don’t force it ::::
I’ve never been one to force writing. I never procrastinated in college, trying to write a term paper the night before, NEVER. Just the thought of that pressure stirs up anxiety, even now. How my classmates ever pulled all-nighters and actually accomplished quality work some of the time still amazes me today.
It takes me time to compose. If I feel an idea forming and its larger than words, I roll it around silently. I let the words take shape in their own time. Usually, those words sound so much more profound in my head, and fumble for meaning on paper. (This happened last week as I fondled dry chiles at the farmers’ market: there sprung a profound thought about esteem and motherhood that fell flat when I wrote it down.)
These nascent thoughts sit for months sometimes, gaining traction, then take off at the right moment. And there are drafts, many drafts. My stream of consciousness winds its way through my blog posts, making tangles, twists, and turns. And sometimes it seems all wrapped up like a neat little gift for posterity. My children will discover my stories in time, this memoir of food, this story I tell. And it will feed them even when the plate is empty.
The first plate to always empty in our house is a cookie plate. Save for a few of the raisiny ones, each one of the kids will drop everything for a cookie. It an undeniable ploy to finish a glass of milk, having warm cookies along. The cookie is my family’s currency, buying my way into a quiet five minutes as they sit and excitedly eat.
So I have taken weeks to go through these sugar cookie millefiori posts, perhaps more for my posterity than anyone else’s interest. Sometimes it is just that: personal. These confetti cookies were borne out of the millefiori glass work methods in Venice, in hopes that I could create a similar look.
I’ve already shown you swirl cookies and nautilus cookies. The consistency of the dough and the diameter of the cylinders that I rolled were just too small. The rolling and pressing of the cylinders flattened them, hence, giving a confetti look. My sugar millefiori will wait. Another trial ahead! Just like I can’t force words, I can’t force cookie trials. Everything takes time to craft.
Our plates are full, full of ideas and cookies. I can only hope that these recipes can feed more than just stomachs in my kids’ future. Celebrate the missteps, for they lead us down pathways that may be richer and more lovely in the long term. Celebrate with confetti!
One year ago: mustard-mayo glazed asparagus
Two years ago: sharbat e-sekanjabin (persian sweet and sour mint cucumber drink (one of my favorite summer drinks) and strawberry-lychee “ocktail”
Three years ago: carrot-pineapple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (so good!)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- many choices of food coloring -- I used 7, mixing some together
- Sprinkles or colored sugar, about 3 ounces (optional)
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and almond extract and mix to combine.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl,
- Add flour mixture in three parts, while mixing. Mix until a smooth ball forms.
- Divide the dough into seven equal parts or so, tint each with your choice of color, and roll into long cylinders. The goal is the cylinders are long enough to be thin but still can be handled without too much falling apart.
- Randomly choose cylinders to press together, using a little water to help them stick, if needed. Keep adding and rolling into a larger cylinder.
- Twist or plait some of small cylinders together, roll, and add for interesting effects.
- Roll in sprinkles or colored sugar, if desired, encrusting the outside.
- When complete, roll finished cylinder up in parchment and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The dough can also be frozen for longer storage.
- BAKING: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove dough from fridge (if in freezer, thaw overnight in fridge before slicing) and set up slicing area.
- Slice approximately ¾-cm width coins from the cylinder
- Bake about 8 minutes, or when cookie has lost its shiny top. Don't brown or overbake. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet then remove to rack to cool completely. Cookies can be frozen if wrapped tightly. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.
- Save your leftover dough, mashed into a loaf pan and frozen. We'll get to a recipe for leftovers in the future.