs.


*thank you to Kate for taking these lovely photos for me