Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Countdown to Turkey

I am so excited to go home for Thanksgiving but I'm not excited to pack our bags, then wake up at 2:30 am to get to the airport for our early morning flight. As I walked home from work I started making a mental list of all the packing we have to do, and all the things that we can't forget to bring, and by the time I unlocked my door, I had a headache. So I reached for my instant cure, a rich dark espresso and a fresh baked cookie.
As I sipped my coffee I realized that, wow, my holiday weekend has officially started! And the anxiety of packing and traveling melted away. Then came the excitement.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have no patience, so I expect the next 24 hours until Thanksgiving dinner will feel like years, but I just keep reminding myself that soon we will get to see my parents and brothers and best friends. And tomorrow night, we'll all be munching on the cookies that I baked last night.

So before packing anything else, I packed up the cookies. Nothing else really matters anyway.

Chocolate Sparkle Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The recipe calls for sanding sugar, but I used regular sugar, which is slightly finer and worked just as well.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup ( 2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
sanding sugar for dusting

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, coffee powder and salt into a bowl

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Reduce speed and gradually add flour mixture; beat to combine. Form dough into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

3. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll each ball in sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. bake until set, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Rum Raisin Shortbread
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Remember those butter cookie assortments that used to come in those tin cans. My favorites were always the round cookies with the little raisin bits in them. Last night, when I munched on one of these I realized that is exactly what these taste like. Only better.

1/2 cup dark rum
1 cup currants
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon course salt

1. Combine rum and currants in an airtight container; let sit at room temp overnight. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the rum.

2.Put butter, confectioners sugar and zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and reserved rum. Beat well, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, coconut and salt. Beat for three minutes. Stir in currants by hand. Divide dough in half and form each half into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; wrap in parchment, and refrigerate for 1 hour ( or up to 3 days).

3. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Remove dough from parchment paper; slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place on parchment lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week.


  1. Your cookies sound and look great but I love most of all the excitement you exude at the thought of seeing family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Your cookies sound delicious! Thanks for sharing :)