December 11, 2009

Desperate times, desperate measures: NaCoBakMo, Day 14.

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:58 pm by the Green-Eyed Siren

Day 14, the halfway point in my cookie-baking marathon. The cookies are coming close to breaking me.

My already bizarre sleep schedule has moved into the realm of insanity and my mind is going right along with it. Everything is up in the air. Also, everything I type has typos, which is officially Not Like Me at All. And I’ve been doing the long blink every five words or so here for about the last half hour.

Mr. Unfocused has been away, so I’ve been in single parent mode during a week that included swimming lessons for the kids on Monday night, choir rehearsal for me on Tuesday night (thanks, mom, for watching the kids, much appreciated), a kid home sick on Wednesday followed by the church Lucia dinner on Wednesday night, and Unfocused Girl’s school holiday concert last night. This is also the week when I reached my limit in the “how long can I go without freaking out about getting the Christmas shopping done” game, so some time had to be devoted to that issue. Add in a huge explosion in the tiny, tiny freelance project I do along with some extra stuff for a volunteer project I’m working on, and you have disaster. Almost all of my cookie activities this week have not begun until 10 p.m.; last night I didn’t start my mixer until around 11:15 which meant the last sheet of cookies came out of the oven around 1:15 a.m. I’m well aware that I was cutting it pretty close on the whole one cookie per day thing, but I finally decided that if I wasn’t in bed yet it still counted.

It is now 11:15 the next night, Friday night, and I have finished my cookies for the day (Day 15), but I’m way behind on blog posts. My last post was about Day 12, which means that as of now I’ve skipped Day 13 altogether. I have a lot to say about Day 13, and I prefer to do so in a moment of far greater coherence than I currently possess. I’m just going to have to write Day 13 tomorrow morning, I guess, and then move on to a very quick roundup of Day 15, which has an absolute superstar of a cookie to its credit. As for tonight, I know I need to just get something posted so y’all know I’m still alive, rendering it unnecessary to send out a search party to find me unconscious under a giant sack of Costco flour.

The cookie I turned to as a not-so-difficult choice for a difficult day turned out to be technically easy but still moderately time consuming to make. I was foolish (perhaps arrogant, even) to think I could just knock it out. But if you’re willing to put in a little time it’s a charmer. It hails from the Chicago Tribune annual cookie feature, although from a different year than Day 11’s chocolate shots. It’s really nice, a great little cookie with a lot of personality.

OK, I just had to pick up my head from the counter. Really must get some sleep. Mr. Unfocused is coming in on the redeye tonight and will probably be even more wrecked than I am, so I’ll need to be on my toes with the kids. You know what would be awesome? A playdate. At someone else’s house.

Jelly Thumbprints (Hussarn grapsen)

2 c butter, softened
6 egg yolks, room temperature
1 c sugar
4 c flour
zest of one lemon
1/4 t salt
3 T jelly

Preheat oven to 350º.

Combine butter, egg yolks, and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Reduce speed to low; slowly beat in flour, lemon zest and salt just until blended.

Roll scant teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, or baking sheets lined with parchment. Make indentations in balls with the smallest end of a melon baller or your finger or thumb dipped in flour, being careful not to poke through the dough.

Fill indentations with jelly. Bake until edges begin to lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from sheet to wire rack; cool 30 minutes. Yield: the newspaper says 68, but I got 84 out of each of two batches.

Note: for rolling the dough balls I used a 1/2 tablespoon measure whose bowl was very half-spherical. It gave me the perfect amount of dough and a good shape to start with. I needed to use another spoon to make sure I was getting all of the dough out, though. For the indentations I used a wine-stopper gizmo that had been a freebie with some bottle of wine we bought a while back. It, too, was just the right size and shape for the job. For the jelly I made the mistake of using strawberry jam, and the chunks of strawberry were a little overwhelming to some of the cookies. I filled the indentations with the jam using a disposable pastry bag with a small hole cut in the bottom.

NEXT: Playing catchup with memories of Day 13. Also, possibly the best cookie in this whole project for Day 15.

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3 Comments »

  1. harri3tspy said,

    This looks like a fun recipe to do with kids. Although probably not at 1 am.

  2. Beta Reader said,

    Siren, I have very much enjoyed these recent posts, and am awaiting the softening of my butter as we speak to make the thumbprint cookies. I dedicate the next quarter inch of my expanding waistline to your glory!

  3. Thanks so much, Beta Reader. I hope your thumbprints turned out great! Now if I could find someone to dedicate my expanding waistline to…


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