The past several days have been a mess of distractions, mistakes, and things forgotten that should have been remembered.  This means dirty dishes have accumulated (they are clean now), gym shoes have been left at home, and - perhaps the worst thing to happen - it completely slipped my mind to take a picture of the cookies I made this week.

I am so embarrassed.

It's not like I didn't plan to take that picture.  I mean, I have three or four days between baking cookies and them being completely gone, but this week... well... I'll blame it on the wicked awesome thunderstorm we had last night.

For now, I guess I'll put in some placeholder picture, and hopefully (considering I have various specialty ingredients left over) I will make a batch again soon and actually take a picture.

146. Chocolate Chip Cookies for Passover
When I first looked through this cookbook, and even when I first started this project, I figured I would end up skipping this recipe.  After all, what would I do with matzo meal and matzo farfel (matzo farfel is broken up bits of matzo crackers)?  After spending so much time (and money) hunting down special ingredients and baking tools, I realized that it would actually be no big deal to make these, and since I should be done in November, this was my last Passover to give the recipe a shot.

Now, what's so special about Passover cookies? Well, during Passover the Jewish people remember the tenth plague of Egypt, the plague on the firstborn, where the plague passed over the Jewish families that had lamb's blood on their doorways, and subsequently led to their being freed by Pharaoh.  In part of the instructions about the Passover meal,
"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it as on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.  In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.  For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses.  And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.  Eat nothing made with yeast.  Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread."
(Exodus 12:17-20)
 Basically, in order for these cookies to be acceptable for Passover, they need to have no leavening agent in them, nor any dairy.  All-purpose flour typically has some leavening in it, and so matzo meal and matzo farfel were used instead.  Furthermore, vegetable oil was used in place of butter, and the recipe asks for non-dairy chocolate chips.  Add in your usual vanilla, eggs, and brown sugar, and some walnuts, and you've pretty much got the whole recipe.

The results of this recipe were surprisingly delicious!  The cookies had a nice soft texture, and although you could tell that they were made with matzo instead of flour, all the people who tasted them had no complaints.


unflappable as a giraffe

It's nice to not be taking any classes this semester. While my younger friends, little brother, and students are stressed out with exams and final projects (and some older friends with quals and prelims!), I just float along at my regular level of sustainable chaos, fretting over research that won't quite turn out and unfortunate substitute kickboxing instructors.

With longer-lasting worries, I find that I am more likely to find joy in small things, almost as if they are a break from my concerns. Thus, riding my bike to and from campus yesterday was the most amazing twenty minutes ever. And my dinner - well, you make yourself some black beans, broccoli, and quinoa with a raspberry chipotle sauce and see if you are not the happiest camper on the block.

The cookies I've made have also made me happy, some for how they look, and some for how they taste.  Unfortunately, you only get to experience the former.

143. Mexican Wedding Cookies
I guess crunchy almond-butter cookies are not only made for Mexican weddings, but I am not responsible for their name.  As the previous sentence indicates, these cookies are made with lots of butter, and have ground toasted blanched almonds in the dough.  These cookies resemble a dry almond shortbread, and the confectioners' sugar coating makes them more pretty and just sweet enough.  Needless to say, these did not last long around my friends.

144. Chocolate Ginger Leaves and Acorns
Leaves and acorns are boring, so I decided these needed to be chocolate ginger stegosauruses instead.  These cookies have ginger (both dried and grated), molasses, and a hefty dose of cocoa in them.  They were supposed to be crunchy cookies, but I chose to underbake them a little, and they turned out to be really soft and awesome.
I know I've complained about the balance between chocolate and ginger in other cookies, but I found that the two flavors complimented each other nicely, with neither being overwhelmed by the other.  Between the flavor and the cuteness of the dinosaurs, these cookies were a big hit.

145. Orange-Cardamom Madeleines
Having already purchased a madeleine pan and needing something to make quickly, I jumped at the opportunity to make these cookies.  If you've read any previous entries, you'll know that I'm a big fan of cookies that look good without taking much effort, and madeleines fit the bill.
These madeleines are made with lots of cardamom in them, and not much else flavor-wise.  After being baked, they were covered with an orange glaze made with zest and juice.  I think I didn't make the glaze thick enough because it soaked into the cookies a little bit, but they were still really good.  These cookies were not as cake-y delightful as the lemon madeleines I made before, but I enjoyed the cardamom flavor.


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