Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas cookies

This year I’ve been seriously possessed by the holiday spirit, and like a Santa Claus, I’ve been all jolly, pretty much since Thanksgiving. There’s been impromptu caroling, some serious Christmas humming, and back-to-back-to-back sessions of “All I want for Christmas is you”-ing. I don’t think there’s a stop to my holiday madness. Of course, we all benefit from me being in a good mood, so maybe, and just maybe, this is God’s gift to the world this Christmas.

Not wanting to corrupt this nice feeling, I decided that this Christmas wouldn’t be about buying gifts. Instead, I’ll gift simple little things, most of which I’ve made myself. I’m not a particularly crafty guy, so I turned to consumable gifts, mostly cookies. I’m not an experienced cookie baker, but it I didn’t care. I’m persistent and I’m not afraid of a challenge.

Coconut macaroons
I started with coconut macaroons, the highest taste-to-work ratio of all the treats I could think of. The besitos de coco, or (little coconut kisses – as they are known there) can be found everywhere in Puerto Rico. Still, most people don’t even try making these at home ; it would be good to send home something familiar, but with all the love and specialness from the homemade touch. I followed a recipe I found at allrecipes.com, and boy, was I glad; they turned out delicious. I did have to add about 5 more minutes to their recommended baking time, but they were glorious.

Raspberry and Mango thumbprint cookies
As far as I know, Thumbprints and Mexican wedding cookies share two names back home. Yes, two names shared by the two cookies: polvorones  and mantecaditos (dusty and lardy). I followed the recipe from the ‘90s cookbook Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen to the T, except for two things. I did not use cocoa, nor the chocolate. They turned out perfect! The recipe can also be found online at allrecipes.com.

Linzer cookies
To say that I made these cookies would be a total lie. The BF and one of our dear friends did all the hard work. I just added the powder sugar. The recipe “we” followed is from the now defunct Gourmet magazine, but it can be found at Epicurious.com. “Our version” was the same, except that we added chocolate to the raspberry filling (and they were so much better for it). The secret to these cookies is the ground hazelnuts used in the dough. They turned out so, so good!

With nothing else to say, I wish you all a merry, merry Christmas!

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