In the kitchen: Holiday cookies

Oh Martha. You evil evil woman. You and your cookie recipes have seduced me to the dark side again.

Getting ready for Christmas involves baking. But unlike years past Mom did not want us to go nuts or to make to many varieties. So I opened the Martha mag and waved it under her nose.

Martha turned out to make a stronger case for cookies than my old “It’s tradition!” so I was allowed to make her Lemon Poppyseed Crisps- using, of course, real lemon juice and zest. But it was not enough: I was looking for a challenge. So I attempted her Icebox Cookies. These are layered with cornmeal dough and cherry filling- cherry jam and dried cherries, which I trotted all over hell and gone to find.

The “icebox” bit comes in when you put the dough in the freezer to firm up. Then again after you layer it with the cherry filling.

Mmm… good for Christmas. Or anytime you have a few hours to kill in your kitchen.

I also tried a recipe from this cool site I found. All the recipes are posted by actual people and you can comment on them. I made Italian Wine cookies- basically flour, vegetable oil and wine with a little sugar for flavoring.

The wine makes the dough poof up and turns it Barney-colored. They turned out to be good with tea- not too sweet and very very purple.

But worth a try anyway- making the dough snakes into rings and then rolling them in sugar felt like something I used to do in art class and the color just reinforced it.

Martha’s sinfully delicious, but simplicity can rock in its own way.

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