Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Cookie Day! Let's Mix It Up!

...Because I need some craziness in my life today. Not! What I need is C O O K I E S !

It's been a whirlwind around here for the past week. I don't know if I even got a chance to tell you that Marion was in the hospital for three days. Thank goodness, with much nudging from both me and Marion, she was able to come home for Thanksgiving as long as we both promised to follow strict orders! We did, we are:) We had company over the weekend too. Actually, we were suppose to have a houseful but alas, only Marion's grandson, his wife and Marion's great grandson, Michael "graced" us with their company. (note to readers, call loved one, NOW!)

Marion gave Michael his great grandfather's Harmonica:)

At first I was disappointed for Marion because she was so looking forward to having more of her family visit. As the days went by, they left on Monday, I think secretly Marion was glad there weren't as many "relatives" as expected. I was okay with it albeit, cooking would have been a heck of a lot easier for four and a half as opposed to cooking a 22 pound turkey and three platters of lasagna not to mention all of the other necessities:)

We are now back on schedule and while you are reading this post, more than likely, Marion and I are at the doctor's office hoping for a clean bill of health. (well as clean as can be possible for a woman approaching 94 that is:)

Last year for National Cookie Day, I delved into the goodness of Cut-Out Cookies. This year I thought it might be fun to Jumble around a bit. After all, there are oh so many cookie varieties to explore!

Before we "munch," how 'bout some Cookie Trivia?

By most accounts, the innovation behind the "invention" of the cookie, is attributed to Dutch bakers. In 1796, the first American cookbook to call a small, crisp sweet a "cooky" was written by Amelia Simmons. In American Cookery, Simmons also included a recipe called "Another Christmas Cookey" If you would like to learn more about The Original Christmas Cookie, I whole heartily suggest you stop over at Sarah's Four Pounds of Flour. Not only does she dig into the history of how the Original Christmas Cookie was baked before Christmas was "uniformly" celebrated, she also has adapted the recipe for modern kitchens. (don't be gone too long though, we have cookies to devour:)

Don't these Quilt Block Cookies look festive? And you thought Oreos were the only sandwich cookies worth giving a second glance:)

Here's the recipe from the Biggest Book of Cookies from the folks at Better Homes and Gardens. (© 2003)

Quilt Block Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom OR 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 recipe Cherry Filling
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing
1. In a medium mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar, soda, and cinnamon (cardamom). Beat in egg, honey, and vanilla. Beat in all-purpose flour. Stir in whole wheat flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until easy to handle. Meanwhile prepare Cherry Filling.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time into a 13x11-inch rectangle. Using a fluted pastry wheel (or sharp knife dipped in flour), trim to a 12-1/2 X 10-inch rectangle. Cut into twenty 2 1/2-inch squares. Place half of the squares 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon of the Cherry Filling over center of each square. Using a 1-inch cutter, cut out and remove a shape from center of each of the remaining squares. Place a square with a cutout on top of each filled square; press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.
3. Bake in a 375° oven 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Pipe with Powdered Sugar Icing.

Cherry Filling: In a small heavy saucepan combine 1 cup dried cherries, 1/2 cup cherry-blend drink or apple juice, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Bring just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until cherries are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons sugar. Cool slightly. Transfer mixture to a food processor bowl and process until a paste forms. Cool completely.

Powdered Sugar Icing: Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 vanilla, and enough milk (2 to 4 teaspoons) to make piping consistency. Using a decorator bag pipe lines around edges of each cookie to resemble quilt stitches. Makes 24 Sandwich Cookies

It just wouldn't be a Cookie Day post without some Pillsbury goodness. There isn't a date on this little Pillsbury Butter Cookie Booklet but, there is a coupon in the back for an offer for the Best of the Bake-off Cookbook which expired in March of 1961!

Please don't ask me to choose just one of these Butter Cookie recipes. Although, those Old Fashioned Pepparkakor sound intriguingly gingery!

Lucky Star cookies seem more than appropriate on this occasion. I'm sure Marion will be getting a clean bill of health today and I may just need to celebrate with these:)

Or these:) (from Better Homes)

Well, it's off to the doctor we go. When I come back later, I will be catching up on all your delicious blogs. If you have a favorite cookie recipe you would like to share for Cookie Day, be sure and include your link in the comment section or in the "nourishment" section which I still haven't figured out how to use:)

Thank you all for your Thanksgiving wishes. I must say, I sure do have so much to be thankful for and good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze, today will be another cherry on the cake. (Michele is still doing terrific too:)

Quick Update: Marion did great at the doctor today. He said the blockage in her intestines has completely dissolved and she can go back to her normal eating and food shopping:) Thank you all for your well wishes. Louise

More Cookies...
Giada de Laurentis Chocolate Citrus Biscotti @Gloria's Canela Kitchen
Alfajores (Caramel Sandwich Cookies)
Double Orange Dark Chocolate Cookies @ Kitchen Riffs