“Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.”
Cookies are a delight all year ‘round, but when the mercury drops and we bundle up in our warmest layers, they definitely take on a cozier feeling. I’m not sure why that is, but perhaps it’s the lovely glow and heat from the oven, the scents that waft around, tantalizing for the ¾ to one hour that the dough is in the oven, and the sheer joy it brings to tummies that elevates this simple dessert to divine status. Also, there’s nothing quite like a cookie with a cup of tea or hot cocoa when one is feeling a bit down.
For me, the ultimate cold-weather cookie is the shortbread. Dating back to 16th century Scotland, (imagine all the winters this cookie has seen!) its charm lies in the simplicity of the recipe —purists and Walker’s insist on 4 ingredients only—flour, butter, sugar, salt… and just how amazingly melt-in-your-mouth of a cookie these ingredients can turn out!
You may choose whichever recipe you like, but here is a simple and easy one by Jessica Strand via BonAppetit.com and one by Martha Stewart with the cute idea of cutting the cookies into miniature Scottish terriers –a lovely nod to its roots.
Now, one of the best parts about making cookies (the eating part’s a given), is getting to decorate them –a finishing touch that should not be skimped on! Your tummy may not tell the difference, but your eyes and tongue will! Take inspiration from nature: snow, stars, icicles, trees, woodland creatures, etc. And if you are especially adventurous, you can even decorate the cookies to match with your décor… what fun! With that said, what better place to find inspiration for dolling up your dough than Pinterest?
Dusting cookies with icing sugar is probably the oldest, easiest and best trick in the book. More sweetness? Yes, please! If only snow tasted this good…
Winter stars are supposedly extra special for making wishes on. While there’s no scientific evidence to prove or disprove this, gastronomical evidence indicates this particular plateful of celestial cookies will not last…
These delicately frosted cookies garnished with lavender bits are perfect for nature lovers!
These rosy-hued biscuits would be perfect for a pink house/apartment/loft, how fun!
There’s no need to rely solely on icing sugar or cookie cutters! Here are some ideas that elevate baking into the highest art form:
Cut-out cookies are gorgeous to look at! Here, we have stained glass and intricately cut snowflakes.
Use cookie stamps – these come in an assortment of lovely images, or sweet messages…
Personalized cookies are a great idea for gift-giving as well!
Whatever you concoct in your kitchen, we hope this winter is a sweet and fabulous one!
Credits, Sources & References:
Pecan, Vanilla Bean & Rum shortbread cookies: http://www.cannellevanille.com/gluten-free/wishing-you-peace/
Star-shaped shortbread cookies: http://www.westernstarbutter.com.au/recipes/show/4/1/delicious-shortbread/
Kim Muncey’s ‘Iced Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies’: http://montcarte.ca/2009/12/01/iced-lavendar-lemon-shortbread-cookies/ (recipe via WineImbiber.com)
Peppermint shortbread cookies: http://www.etsy.com/listing/85773746/peppermint-shortbread-cookies-1-dozen
Stained glass & cut-out snowflake cookies: http://www.midwestliving.com/food/holiday/how-to-decorate-dazzling-cookies/page/3/0 & http://www.midwestliving.com/food/holiday/how-to-decorate-dazzling-cookies/page/8/0
Happy Holidays cookies: http://media-cache-ec5.pinterest.com/upload/205336064230005590_o1fT2Ltz_b.jpg
Sugar cookies: http://www.epicureselections.com/en/recipe/368/sugar-cookies