… into the home stretch … here comes [your horse name here] … and other racing metaphors.
I can’t remember exactly how many kinds I’ve got done, and I’m way behind on pictures, but the two most time consuming kinds, the baby ruggelach, or nukhorns, and the spoon cookies (and I guess they’re called Lusikkaleivat in Finland) were done the beginning of this week.
Let’s see if I can remember where I’m at:
On Saturday morning I got up and made the nukhorn dough, and filling. Belana & Mark were leaving to go to Chicago for the opera, and probably because of being embroiled in nukhorn dough, I forgot to give her the bus ticket I’d gotten for her for the return trip – but that was the only casualty. They just bought her a ticket at the bus on Sunday afternoon.
I went out and ran errands, we didn’t even have milk – including getting a wreath. I came home and had a really late breakfast at well past noon, and did a little work. I made the almond-hazelnut biscotti, very nice this year, and finally started rolling out the ruggelach at about 4:30. I was finished including setting out butter to soften for the next day including clean up, by 9:30. I saved a cup of the caramelized sugar and nuts that oozes out of the cookies while they bake and has to be scraped off the pan before the next batch, and ate it over ice cream while watching Good Behavior. Then I made a hot toddy and watched a second episode.
Sunday I woke up to snow, the wet kind that sticks to the trees and looks pretty, but is heavy to shovel. I’d realized I didn’t have mini chocolate chips for the world peace cookies, and was afraid to use regular – might make them too hard to slice – plus I needed holiday M&M’s for spritz cookies. So off I went in the (wet) snow to Pick & Save.
Home for another late breakfast (those hashbrowns, made from leftover baked potato, were delicious, BTW), and the main cookie production was the logs of slice & bakes, and the browned butter dough for the spoon cookies. I decided NOT to do these, which would been a new kind, and made extra gember koekjes instead.
I didn’t have the strength to bake into the night Sunday – I’d had to shovel twice. Monday morning I had to stay home for the cats’ yearly visit from the house call vet, which is always at cookie season, and to wait for the electrician (isn’t that Firesign Theater?). We got the bathroom fans rebuilt and new timer switches installed Friday, and I think we were his last job of the day – he left his tool bucket, and the upstairs switch promptly stopped working. But that gave me time to bake and sandwich the spoon cookies. Monday night I sliced and baked the gember koekjes and pistachio cranberry icebox cookies. I don’t really like the latter again this year – I think the trick is to make the dough logs really small in diameter.
Tuesday morning I baked the world peace cookies and mixed up the dough for ginger creams. After work I took the bus to the library and walked home in the dark, trying to be alert for ice.
Tuesday night I made the chocolate toffee bars, and vanilla and chocolate spritz. I tried a new thing with the bars – it’s always heart-breaking when they delaminate – the chocolate topping separates from the crust. I’ve tried under-baking and over-baking the crust, to no avail. This year I used chopped milk chocolate from a baking bar, on the theory that it would melt better than chocolate chips. I cut up the bars and Wednesday morning and no delaminating, so happiness.
I also made a tray of cookies to take to class.
On Wednesday night I baked and frosted the ginger creams and made the stripey mint brownies. Pictures coming Friday morning. Thursday night the plan is bars – apricot windows, ruggelach bars, and maybe pecan bars – those might wait till morning.
The ruggelach bars I think are another “fooled by Martha” again – the nature of Martha Stewart recipes where there is a critical instruction left out or made wonky – so no one can get the recipe to come out right, except Martha. I made notes for next year – the edges are delicious, the middles doughy. They’ll probably be someone’s favorite cookie.