After several weeks of nearly non-stop, high-intensity cookie baking, I present you with the final cookie of this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Starry Night bake-a-thon. TA DA!
In the kick off post, I set the stage for this completely new collection of cookies, most of which break rather dramatically from the traditional holiday cookies of my childhood.
I really wanted to push my understanding of what makes a remarkable and thus memorable Christmas cookie. I wanted to try new and exciting flavor and texture combinations. I wanted to stretch myself as a baker. As I say in the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Starry Night kick off post, I wanted to throw tradition to the proverbial wind this holiday season.
However, I did not change my basic tenets of what makes a cookie a HOLIDAY cookie. Many cookies, perhaps MOST cookies, do not fill this bill in my estimation. Here are the tenets I presented in the Twelve Days of Christmas: Deck the Halls kick off post.
A holiday cookie must be:
- Very, very buttery
- Dry, light, tender, and/or crisp–rather than chewy or moist
- An excellent keeper (must store and/or freeze for 3+ weeks)
- Small in size, so you can serve and eat a variety
- Beautiful and festive
- Fun to make, fun to eat, fun to give
All of this year’s Christmas cookies meet these requirements. And several of them are so incredible, that I will not be able to wait until next December to bake and eat them again. The cookie you are looking at is one of those cookies.
The first words out of MauiJim’s mouth after eating this cookie and wiping the butter off his lips was, “You CANNOT share this recipe.” Then he proceeded to eat 6 more cookies, claiming they were “defective” and thus not attractive enough for the photo shoot.
In truth, he prefers the defective ones anyway. You know–the cookies that are a little too brown around the edges. He says he wishes I would overbrown all of the cookies, even though it mars their appearance. Does he think those overbrowned edges on half of the cookies happen by carelessness? Ha!
When I asked him why I shouldn’t share the recipe, he said, “WAY TOO GOOD! This one goes in the vault.” Well, I agree that these cookies are some of the best I’ve ever created, but it’s Christmas, and Christmas is about sharing your very best.
I want you to taste these amazing morsels—so light, crisp, crunchy, spicy, and redolent with fresh rosemary and cornmeal. And I can’t, unfortunately, bake them for you.
So over loud protests from the love of my life, I make you this little offering, from my heart to yours. I hope these special cookies add a little spicy sparkle to your holiday festivities.