Wednesday, December 12, 2012

English Shortbread Cookies...flying to Georgia, Virginia, and Florida! It's time for the Cookie Swap!



Oh, I've been wiggling in my chair.  I've been squirming with anticipation and upcoming delight.  I've been baking and patting, and cutting, and packaging.

Why?

Because it is time for the "Cookies for Kids' Cancer" Cookie Swap that will sweep the country this week!


I'm really terrible with secrets.   Finally we can all hop from blog to blog and let the secrets out. We can see who picked whom, what they baked, and what stories they will have to share!  





I  love sitting back and imagining cookies flying all over the country.  Cookies packaged up with pretty wrapping and tied with pretty bows all making their way from cars to planes to trucks ...all the way into the hundreds of mailboxes of food bloggers to enjoy and share.

"Cookies for Kids' Cancer" is a non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight for pediatric cancer.  Each food blogger, before cookie swapping, contributed a donation towards the efforts to battle this very worthy fight.






So, when I opened my e-mail, I peered with curiosity at my three cookie swap names.  

This entire program is hosted by two lovely blogs:  Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen

I actually didn't realize until I was writing this post that one of my cookie swap names is:  Julie, from The Little Kitchen 

Oh, Julie (whose blog I have been stalking) I hope you enjoy your Shortbread cookies!  And...Happy Blogiversary to you!






I chose shortbread cookies because they are my daughter's favorite cookie.  Every Christmas, I pick up some of those little red plaid shortbread packages and tuck them into her stocking.

And, I know exactly why she loves shortbread.  It is a story that does not exactly recount my proudest moments as a mother, but I'm sure some of you might relate to it.  After having given birth, which in my recollection lasted many days and was nothing like my pretty books described, the nurses wheeled my bed into my room, parked me there, and wheeled this new little acquisition in right next to me.

I lay there, blinking wide-eyed at this  tightly swaddled  bundle next to me.  She had a full and wild head of black hair.  I was told babies don't normally get their hair shampoo'd because they don't have any, but she had so much, she had a little salon treatment.  The nurses had even attached a little barrette in her hair there was so much of it.  

It was the middle of the night and as exhausted as my body was, I was as wide awake as the full moon out my window.  (Yes, it's true what they say about full moons...) I stared at her for what seemed like hours as she slept soundly but no sleep was going to happen for me.





I thought I might as well get up and wander the hallways. I really felt the need to announce to anyone and everyone that this baby of mine was finally out of my body. It was around 2am and I was ready to swap battle stories.

Strangely enough, I did not find anyone else wandering the halls at that hour of the morning so I wandered aimlessly into a cozy little snack room.  All sorts of cookies were arranged in pretty little baskets for mothers to help themselves.

And... help myself I did!  Back in my room with lots of crinkly little plaid packets, and Many, MANY shortbread cookies consumed that night, I am afraid that first breast feeding experience was a pretty sweeeeet and buttery one for my little bundle.  As I said, it wasn't one of my proudest mommy moments.

I stared at my beautiful little chubby cheeked  baby girl, twisted another shortbread packet open, slid out that rich goodness, and munched away on those delicious cookies.  Needless to say, I  stayed awake that entire night.






So, that's my story. Shortbread has a definite place in my birth story at this point!  I can't wait to read all of the other stories out there this week.  Shortbread cookies adorned with snowflake cutouts are packaged up nice and pretty and flying across the country to three food bloggers.

Aside from Julie at The Little Kitchen, I pulled the names of:

Meghan from Stir and Scribble
and
Jessica from Egg and Twinkie

Enjoy Ladies!  And, Have a very Merry Holiday!

English Shortbread Cookies 
(recipe by Ina Garten)

Yields 20 cookies

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚ degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet (mine is a baking pan with snowflake molds on it) . Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.



37 comments:

  1. your photography makes me feel like i am in Wonderland!
    so cozy, magical and perfect!
    and of course, i always love the recipes!

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    1. What a really nice thing to say. It is rare when I have the time, but spending time traveling through people's blogs all over the world is such a fun activity. There are so many wonderlands out there!

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  2. Oooh good to hear that I have more cookies coming my way!! :) Thank you, those look and sound DELICIOUS!

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    1. I hope you like them. It is a great cause and what a way to have fun with it!

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  3. Your cookies are BEAUTIFUL! Much nicer looking than mine. Check out my contribution if you please :) http://www.adustingofsugar.com/2012/12/the-great-food-blogger-cookie-swap.html

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    1. Thank you Rebecca, I'll pop over and enjoy your treats!

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  4. Such a sweet adorable story and you have a way to help people visualize the whole scene! Beautiful cause and lovely cookies.

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    1. How very exciting to be featured by Saveur Magazine Kankana! Congratulations again to you!! Well deserved.

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  5. My dear Sarah... another post go gorgeous and heartfelt! Your pictures are so evocative of love and savoring a moments joy... I can almost smell the goodness! How lucky are the recipients of your talents!

    I picked plenty of those lovely red plaid boxes when I was in Scotland.... I will be handing them out all season!

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    1. Yes Tamera, I did "savor" the moment alright. Since you have those little plaid boxes, you certainly know how buttery those cookies are! When I see M. reacting over shortbread cookies, it makes me laugh!

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  6. What a gorgeous story and fantastic cause to celebrate cookies!

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    1. I agree John, I will definitely participate again next year. I think it is fun and that fun raises awareness for such a needy cause.

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  7. That is a lovely story I think. I love tea a lot and my mom tells me because she tried to feed me hot Turkish tea when I was born, I cried after a first sip and my grandma warned the new mom about the dangers of hot beverages for the newborns:) She felt so bad but now I drink tea like nobody's business :)

    I love shortbread cookies. I am sure these would go well with my tea :) What a great cause!

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    1. Isn't that funny! I didn't get to know my father until I was in my early 20's. I couldn't help noticing that some of his favorite foods were the same as mine. I thought that was funny being that we had not grown up together. You just wonder!!

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  8. Your shortbread cookies are outstanding looking and what a tender story to think of and share at this time of year!

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  9. What a great event to be a part of! As always, you have gone the extra mile and made plain old shortbread into a thing of beauty. That's a lovely Christmas mold.

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    1. That mold was my treat this year!! It has also turned my head towards all of the gorgeous molds for making springle cookies. I think I could easily start an antique cookie mold collection!

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  10. Oh what a fun exchange! I would have loved to have join in...maybe next year! I've never heard of it! Shortbread is wonderful, isn't it? The perfect choice for mailing, too. Yours are gorgeous and I love the baby story to go with! :)

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    1. If you follow the link in the article, you can send them an email to include you on the list for next year. I believe this is their second year doing this event. I'll definitely do it next year too!

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  11. Sarah,
    stumbled here from tastespotting and my friend Kankana.
    So glad I did. Love your shortbread "snowflake" cookies and rustic charm of your photographs!
    Such a sweet little cookie story, that is..

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    1. Thank you Radhika. Isn't Kankana's site so beautiful?! I'll pop over to visit with you and enjoy another new blog!

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  12. Your shortbread story is really quite touching and your cookies look wonderful!

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  13. Love this story, love these cookies. And we couldn't ask for a better start in life than one that is sweet and buttery :)

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    1. That certainly is one way of looking at my piggish little feast in those first moments of being a mommy!

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  14. What a wonderful cause and swapping cookies sounds like an awesome idea. I can relate a lot to your story. My secret involves dark chocolate :) Oh. my little one was born with lots of black hair too which went all spiky a day after he was born. Time flies. Right now he's trying to destroy his bean bag.

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    1. I love the imagery of that...from a full head of chocolatey hair to destroying his bean bag!! That is terribly cute!!

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  15. Your cookies are stunning! The Cookie Swap was fun, wasn't it?

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    1. How fun is that Cher...to open the mail box 3 times and see a package of cookies. My family benefited from this beautiful fund drive and I hope a lot of children with cancer did too.

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  16. You shortbread cookies have such a beautiful story attached to it...
    Such Stunning cookie ad what lovely post!!

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  17. What a great story, and no wonder your daughter loves shortbread! Your cookies are beautiful. The recipients are lucky to get these!

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  18. What a beautiful mold! I love the rich buttery taste of shortbread, it's one of my favorite kinds of cookies.

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  19. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

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  20. Sarah, Only on your blog are the photos lovelier than the cookies!! And those cookies are pretty darn lovely!! I would love to give this recipe a try!

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  21. Just pinned these - they're gorgeous, Sarah! And I'm traveling or would have done the cookie exchange. I keep seeing oodles of cookies that I want to make!

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  22. I wouldn't be embarrassed at that story! You do what you gotta do in those early days...if shortbread cookies get you through the night (and in my experience, a night in the hospital with even a well-adjusted newborn is an ordeal!) Then shortbread cookies it is! I'd say if it gave your daughter a taste for shortbread, that's a good thing. I'll bet there are worse things moms have had show up in their milk!
    Now I want some....cookies I mean....

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