Tag Archives: cookies

Cookies, eaten like grapes

header –Snail, Fruit, Nuts, Grapes, and Pinecones by Giovan Battista Ruoppolo, 2nd half 17th century. 

I was thinking about shortbread, a cookie I used to make, and then having made it for two years, it HAD to be made because we

ALWAYS

had it. Until it didn’t get made for a year or two, because new cookies joined the fray….I mean

TRAY

cookie_tray

According to Wikipedia, this is an American Christmas Cookie Tray.

I found a shortbread recipe….or four….or six…..some have splatters and some do not….from the many shortbread years. This will not be a shortbread year. Maybe next year.

I also found a recipe from my cousin Flora. She e-mailed it in 2006. This is her version, with some notes from me. I re-wrote the recipe in 2008, so I had made it several times by then. An easy add to the Holiday Tray.

RICOTTA COOKIES

Blend until creamy:

1 stick ROOM TEMPERATURE butter

1/4 cup ricotta (I actually put in about 1/3 cup)

Add and mix well

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Slowly stir in:

2 cups SIFTED flour (this is less than 2 cups flour sifted)

1/2 tsp baking soda (note from me – baking soda and baking powder are not the same thing, and aren’t really interchangeable. Don’t ask me how I know this, but I do, I REALLY do!)

1/2 tsp salt (note from me – don’t leave out the salt – it activate the soda to leaven)

Drop batter from a tsp onto a greased baking sheet. (I use RELEASE which I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I TOTALLY agree!)

Bake in the upper half of oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Tops will be white but bottoms will be brown. Makes 36 cookies. Cool and glaze. Store in a covered container and they will last for a couple of weeks (you won’t get to this point because they will be eaten like grapes).

Glaze: 2 cups sifted confectionery sugar

3 tbls orange juice or whatever flavoring you choose

sprinkles if you have them

Blend well (NOTE: the sprinkles go one the cookies after they have been glazed – don’t add the sprinkles to the glaze)

Bon Appetito!

forte-luca-still-life-with-grapes-1630s-copper-gettyStill Life with Grapes and Other Fruits by Luca Forte, Getty Center, 1630s

“eaten like grapes”

roses_boutons_fr_2012

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Filed under Christmas

It’s Christmas Time in the Kitchen

Christmas time in the kitchen is all about the

cookies

 

The words of Silver Bells just beg to be re-written for our own versions of the holiday.

silver-bell-cookies-pillsbury

Silver Bells cut out cookies from Pillsbury

Even Vogue magazine is about cookies this month…..

A Baker’s Tour of Europe’s Finest Holiday Cookies

by Oliver Strand

european-cookies-2-large

This is the illustration from Vogue

AND….

New York Times Style magazine has this article:

Baking Sweets From Childhood Tales

littlehouse-xmas-ill-06tmag-13look_sign-t_ca0-master768

This illustration from “Little House on the Prairie” shows all it took to make Christmas perfect for Laura and Mary: two heart-shaped cakes, two tin cups, two peppermint sticks and two pennies — one for each girl. Credit Garth Williams, Little House on the Prairie, from group of four, 1953: Christmas Stockings/Copyright Garth Williams 1953; renewed 1981/Image courtesy Heritage Auctions

from the article In Praise of the Good Enough

And today, 12/12 is Ma Ingalls birthday!

ma-ingalls

Today is Ma Ingalls’ birthday! 177 years ago on this day, Caroline Lake Quiner (later to become Caroline “Ma” Ingalls) was born in the Milwaukee area of Wisconsin, the fifth of seven Quiner children. Some said that baby Caroline was the first non-native American baby to be born in the area.

In this picture, Caroline is seated next to her husband, Charles Ingalls.

Happy Birthday, Ma!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Cookies I’ve written about:

Italian Cookies

S’Wonderful (S cookies)

Oh, Joy! Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with Almonds

Wine with a Twist (cookies)

Oatmeal Raisin cookies

The Cool Cookies

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Sweet Dreams

Sweet dreams…

are made of these

indexCWand

whipped cream

Whipped cream – make your own. Easy peasy. It’s cream and you whip it. Whip it good.

You and I can disagree

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These work really well, too, if you don’t like chocolate or don’t want to run to the store for one thing.

Graham crackers are also very good - Today is National Graham Cracker Day, too

Graham crackers are also very good – July 5th  is National Graham Cracker Day, too. Who knew?

Travel the World and the Seven Seas

Everybody’s looking for something

This month Rachael Ray tackles

ice box cakes.

ice box cake  or Zebra Cake  or Famous Wafer Cake or - it doesn't matter what you call it, it's just as goods

Ice box cake or Zebra Cake or Famous Wafer Cake or – it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s just as good.

Among other things.

RRJuly2015cover

My sister in law brought Zebra Cupcakes – Famous Chocolate Wafers sandwiched with whipped cream between and stacked into cupcake papers –  to a recent family gathering.

Finger lickin’ good.

There are a whole range of cookies and even crackers that can be creamed, as it were, and left to sit for a while so that it become neither cream nor cookies, but

DELICIOUS

This is more of a concept then a recipe.

Martha Stewart has, of course, improved all  this in the past

icebox275-0711md107295_vert

Notice that this is no mere stack of store bought cookies. These are homemade chocolate chippers with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top. In circles. Fancy.

Did you know you can flavor whipped cream?

Use a different then vanilla extract, or a spoonful of a liquor or some spice – cinnamon, for instance  is fantastic – and for that I must thank Martha, with Everyday Food.

EverydayFoodMay 2005Every Day. Everyday Food. Whipped Cream and Cookies.

Good Things.

Speaking of Good Things……

The Oxford English Dictionary recently added the word

EARWORM

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Block off the Ole Chip

Chocolatebrownie

Block of brownie goodness made from chocolate chips – and  few other basics.

Basic brownie history from New England Recipe website – click it

Basic Brownie

1/3 cup butter

¾ cup sugar

2 Tbl H2O

1 12-oz bag chocolate chips, divided (whatever kind of chips you want – mix it up)

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

¾ cup flour

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

  1. Grease a 9×9 pan and preheat the oven to 325°.
  2. In a large saucepan combine butter, sugar and water. Bring just to a boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add ½ of the chocolate chips and the vanilla; stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time.
  5. Gradually add flour, soda and salt.
  6. Stir in remaining chips.
  7. Spread in the greased 9×9 pan.
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes.
  9. Cool completely before cutting.
  10. Makes 16 2 ¼ inch squares.

Adapted from the back of a Nestlés packet, c. 1985

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S’wonderful

S Cookies

No, not scookies, or even s’cookies, but S cookies.

Cookies in the shape of an S.

Stella D'Oro Breakfast Treats are technically an S cookies - but these aren't the ones I mean. This time.

Stella D’Oro Breakfast Treats are technically an S cookies – but these aren’t the ones I mean. This time.

And being Italian, there’s more then one….

S cookies - almond

S cookies – almond

S anisecookies

S cookies – anise

S cookies....I've already lost track and we're not even out of the A varieties....

S cookies….I’ve already lost track and we’re not even out of the ‘A’  varieties….

The cookies I’m taking about are also known as Susameille. Or Susamelli.  Or Suziemella. Or Suzie Cookies.

susamielli

Real Susameille are a honey of a cookie

These are my favorite cookies of the Christmas Season. I’ve discovered several versions of them and several versions of the back-story as well.  First, a cookbook version.

Suziemella

(Suzie Cookies)

 

15 oz blackstrap molasses

1 cup oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp black pepper

5 whole orange rinds, grated (about ½ cup)

6-7 cups flour

1 cup filberts, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheets.
  2. Mix molasses, oil, egg, sugar, salt, pepper and orange rinds. Blend well.
  3. Add flour to form a dough that can be rolled.
  4. Oil fingers. Take pieces of dough and roll like a pencil.
  5. Shape rolls into a 4-5” S
  6. Place a sliced filbert on the top and bottom of the S.
  7. Bake about 15 minutes, until just brown.

These are great wine ‘dunkers.’

Origin: Carmela Derrico

From Anna Tosti Goodman, Lake Worth/Boynton Beach Lodge #2304. In Preserving Our Italian Heritage. A Cookbook. Sons of Italy Florida Foundation. 1991.p. 178.

Preserving our Italian HeritageAccording to some sources (and these guys are all cut and pasting each other), Susameillas

are traditional Neapolitan Christmas cookies,also in Ischia, so close enough to Gaeta, that this is the place

and are S-shaped (that much we’ve got)

For two possible reasons:(I think they mean for one of two possible reasons)

First, in the past they were called sesamielli, and covered with sesame seeds.

But where else do sesame seeds show in the dolci of Gaeta?

Sesame seeds  – semi di sesamo

susamielli with seasame

S cookies with sesame

Second, they were (and are) called Sapienze, because they were made by nuns of the Monastero della Sapienza.

This is already longer and more confusing then I want it to be. And there’s more. My back-story version.

  1. These are the cookies that my Auntie Anna made at Christmas. She’s the one who passed the recipe down to various of us.
  2. Auntie Anna got the recipe from my Nonna. These were the cookies she used to make. Please note: Nonna died before I was was two, so I only know Auntie Anna’s version.
  3. Working with honey can be tricky. Auntie Anna’s recipe gave all the right ingredients, but technique is something else altogether.
  4. Auntie Anna’s brother Cosmos LOVES these cookies, and since his birthday is December, his wife Jane has been making these cookies for decades as well.
  5. Jane’s version appeared in Lo Specchio, the newsletter of the ITALIAN GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA  back in Summer 2001. The version I’m using is based on one Auntie Anna shared with me, and my cousin Flora, and Flora and I talked together and then I made them some more….

Susamelli

1 Lb. honey

1 bottle light molasses (Grandma’s unsulphured)

1/2 cup oil

½ oz almond extract

2 tangerines (preferably organic)

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

6 C flour

Almond halves

  1. In a large bowl, mix liquid ingredients together.
  2. Wash and peel tangerines. Cut peel into small dice and add to liquid ingredients.
  3. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the liquid one until it is all well blended.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Shape dough by rolling walnut sized pieces between oiled hands (I fill a small saucer with oil to dip my palms in – think Kim Kardashian backside oiled…pretty slick indeed) and shape into an S.
  8. Put on a prepared cookie sheet – We’ve been using the no stick Reynolds wrap to good success- these can bake up sticky. Put three almond halves in the crooks.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes at 350.
  10. They shouldn’t brown – just be firm.
  11. Yields 2 ½ dozen

From my Auntie Anna, more or less, and commentary from just about everyone else.

susameile with almonds

This is from a bakery in Connecticut – I didn’t realize the 2 images were joined. By next Christmas I will be taking my own pictures!

Any way you try them, S Cookies  are S’wonderful!

Have a honey of a New Year!

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The Cool Cookies

On this the third day of Christmas…   the cookie days of Christmas continue

Then there are a whole category of cookies that involve no baking and very little cooking. The Refrigerator Cookie.

The Cool Cookies.

I don't remember how I came to have this book, I just know that I do. And I've baked cookies from it. And have not-baked  from it. Mrs. Fields Cookie Book 100 recipes from the Kitchen of Mrs. Fields 1992 from Time-Life Books

I don’t remember how I came to have this book, I just know that I do. And I’ve baked cookies from it. And have not-baked from it.
Mrs. Fields Cookie Book
100 recipes from the Kitchen of Mrs. Fields
1992 from Time-Life Books

The Refrigerator Thumb Print cookie is a cookie I have not-baked. Raspberry jelly is the jelly that is called for, which is SUCH an ’80’s thing I may never be able to eat the chocolate/raspberry combo again.Although my sister made some raspberry jelly…..

And since the chocolate called for is in chip form, and there are so many chip options, my imagination has gone a little wild with this.

Of the chocolate chip family,  there are bags in range from 12 to 10 oz. (a few a 11 or 11.5 – honestly – 11.5??????? You can’t go to 12?) so you may need to make some minor adjustments. If I did they were so minor that I didn’t record them. Or remember them.

choc chip bag

Semi-sweet

choc chip dark bag

Dark – and there are lots of brands now, it’s not just Nestle

White

White

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter

The secret ingredient is  QUICK OATS. Not to be confused instant or old fashioned  rolled. Oats.

Quaker-Oats-4321

Quaker went to the round box in 1915 - how were they selling oats before that?????

Quaker went to the round box in 1915 – how were they selling oats before that????? Each answer just generates more questions.

Quaker introduce Quick Oats in 1922 - even then people were looking for a quick and easy breakfast food

Quaker introduced Quick Oats in 1922 – even then people were looking for a quick and easy breakfast food. The box hasn’t changed a lot in all that time, although Larry, the Quaker Man, had gotten an update.

..

Refrigerator Cookies Suite

The Basic Chocolate  Overture

The Dark Chocolate Sonatas

The PB&J Coda

The White Chocolate Finale

 

The Basic Chocolate  (Overture)

¼ cup (half stick) butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup white sugar

2 cups (12 oz. bag) semi – sweet chocolate chips

1tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ cup quick (NOT Instant) oatmeal

1 cup well flavored fruit preserves (what do YOU like with chocolate? Apricot, Orange marmalade, cherry, ginger marmalade, cranberry jelly, seedless raspberry, (chocolate and raspberry is such and ‘80’s combo I don’t feel I need ever go there again…)…use what you have or get what you like!

  1. Combine butter, cream and sugar in a 2 Q saucepan. Warm over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips, 1 cup at a time, stirring so that they melt. Add the vanilla.
  3. Add the oats and stir until all combined. This is the dough.
  4. Shape the dough to 1” balls (I use a tablespoon) and place on a lined cookie sheet – something no-stick, like wax paper or a silicon sheet. They’re not going into the oven so it doesn’t have to be heat proof.
  5. Flatten the cookies either with the bottom of a glass or your impeccably clean fingers to be about 2” in diameter.
  6. Make a depression in the center of each cookie with your thumb (that’s why they’re called Thumbprint) – that’s where the jelly or the jam is going to go.
  7. Chill the cookies in the fridge for ½ hour or so until they’re set.
  8. Spoon ½ teaspoon of preserves/jam/ sweet stuff into each thumbprint.
  9. Try not to eat them all as you make them…finger lickin’ good!

 

The Dark Chocolate Sonatas

¼ cup (half stick) butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup white sugar

2 cups (10 oz. bag) dark chocolate chips

1tsp almond extract

2 cups quick (NOT Instant) oatmeal

¼ cup sweetened flake coconut

¼ cup slivered almonds

Melt, mix,drop by spoonfuls, flatten, fridge and enjoy – very much like an Almond Joy

almond-joy-candy-bar-35486

The PB&J Coda

¼ cup (half stick) butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup white sugar

2 cups (12 oz. bag) peanut butter chips

1tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ cup quick (NOT Instant) oatmeal

Grape jelly

 Melt, mix, drop, make a thumbprint, chill and add jelly.

Peanut-Butter-Jelly-Sandwich

The White Chocolate X-Mas Finale

¼ cup (half stick) butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup white sugar

2 cups (12 oz. bag) white chocolate chips

1tsp vanilla extract

2 ½ cup quick (NOT Instant) oatmeal

Maraschino cherries, 1 jar

Mint jelly (the green stuff)

Melt, mix, chop the cherries and add. Drop by spoonfuls and make a thumbprint. Add the mint jelly and think of White Christmas – the song and the movie

Can't you see them all munching on these cookies after the finale?

Can’t you see them all munching on these white chocolate  cookies after the finale?

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Italian Cookies

There are many Italian cookies. But over and over there is ONE cookie that means ‘Italian”.

Even in my family, the name is consistent, but the spelling is forever changing. Sometimes charmella, or sharmella or ciamellas…..

This is what they look like - most of the time......

This is what they look like – most of the time……

jumblepic1

from Peter Brears – the same cookie is known as jumbles or jemellos in English.

Anise flavored with  anise icing and the all important sprinkles, confetinni, which are round sprinkles and bounce all over the kitchen….Often shaped round little snowballs, but could also be twisted rings or knots.

The knot shape

The knot shape

Italian Cookies

(Right, like there’s only ONE…)

 

½ # butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

2 Tablespoons vanilla

4 cups flour

2 Tablespoons baking powder

Icing:

½ box confectioners’ sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

1 Tablespoon anise extract

Confettini

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs and flavoring. Mix well.
  4. Blend in flour and baking powder. Work to form a soft pliable dough.
  5. Cut off pieces of dough the size of a walnut.
  6. Roll to about ½” thickness about 2 ½” long or a straight 2 ½” pencil shape.
  7. Bake in a 375° oven until lightly brown about 15-20 minutes.
  8. Cookies may be iced or left plain.
  9. Icing: Blend sugar and anise extract, adding milk slowly to form a soft smooth icing. Ice cookies while war, sprinkle confettini over top.

Anna Guecia, John Paul I Lodge, #2427 in

Preserving Our Italian Heritage. A Cookbook. Sons of Italy Florida Foundation. 1991. p. 177.

But, wait – there’s MORE…

Comments: I shape my cookies into knots, bake, then frost with vanilla flavored sugar icing and sprinkle with confettini or colored sugar.

Mary Lozito, Rev. Albert B. Palumbo Lodge # 2512

 

Comments: My cookies are shaped into bows, braids or knots and I use anise flavoring in the icing.

Josephine Ragone, Jerry Barletta Lodge #2502

 

Comments: I break off pieces of dough, roll out into a short pencil shape, then shape the dough around my finger to form a turban. I use fresh lemon juice to flavor the icing and top with red sprinkles.

Nancy Bonamo, Ft. Lauderdale Lodge #2263

Preserving Our Italian Heritage. A Cookbook. Sons of Italy Florida Foundation. 1991. p. 177. (KAF – Jan 2002)

Preserving Our Italian Heritage - I got this through the  King Arthur Flour catalog

Preserving Our Italian Heritage – I got this through the King Arthur Flour catalog

Italian Cookies

1 cup sugar (white)

3 eggs

1 stick margarine

1 cup water

1 teaspoon anise

4 teasp baking powder

4 cups flour

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix sugar, marg, eggs, flavor. Put in flour and baking powder + water . Mix until dough is thick. Add rest measure by teaspoons on floured board roll into balls bake on buttered baking sheet 5-6 min at 350°

Frosting

4 Tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon anise

2 cups powdered sugar

Mix altogether. Frost when cool.

The oldest paper copy that I have from Auntie Elide. She handed out recipes to anyone who asked. But she wasn’t a recipe writer by training. I have at least three different versions, and my sister’s is another variation, and then there’s cousin Flora’s …..

The moral of this cookie is that sometimes a recipe isn’t enough – you have to make the cookie with the cookie maker. Bake with someone this Christmas season.

On the other hand with all the versions in the Preserving Our Italian Heritage there is definitely a through line. There is also a local company – Toni’s Own  – that makes a very nice version. The company is from Wakefield, Mass which is where Auntie Elide lived.They are now in Peabody

.Toni's own logo

Noble Pig has this version

Noble Pig has this version – click the link

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Italian, Recipe

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

And sometimes, especially with 4 brothers, you just need quick and easy cheap eats from what you have on hand. Hence, the traditional inclusion of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I’m pretty sure that this recipe came from the box…if not the oatmeal box, then the raisin box.

By the way, why are oatmeal boxes ROUND???Quaker oats boxalthough the round box is good for crafts….

an organizer....if I used this for my loose recipes...first, eat lots of oatmeal

an organizer….if I used this for my loose recipes…first, eat lots of oatmeal

oatmeal box drum

The ever popular drum – for a little drummer boy, no doubt

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 C flour

1 C gran sugar

2 C brown sugar

2 C butter

2 tsp vanilla

6 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick, not instant, not steel cut or Irish)

2 tsp baking soda

2 C raisins

4 eggs

Have been using this since sometime in the ‘80’s – that’s the whole thing. I’m pretty sure that this is a double batch, at least. It make a TON of cookies. You know what to do from here. 350 or 375 for 7-12 minutes. Less time for a softer cookies, a little longer for a crisper cookie.

Did they put recipes on the back of the oatmeal box? We didn’t search for it, was out there.

oatmeal raisin' cookies Scott Metzger

 

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Wine with a Twist (cookies)

These are cookies that have wine IN them.  They are better with coffee then they are with  wine. This is a variation that I had to depend on one year when I LOST THE RECIPE. It wasn’t really, really lost, and I have since found it. The problem was

I ORGANIZED MY RECIPES

recipe box

I have since found it, but , of course, I couldn’t put my hot little hands on it this morning. Because I organized my recipes – again. Or some of them. Sorta.

Now, I have organized my recipes more then once. More then twice. More then….you get the picture.

Boxes

recipe box image

And by boxes, I mean more then one. More then 2……

Binders

recipe-binder-

and by binders, I mean more then one. More then 2….you get the picture

Recipe cards

free-recipe-card-template

Assorted sizes and designs. Most of them are as blank as this one.

and then then there are odd slips of paper tucked into cookbooks……and the digital diaster….but but enough whine

…on to wine cookies …

Wine cookies have already been requested for this Christmas.  My mother asks for them. So they’re on the list. I’ll be baking them her kitchen.

For the last several years, I’ve gone to the ancestral home for cookie baking marathons because

  1. there’s just plain more room at the ancestral home and
  2. my mother tells stories of her family when there are cookies in the oven
  3. and…it’s more fun with other people around. Who come around when they hear that cookies are being baked.

One version of

WINE BISCOTI

4 2/3 cups of AP flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup sugar

¼ – 1 teaspoon anise seeds (How much anise taste do you like? If you prefer, ½ teaspoon anise extract or 1 teaspoon anise flavored liquor. Add the seeds with the drys – the liquids with the wets….)

¾ cup red wine

2/3 cup EVO

Topping:

¼ cup sugar

2 Tablespoons sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with non-stick foil, parchment paper or a silpat sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and anise seeds. Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Add the wine and olive oil (*and extract) and stir all together with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough (adjust with more flour if too wet and more wine/oil if too dry).
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon and set aside.
  5. Scoop out Tablespoons of dough and form them into ball 1inch in diameter. Roll the balls into the sugar/cinnamon mix and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden.
  7. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack.

From Italian Cooking and Living May 2006, p. 16.

Italian Cooking and Living  not the issue with the cookie recipe

Italian Cooking and Living not the issue with the cookie recipe

wine cookies made with white wine and formed into rings

wine cookies made with white wine and formed into rings

 

Wine cookies made with red wine and made into a snail

Wine cookies made with red wine and made into a snails

 

Wine cookies with a twist

Wine with a twist cookie

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Italian, Recipe

Twelve Days of Christmas….COOKIES

On the First Day of Christmas Cookies

which isn’t the same as the Twelve Days  of Christmas because now is the time to plan the all important cookie baking, so the cookie days must come before Christmas.

The actual Twelve Days of Christmas are AFTER Christmas ending with Twelfth Night or Epiphany. But you knew that. And I just made up the Christmas Cookie Days. No partridges, no pear trees, not a goose or a hen, French or otherwise, a-swimming or a-laying or a-leaping or a-milking. Just cookies.

Ah…the Cookie Days of Christmas!

After the Pie Ways of the Autumn, it is time to bring in Winter with hot cocoa and cookies. Cookies also travel well, for cookie swaps and impromptu parties and any other sort of gathering.

Cookies are a great little nibbles while watching Christmas Specials on TV – Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer (from 1964)

Nobody likes a skinny Santa - he needs a few more cookies...

Nobody likes a skinny Santa – he needs a few more cookies

or White Christmas

White_Chrismas_film

from 1954. Snow, Snow, Snow – and maybe a Snowball cookie or two…

And Santa is coming to town, and it’s only polite to leave a few cookies out for him.milk-cookies-santa-11259883

Cookies aren’t the only baking for Christmas, but at the ancestral home, they were defiantly a constant.

Some, like Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies are easy and not necessarily holiday specific. And have great back-story. More on that after the holidays.

ccc recipe

Here’s the recipe right on the packet – butter makes a crispier cookie, margarine makes a bendier one, and as far as I’m concerned, nuts are optional.

Sugar cookies are also easy and adaptable. Stir N Drop Sugar Cookies are easy and if you use red and green sugars, festive. Or there’s the prepackaged route.

Nothing easier - and you can spend your artistic energies decorating

Nothing easier – and you can spend your artistic energies decorating while you get great cookie baking aroma

Gingerbread has a long history with the holiday, so that will be an upcoming story.

Stuart gingerbread molds - 17th century

Stuart gingerbread molds – 17th century English from the Gingerbread House Project blog

Oh, Joy! Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with Almonds  are a Christmas cookie.

Shortbread will count as a cookie for the holiday, as will brownies.

Then there’s a long list of Italian cookies…..

some of which are known as  ‘Italian Cookies‘……Italian cookieswhich go by various aliases like Charmella or Sharmella or Jemellos’s or Anise Cookies…..or as my Uncle Johnny would sometimes call them – Snowballs. 

 As for other Italian cookies….there are Susemielle (made with honey – that’s the mielle) which are also known as S-Cookies – but so are so many others…..

Susamielli Napolentani - close enough....

Susamielli Napolentani – close enough….

and there are also Wine CookiesBiscott di Vino, which are cookies made with wine, not necessarily cookies to go with wine…..and little chocolate cookies with nuts and raisins inside…

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies….assorted Cornmeal Cookies.…..

The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies are only suggestions. Mere suggestions. No Pressure.

Take a deep breath and ponder – Why isn’t there  a “It’s Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas” song?

Bake on.

 

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Filed under Christmas, Holiday, Recipe