Thursday, November 29, 2007

~ changing the world with cookies ~

In Stranger Than Fiction, Ana Pascal explains how she left law school behind to pursue her passion for baking. She would change the world one cookie, one cupcake, one sweet tasty treat at a time. Harold Crick understands this passion, and finally expresses his love for Ana with a gift of assorted baking flours. Who wouldn't swoon?

My passion for baked goods isn't quite that strong, but I do have an attachment to one particular cookie. When I was in high school, my mom came across the best recipe for sour cream paintbrush cookies. They were these fabulously delicious sugar cookies that baked up in soft, flakey layers with a light hint of lemon and vanilla. You could simply put colored icing on top, or you could mix up a white glaze and paint pictures and words on the glaze with food coloring. From the dough to the finished product, these cookies were divine, and I made them for everything. Decorated cookies aren't just for Christmas, my friends. A little creativity with cookie cutters and food coloring, and you can make a cookie to suit any occasion. My copy of the recipe was on a 3" x 5" index card, and my mom's was in one of her cookbooks. After several moves, my recipe card was M.I.A., and my mother's cookbook had gone missing in the meantime. I was heartbroken (yes, over a cookie... I'm a sentimental schmuck). I had planned a particular version of these goodies to be my signature "welcome cookies" for my Bed and Breakfast. The symbol of my future hospitality had vanished.

As I tend to do, I turned to Google for guidance. I tried every search I could think of "paint brush cookies," "sour cream cookies," "sour cream sugar cookies." It was a futile search. I combed through pages and pages of recipes, but none of them was the right one. Many called for ingredients I knew had not been required in my cherished recipe. None included the essential and flavorful lemon zest. It appeared my precious cookies had gone the way of Clementine, lost and gone forever. Next Saturday I have some of the younger girls from church coming over to hang out at my house and bake cookies and watch Christmas movies. Of course, my desire to locate my cookie recipe surfaced again, and I decided to give it one last-ditch effort. On a whim, I chose a search phrase I apparently had not tried in the last few years of fruitless searching, "flakey sugar cookies." There, in the second Google entry, was the phrase "sour cream sugar cookie recipe." It looked promising, but I had been deceived before. Not willing to get my hopes up too high, I put on my game face and clicked on the link. What to my wondering eyes should appear? A
sour-cream sugar cookie recipe that included lemon zest! I have not tried it yet, but I am almost positive this is the correct recipe! I cannot wait to give it a whirl next weekend and go to town with all of the shapes and decorating possibilities!

The world is big, and there is much to be done. Nevertheless, for one Saturday, at least, I will be content with changing the world with sour-cream sugar cookies and giggling girls.

5 comments:

jeanetta said...

any recipe that starts with a stick o' butta has to be promising.

Ines said...

Sugar cookies are my all-time favorites, even over chocolate chip- there's something special about plain old sweet, sugar. I will send you more sticks of butter with my siblings, if necessary, so they can bake me some...hahaha. oh wait, the cookies are for the missionaries...

Kimberly said...

oh, no... only some of the cookies are for missionaries! the rest are totally for friends & family... that is, the ones we don't eat first!

Bonnie said...

i understand about the perfect receipe - mine is my grandma's peanut butter cookies.....i better go find it!

the austrian said...

oh - can we bake those when you come visit ... ??? PLEASE!!!!!!!!