Monday, February 21, 2011

Cookies & Dreams

Sometimes I dream that I own a bakery. I lie in bed at night and picture it in my head - and every night I drift off to sleep with a smile on my face.

I can see myself wearing a retro “I Love Lucy” style apron, doing what I love most - Baking.

What a wonderful thing it would be to go to work everyday and frost cupcakes, roll pie crusts, and make butter cream roses. My days would be filled will coconut cakes, apple pies, and oatmeal raison cookies. My nights would be sleepless as I would be planning for the next day and making sure everything was fresh and delicious. I would be tired, but I would be happy.

My bakery would be cozy, warm, and friendly. There would be rows of doily lined cases filled with pastries, cookies, and hand dipped chocolate treats. There would be tall bistro tables, small corner nooks, and soft comfy chairs as well. Every table would have a white bud vase filled with pink carnations and the whole room would smell of fresh brewed coffee. My dishes would be an eclectic mix of plain white china, English tea rose and pink polka dot.

The music playing would be Glenn Miller, Sinatra and Tony Bennett.

The name of my bakery would be Danielle’s Sweets.

It would be a place where you could get a cappuccino and a scone while you check your email, read the newspaper, or catch up with a friend over a cup of Earl Grey and a chocolate macaroon. OR do what I love to do - get the latest Vanity Fair magazine, a vanilla latte, find a corner somewhere and enjoy a few minutes of solace all by myself.

I bought this cookie jar (pictured above) when I was out shopping with my mother just last week. I love it because it says “Biscuits” instead of cookies and that felt very English to me. This would be just the kind of thing that I would have in my bakery. It would stand proudly on the counter filled with lemon biscotti’s that could not be denied by anyone.

This new cookie jar has inspired me to do some cooking making. No sense of having an empty cookie jar on the counter, now is there? So last night I sat down and sifted through some of my cookie recipes. Since we are just coming off of Valentine’s day I didn’t want to go chocolate crazy, but we still need something sweet in the house. That being said I finally decided on this one for drop sugar cookies.

I love these because they are simple, light, just a little bit sweet, and go perfectly with a winter Sunday afternoon tea. Since it was 25 degrees today I know that the kettle will be working overtime tomorrow, so I better get busy. Here is what you need to make them…..

2/3 cup shortening
¾ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 tsp milk
1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Cream shortening, sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add egg. Bean until fluffy.

**1/2 tsp orange rind, lemon flavor, or almond flavor may also be added**

Stir in dry ingredients until well blended. Drop from spoon onto greased cookie sheet.

Wet the bottom of a juice glass and dip it in sugar, then gently flatten out each cookie - giving it a sugar topping at the same time.

Bake @ 375 for 6 - 8 minutes. Call your mother and invite her over for tea and cookies.
Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

Dreams are important because they give us hope that anything is possible. If other people have done it, why can’t I? Just as a side note, I’ve also had dreams of being a journalist, Oscar winning actress, singer, figure skater, interior designer, fashion model (ha-ha), personal chef, makeup artist, dancer, cookbook author, and Mrs. Leonardo Dicaprio. Since none of these even remotely resemble my life right now, I’ll have a cookie
and keep dreaming….

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