Girls, you just cheered up my day! I thank God for both of you!!
Before the girls came, I had whipped up some cookies and put them in the freezer to chill, and so while they were still here, we made a batch, but shocker, shocker - I only took a few pics until after they left. Yes, it's because we were too covered in flour. :)
So, here's the Cookie post! I'm going to type up the recipe for below, because these were 5 star beauties! I took a shortbread cookie recipe and put in some maple syrup for flavoring, because really, I wanted some fall reminders, as well as Christmas fun. :)
Did you know that the name raccoon was derived by the early settlers from the Algonquin Indians, namely Chief Powhatan and his daughter Pocahontas who called it a "ahrah-koon-em" or "Aroughcoune", meaning "the one who scrubs with its hands"? Yes. It's true. And no, I did not have to look that up on Wiki to tell you, but yes, I did have to look up the spelling.
However. So ... I alternated between total hysterical laughter and wondering if I should put this up, but since it was taken in total innocence and still is totally innocent and because they have turned out to be two of my new favorite pictures because they are soooo cute and such good shots, I am blogging them. I am not pregnant. These are not baby belly pics, although, seriously, how CUTE would that be as a baby pic? Really. I shouldn't have even blogged the idea, and kept it for myself, but they are too cute not to share. Okay. So here they are.
AAH! I love this picture. :) Hahahaha....going to keep laughing when I see it, though. *shakes head* Ok, ok - so the caption I was thinking as I took it was -
See? Totally fun and so not thinking like what it might look like. Haha. Forgive me? ;)
I :heart: sweet little doagie Mopsie.
She :heart's: cookies.
And me, and NO, not in that order!
How dare you .... haha.
Stop feeling sorry for her. She had some.
.... is this too much? Tell me now .... (laughing)
Last but not least, Momma's trusty and faintly rusty sifter.
I do believe we are buying her a new one for Christmas. :)
Viola! The lovely and charming result of, actually, not that much work!
They were worth it. And the cookies were worth making! It was a sweet time of fellowship, a sweet time of decorating, a sweet time of singing, a sweet time for eating, and a sweet memory, thank the Lord, and thanks, darling friends! Twas a great way to end November '09.
And now ... The recipe! I got the original recipe from Martha Stewart.com, you can see it here. It was written up for Scottie-dog-shaped cookies, but I wanted fall leaves. So fall leaves I made. And I wanted fall leaves that tasted like maple syrup, so fall leaves that tasted like maple syrup I made. Here's the recipe, with my alterations to it - it gets 5 stars from me!
Maple Shortbread Cookies -
~ 2 cups all purpose flour
~ 3/4 tsp. salt
~ 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp (I used salted)
~ 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
~ 1 rounded tsp. vanilla extract
~ 2 1/2 tsp. of pure maple syrup or more, depending how rogue and how maple-y you want them (real stuff, no Aunt Jemima's now!)
1. Sift flour and salt, set aside.
2. Whip butter in blender, about 3 minutes or until light colored and fluffy, add confectioners sugar and cream again, for about 2 mins., add vanilla and maple syrup.
3. Add flour mix, combine on low speed until flour is mixed in and dough sticks together.
4. Separate the dough into 2 portions, and wrap each half in plastic wrap, making sure that no part is open to the air, flattening them into round discs(if you are like me, they will be rounded squares, who cares!), and chilling them an hour in the freezer.
5. Take dough out about 15 mins. before you are ready to work with it. Sprinkle flour on the counter, unwrap frozen dough, sprinkle tiny amount of flour on top. Leave it. Walk away. Do not touch, do not eat. Do not slap against counter to watch it break. Trust me.
6. After 15 mins, come back and it should give under firm pressure from your index finger, if it doesn't, give it a bit more time. Take your rolling pin, and slowly and firmly (but not TOO hard, remember this is Shortbread, delicate and crumbly) roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness (mine was about 3/8ths, but who was measuring? hahaha), cut it out with cookie cutters (dipped in flour first), and scoop up with a serving spatula (to keep from them breaking on you) upon Stoneware, or parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 15 mins.
7. Remove carefully with spatula onto parchment paper or a wire rack to cool, or like I did, paper on top of the wire rack. EAT. Enjoy. Relish with wild abandon. Put in mouth, do not chew, and feel it melt into maple wonder. Oh my word. They are sooo good.
8. Repeat with second disc. Warning: if you plan to do both discs one after the other, while you are cutting out cookies from the first disc, you NEED to be thawing out the second one. But don't get them out at the same time, because with shortbread you want it to be firm and cold when it goes in the oven. That's why you only roll out the dough twice, or at the most, three times, cutting your edges as close as you can (no pun intended, haha), because it will warm and soften too much. And that's also why you eat the last little scraps. Because they are not worth baking. But they are SO worth eating.
If you have any huge amounts of questions, you can e-mail me. I doubt you will, though. They are really very easy, and made about 4 dozen little cookies, tea sized, but would make about 20 normal sized cookies? I'm guessing. We have about 1 1/2 dozen here, because, ahem. Someone ate some. :)
Long post, eh? Sweet times, sweet times. Thanks for readin', ya'll.
With love for sweet times,
for the Savior who loves me with wild abandon,
Whom I need more than the air I breath,
and in Whom I rest -
~ Jean Marie
A quote this morning from a dear friend set my heart to rest in the Lord -
"Through the deepest possible pain GOD IS ENOUGH. God is enough. He is good. He will take care of us. He will satisfy us. He will get us through this. He is our treasure - 'Whom have I in heaven but you? And on earth there is nothing that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever' .... God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him - in the midst of loss, not prosperity" ~ John Piper