Monday, December 15, 2014

Why We Bake

With the Cookie Bake-off in my rear view mirror I still had more baking to do for the tins that we give as gifts, so I sifted through books and recipes to see what else all of that butter could be used for. In the introduction to The Gourmet Cookie Book that I got from Stephanie a few years ago I came across this:
     "Buy a cookie, and it's just a bite of sugar, something sweet to get you through the day. Bake a cookie, on the other hand, and you send an instant message from the moment you measure out the flour. Long before they're done, the cookies become a promise, their endlessly soothing scent offering both reassurance and solace. And even the tiniest bite is powerful, bringing with it the flavour of home. For anyone who is comfortable in a kitchen, a warm cookie is the easiest way to say I love you.
     Somewhere in the back of our minds, we all know this. It is the reason we bake cookies at Christmas, why we exchange them as gifts."

How great is that? As you may have guessed, I love  Christmas baking and this just seemed to explain everything perfectly. It also inspired me to take another look through the book and I found two new recipes to try.

These little Walnut Acorns were fun to try but I didn't assemble them using the 'two-spoon' method prescribed - just couldn't figure it out - so I shaped ovals instead.

And these Mocha Cookies - they don't look like much but they are D.I.V.I.N.E.!!! Soooo rich, but what a treat. They are about twice as large as I usually make my cookies but I couldn't get them any smaller.

My faves like Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread, Pecan Chocolate Shortbread and White Chocolate Gingerbread made the list. And then there were these Cherry Pecan Cookies that Linda pinned. The lure of almond and cream cheese was too much to resist. I haven't used Maraschino cherries in years but this was a good excuse to - they reminded me of a yummy cherry loaf that mom used to make.

Last year I missed making my Grand Marnier Glazed Pain D'Epice so they were at the top of my list. Actually, they were responsible for the browsing through my Gourmet cookie cookbook in the first place.

And these little Christmas Trees filled with raspberry jam have been AWOL for a Christmas or two, so they are back in the rotation.

It was another weekend of baking and a little bit of testing by The Official Cookie Tester; the fragrance of almonds, butter and chocolate still hang in the air, but I think I might now be done. So how about you - are you a baker?...M


Chantal said...

Oh that looks so good Marie! Thanks for sharing the recipes too. I will bake some of that for sure as I am as much a baker as I am a cook! I have a sweet tooth and so do the boys (not so much the hubby unless it's pie :)) I sometimes "complains" about having to bake again but I know I will miss it so much once the boys are gone. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marie; The secret ingredient is love. That's why homemade tastes so much better! I love those little acorn cookies and look forward to tasting a few of these when I come for a Christmas visit. xo Jane