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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