Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The First Batch Is The Sweetest

This will come as a huge surprise to anyone who has followed this blog through a holiday season, but I'm not feeling Christmas this year. I know, it's still early, but at this point last year I think I'd baked about four or five batches of cookies and had almost finished my shopping. This year my Christmas traditions are feeling more like chores than pleasures.

We're having a smaller holiday party this year, partially because I can't bring myself to do a crazy amount of silly prep. People will still have a good time with a simple punch, store-bought dip and three kinds of cookies rather than ten, right? Maybe it's because of the financial times we're living in: even though our family are thus far doing alright (knock on wood), it seems garish to go too far this Christmas. Or maybe I'm just the mother of two small children and I'm tired.

Anyway, I started my cookie baking today. I don't think I'm going to pour over all of my many holiday cookie magazines (or buy new ones) -- I think I'm sticking to the Martha Cookie book this year. First up to bat is the Chocolate Crackle cookies. Holy crap, these are good -- probably the most successful go I've had with this book (though, those banana bread cookies were really good too). I knew I was in for something good when I sneaked a taste of the batter -- you could have spooned the stuff into custard cups and served it for dessert on its own. Baked up these are cakey and really really chocolaty, tasting more like really airy brownies than anything. Seriously good. And with the icing sugar, they almost pass as Christmas cookies.

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