It's really coming! Christmas will be here (and gone again) before this time next week. I'll take this as a reminder to savor every last moment of it. I will also be savoring every last, delicious cookie!
Late last week, Grady was in need of some basic gifts for his co-workers and so I decided that a day of baking was in order. Above are your classic chocolate chip cookies.
Well, they are actually called "Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies" by America's Test Kitchen, the recipe for which can be found here. I spent at least 30 minutes looking for what I thought might be the best recipe and according to many people posting on TasteSpotting, the New York Times recipe is actually the best ... but it requires a 24 hour refrigeration before baking and I didn't have that kind of time. The recipe I chose seemed to be a good runner-up among these food bloggers.
But that's not all by way of cookie making!
A full 50% of my heritage is Norwegian - a fact I am proud of and one that my family acknowledges more than our other 50% (which happens to be German and Irish). This is likely because my maternal grandparents are both 1st generation Americans and while their spoken Norwegian is a bit rusty by now, they are still very proud to be from that great land. This is a fact that my family celebrates mostly at Christmas when we eat boiled cod and rice pudding (something that I'm sure will show up here later).
We also enjoy these simple cookies called krumkake.
I received a special press to make these from my grandmother for our wedding but this was the first year I actually set about using it. My chocolate chip cookie batter made about 20 cookies ... my krumkake batter made about 60, yes, 60 cookies.
Traditionally, we eat the krumkake rolled with whipped cream and sometimes raspberries stuffed inside (although if we were good Norwegians I'm sure they'd be lingonberries). For Grady's workplace though, the rolled ones are more fragile and make more of a mess and I couldn't send fresh whipped cream with him - so I sent mostly flat cookies. The fun part about the flat ones is that you can appreciate the beautiful little design on them.
This is the thing about Norwegian cookies (also food, decor, and most else that is "Norwegian" with the exception of knitted garments) - they are very plain. As a child, chocolate chip cookies were always chosen before the krumkake. But now I find myself appreciating the simplicity a bit more. Just butter, sugar and eggs with a pinch of cardamom.
Tomorrow we leave for our annual journey back east so I may not be in this space for the next week or so. Perhaps a photo or two will make it to these pages over the busy days ahead though! I hope that we will all be able to drink in the fullness and joy of this time and allow our hearts to celebrate.
O come, O come, Emmanuel.
God with us.