25 Days … Day 21

Busy, busy, busy.  That’s me.  I’m like a lil blonde tornado. 

I’m decorating the tree, making cookies (again, from scratch), dusting, vacuuming and arranging furniture & decor and removing the Christmas mess in the living room, watching any Christmas movie that’s playing, taking the odd computer break.  This is one of those.

You’ll be glad to know the tree continues to stand upright.  I know you’ll sleep better tonight having read that.

Tonight, for the first time in years, I made Carol and Brenda’s Award Winning Almond Cookies*. I used a different kind of almond and they have a different taste.  Also, it’s possible that the baking powder is a little old and has lost it’s potency. 

Brenda and I used to bake these every year when I lived in Arizona.  We would get together at one of our apartments the day after Thanksgiving and play Christmas albums (those large, black things) and sing along with Mitch, Andy and the Muppets, and bake all the live-long day.  We wouldn’t even stop to make lunch, we’d order a pizza to be delivered and eat as we baked.  I’m sure wine was consumed as well.  It was a rip-roarin’ way to start Christmas.  And the COOKIES!  We’d make spritz and chocolate chips, sometimes we’d make Brazilian coffee cookies, and we’d make almond cookies. 

The recipe came from a page torn from a magazine by my Aunt Flossie, who was the family baker.  I inherited her spritz gun.  (I love it!).  The recipe called for an almond on the top and almond extract in the dough.  One year, I bought some almonds, shelled them, sat on the floor and chopped them into reeeeeeeallllly small pieces (not an almond dust, but not real pieces you’d pick up to eat.)   This change to the recipe makes them my signature cookie, but one which I gladly shared with Brenda on those happy, song filled days.  The only problem is that she preferred them fat and chewy and I wanted them thin and crispy.  I guess it’s a good thing we each made a batch together!

I haven’t made them for a few years, and tonight’s batch didn’t come out quite as I’d remembered them. Maybe they’ll be better tomorrow.

I also made some of those peanut butter things with the chocolate kisses in the center.   You know the ones.  Instead of unwrapping all the kisses beforehand, I did them cookie-sheet by cookie-sheet.  You’re supposed to put the kiss in the center immediately upon removing them from the oven.  For this reason, you should unwrap the kisses before they come out of the oven.  There’s less frantic-icity that way.

Well, it’s 1:00 AM and I just can’t stand any more.  But I see things starting to come together.  Who knows.. maybe 3 more days is enough… we’ll see.

We never actually won an award, but we had decided to enter them in the Arizona State Fair the year I decided to move back East, so they remained un-judged by actual judges.  But we always considered them our finest work and therefore the name.

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