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.
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
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
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.