Friday, November 25, 2005

Time for a cookie swap!

Jennifer, our resident domestic goddess, and Alberto, the brain trust behind IMBB, have combined the efforts of Sugar High Friday and Is My Blog Burning this month with their version of an old fashioned cookie swap!

I love cookie swaps! It is always a great way of seeing how different people create. You mix together some flour, butter, sugar, eggs and a few other minor ingredients and come up with an amazing array of sweet morsels of indulgence. So many varieties, so much creativity!

I chose to share two of the family favorites that grace our table every year. These two are usually combined with traditional cut out cookies and chocolate chip versions, and a few savories. However, it is not a celebration without these cookies for the family. My daughters have called from college, on different occasions, to get the recipes and duplicate them for friends and loved ones far away.

Little Gems, Log Jams

We begin with my favorite cookie book: Sweet Miniatures. Flo Braker has been my inspiration since the early 1980s. Her book is available here or you could probably find it at Amazon. It is a simple butter cookie recipe that goes together in a snap. I use it as the base for both cookies. Little Gems and Log Jams. Little Gems are the cookie found in Flo's book. In Little Gems the pecans hide a treasure unknown until it is eaten. Log Jams on the other hand are simply made by rolling the dough into a log; pressing a well into the center; and then filling the well with your favorite jam. We always use seedless raspberry jam. Once it is baked you drizzle a lemon glaze over it and let it set up, then consume with abandon.

We choose bite sized treats for the holidays for two reasons. First, it allows you to try several flavors and varieties without over indulging. The second reason is my favorite: If you're not worried about over-indulging, now one really notices how many you really ate!