Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Cookies!

Today I finally got started on my Christmas cookie baking.  Every year, with the help of my sister, I like to bake a huge assortment of cookies.  It’s nice to give them away as little presents, bring them to parties and have them on hand for when company stops by, which can be often during this time of year J 
We always make anise twist cookies, that we call zia’s cookies, shortbread, thumbprints, biscotti and chocolate chip cookies.  Not the standard chocolate chip cookie but white chocolate, cranberry and pecan ones….mmmmmmm. 
This year I decided to buy a madeleine pan and add them to the list, as well as gingerbread.  I’m dying  to use my new copper cutters I bought from Williams Sonoma and a few other new cutters that my darling and thoughtful bf gave me a couple days ago.
Today I  only got through a batch of almond, orange and dark chocolate biscotti, vanilla madeleine and about 3 dozen of zia’s cookies.

Anise extract-the key ingredient for zia's cookies

the finished cookies

ready for the oven

                                                        Biscotti, going in the oven for the second baking                                                               

my new Madeleine pan and the finished cookies

Zia’s cookies are definitely a favourite for everyone in my family.  For as long as I can remember my aunt would make batches and batches of these cookies for any kind of special occasion or get together.  Sometimes she would come over and spend a whole afternoon making dozens and dozens of them for my mother so we could keep a reserve in the freezer and take them out as needed.  No one else could make them, not the way she did. I deeply regret I was never able to learn from her myself or that she is no longer here to make them.  During this time of year I think about her the most and when I make them I think of her and feel like she is right there with me in the kitchen.  

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