Friday, November 25, 2011

I've Washed My Cookie Jar, and Vow to Keep It Full

I have decided to devote time this month to baking cookies.  It 's almost hard for me to say.  I am not a baker of cakes and cookies.  It is fussy work, all that measuring and such.  It's not that I'm not a good baker, I just avoid doing it.  I have a conventional stove, much to my distress as I THOUGHT it was convection (at least that's what the wretched salesman told us before we bought the dang thing and hauled it all the way home).  That means, it only bakes well right on the center rack, so it takes a coons age to bake a batch of cookies.  Oh, that and I usually burn myself handling cookie racks.
I think if you don't stretch and grow past your comfort zone, you miss out on so much in life that is good. You would have never discovered certain things just staying in your safe way of living.  Maybe I am missing out on something by avoiding baking cookies, as it seems to be a popular thing to do.  Also, my daycare bunch is getting a little older, and they are starting to notice that Nanny Tina never has any goodies like that.  My Nilla Wafers, and graham crackers are getting old for them.  
Since I always make my own gifts at Christmas time, I have decided this year to have that be cookies.  I don't eat cookies, I'm diabetic, but I sure do appreciate the plates of cookies and fudge etc...that friends give our family.  It is such a commitment in time to bake those different varieties of cookies, and hey, it takes the pressure off of me!  I will be baking and freezing to keep them fresh until time to assemble my gift platters. 
I have rehomed all the dried fruits that have been living in my saddle shaped cookie jar, and have it washed and ready for use. This cookie jar was the one my mother used as I was growing up. I think my auntie Letha had one just like it as well.  I swear even when it's clean it still smells like Winter's Gingersnaps, and Snickerdoodles (my personal favorite as a child). The horn was broken off and glued back on years ago, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
My dear sister Nancy used to let me help her bake, and I have treasured memories of standing on a chair, looking at the cool pictures in the Betty Crocker Cookie Book, and helping her make cookies to fill that old cookie jar. She has passed on, but I still have those memories, and my childhood cookie jar to remind me how wonderful and sweet she was.
So I invite you to join in my quest for the true meaning of baking!  I'm kind of easing into this, and I have posted my Snowflake recipe before, but I started my Christmas baking with this recipe.  It is kind of "fake baking", in that it is made from a mix, and only has a few ingredients and none of them really need measured (my kind of cooking for sure!).  My mother gave me a new recipe for a similar recipe, so I'll post it here also.  It only has three ingredients.  :o)

Lemon Snowflakes

1 lemon cake mix (best without pudding in it)
1 egg
2 1/2 C whipped cream or cool whip
some powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350*F, and spray cookie sheets with butter cooking spray. 
Combine the first three ingredients and drop by spoonfuls into some powdered sugar.  After coating with powdered sugar, place on greased cookie sheets.  I can fit a dozen on each of my airbake sheets.  Bake until slightly browned.  About 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

I am so out the door to buy some spice cake and pumpkin to try these today! Thanks Mom!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Spice Cake Mix
Canned pumpkin (smaller size can make sure it's not pie filling but just plain pumpkin)

Preheat oven to 350*F, and spray cookie sheets with butter spray.  Mix all ingredients, and drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool on racks. 

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