On Sunday, we had our first snow flurries here. Not many – just enough to make me feel like running around the yard with my tongue hanging out. But since I only run when being chased, I sat on the couch with my coffee, surveying the neighbourhood and watching for possible crime. It was positively festive, and I thought about how lovely it would be to hang the Christmas wreath on our front door, which in turn, made me remember a conversation 2.0 and I had during our first Christmas together in the house…
2.0: Our neighbours have been asking if we’re Jewish.
2.0: OUR NEIGHBOURS ASKED IF WE ARE JEWISH.
movita: Yah, I heard you, I’m just… surprised. I mean, who asks that? Wait. Which neighbours? Those ones? (pointing out the window)
movita: They just came over and asked?
2.0: Yup. When you were at work.
movita: What the heck?! It’s not politically correct to ask about someone’s religion, is it? Are we doing that now? I mean, we didn’t ask if they were gay… even though we know they are. We just figured it out – WE DIDN’T ASK. Besides, gay people are way cooler than we are. Of course, we’re not supposed to say that gay people are cooler than straight people – it’s not politically correct. Whatever. The point is… what was my point? Right! The point is that even though we aren’t Jewish, we could be Jewish, and it’s weird to walk across the street to ask if we’re Jewish. That’s the point! Didn’t they see the wreath on the front door? Couldn’t they just figure it out? Arg! It doesn’t even matter. Wreath or no wreath, it’s a weird question to ask. Unless… Oh. My. God. Did it seem like they have a problem with us being Jewish? TELL ME EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID.
2.0: They asked if we were going to put up Christmas lights this year.
2.0: I said, THEY ASKED IF WE WERE GOING TO…
movita: Please stop talking.
That’s the thing with 2.0 – you can never jump to conclusions. Like, ever. It’s taken a few years to adjust – those less high-strung and neurotic would probably have adapted sooner, but that’s not how I roll. So, because I don’t know what holidays you might or might not be celebrating in the near future, I give you some non-denominational cookies. A soft, chewy cookie, lightly flavoured with citrus. Over-baking these babies will make them overly crisp, and I’d like to suggest that you don’t want this, for the beauty of this cookie lies in its tender centre and the sugary topping. That’s my second suggestion: be generous with the sugary topping at the end. It will lend a melt-in-your-mouthedness to the situation. But I’m sure you would have figured that out…
. . .
Orange Sugar Cookies
recipe: adapted from Emily Lewis – print and bake
Yields about 2.5 dozen.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup butter (I use salted butter)
- 1 1/2 cups sifted icing (confectioner’s) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup icing sugar for topping cookies (more or less to taste)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar, and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy – about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl. Add the vanilla, orange rind and the egg, and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl. Add the flour mixture, and mix until well blended.
Use a small ice cream scoop (mine holds about 1.5 tablespoons) to drop the batter into mounds on the baking sheets. Leave lots of room for spreading – about 1.5 inches on each side of the cookie. Flatten the mounds just slightly with your fingers.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes – until the edges are golden brown. Sprinkle top of cookies generously with icing sugar immediately after removing from oven, while still on baking sheets. Then remove the cookies from the baking sheets and allow them to cool completely on wire racks.