23 June 2013

Baking Cookies


At the Kitchen by Vladimir Makovsky, 1913

When I was little, I often used to watch and help my mother in the kitchen. I loved helping her bake, especially at Christmastime when she would make cookies--some were buttery, others were studded with almonds, but my favorites were the ones with glistening red raspberry jam in the centers. These were either thumbprint cookies or a bar cookie called Finnish Ribbon Cakes, depending on the year, and I enjoyed both equally.

One Christmas when I was a teenager I offered to make the jam thumbprints myself. I'd baked cookies by myself before, but never thumbprints, and while my batch turned out all right they were a little misshapen and slightly underfilled. I seem to be better at making homestyle drop cookies like chocolate chip and sugar than I am at making the delicate, hand-molded cookies that my mother bakes for Christmas, but maybe with practice I'll improve!

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