Dating someone new entails navigating a precarious route – not unlike those rickety rope bridges suspended above Amazonian rivers. Say the wrong thing, show too much interest – or not enough – and the entire contraption and both of you plunge into the abyss below. Sheer disaster. I’ve learned to tread slowly and deliberately along that path.
Last week, I baked 200 cookies for two catering jobs. On Wednesday, I was also going out with a new guy. My initial thought was to grab a few cookies, pop them in a decorative bag tied with raffia and give them to him as a little gift. Why not? Baking is what I do and I was already in it for over 16 dozen. What’s a few more cookies? Yet dating caution overrode these initial innocuous intentions. How would he interpret the gesture? Would he think I spent all day baking exclusively for HIM? Would I be accused of moving too quickly? I could hear him tell a friend:
“Shit, dude, it was our second date and she was already baking me cookies! Psycho!”
So, I decided against the cookies. I’ll save my talents for now. If we manage to survive a few more dates, then maybe I’ll break out my baking prowess.
This is my favorite cookie dough when faced with a large baking project. The dough can be shaped and flavored in myriad ways limited only by imagination.
Basic Butter Cookies
- 1 lb. butter, softened
- 6 oz. sugar
- 2 oz. brown sugar
- 3 oz. egg, beaten (a little less than 2 eggs)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. 8 oz. All-purpose flour For Cherry Triangles
- 10 oz. cherry jam
- zest of 1 orange
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Cream butter and sugars in a stand mixture until light and fluffy. Slowly add beaten egg and vanilla until incorporated. Add salt to flour and gently stir in. Don’t overmix. Your dough is ready to use!
- To make Cherry Streusel Triangles: Cover 9×9” pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang. Butter foil well. Press 9 oz. of Basic Butter cookie dough into pan. Deck dough with fork and bake for about 15 minutes until just beginning to brown. Cool for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cherry jam with zest and set aside. Mix an additional 2 oz. of Basic Butter Cookie dough with 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon flour and ¾ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Spread jam evenly over baked dough, leaving a ¼” rim and sprinkle with streusel. Bake until cherry filling is bubbly, 20-25 minutes. Cool cookies completely. Cut in 16 squares, cut each square in two triangles. Mix powdered sugar with enough water to make a glaze. Drizzle glaze over cookies. Makes 32 cookies.