Thursday, December 04, 2008
twd: linzer sables
hearts and trees
Here in my corner of the world, we have six inches of fluffy new snow draping everything, and all I want to do is cozy up with a deliciously long novel, an endless pot of tea, and a stack of cookies. Alas, this is also the busiest time of the semester in my little academic world. Students are melting down as they race to finish research papers, read the last novel, and beg for extra credit once they realize their dire grade situation. My colleagues and I are also buffeted by stress--all those papers to grade, all those agonizing final grade decisions, coupled with holiday parties and events, and, for me, looming travel plans.
This morning I'm looking out my east facing windows at a world of white snow, pale blue sky with a band of yellow as the sun rises, and in the far distance, a sliver of Lake Michigan that looks frozen in motion. Joni Mitchell's "River" is playing (thanks to Shari of Whisk: a Food Blog for quoting from my favorite holiday song). My coffee is hot and strong, I have 2 hours before I teach my first class, and I have finally finished baking my Linzer Sables. At the moment I'm content.
The Linzer Sables, chosen by Dennis at Living the Life, were simple to bake, despite their fancy and fussy appearance. The greatest difficulty I had was lifting the cut cookies to the pan without breaking them--the little christmas tree cut-out left some thin borders in places, and made them a bit more fragile. The house still smells nutty and warm this morning after my late night baking session. The hazelnut with nutella filling is wonderful--the nutella adds a touch of sweetness, ramps up the hazelnut flavor, and the chocolate is essential. These cookies would be just the right touch of sweetness after a meal, and are just the right pick-me-up in the middle of a paper grading session.
And now I'm inspired to begin the holiday baking, turning to old family favorites like buttery thumbprint cookies and English toffee, as well as my new classics like chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies (the ne plus ultra of sandwich cookies, from Bon Appetit magazine, December 2005). I'd love to make either a gingerbread house or a buche de Noel, a grand, intricate pastry wonder.