We don’t have any grandchildren as yet, but we’re gradually preparing ourselves for the eventuality. I’ve been collecting interesting moulds, shaped like tulips, for instance, and the tiniest cupcake pans. M is currently on a self-taught cookie baking course. He’s already imagining the delights of baking together with tiny assistants and apprentices. He’s just started on the first two of 240 recipes. And just as he likes the challenge of savoury dishes that take over 2-3 days to prepare, like Peking Duck, so his preference is for cookie doughs that need chilling for 4 hours or more, preferably overnight.
The first batch was peanut butter cookies that were almost pure peanut butter – crisp and rich, and as he used the crunchy type, studded with bits of peanuts and the occasional crystalline surprise of sea salt and Demerara sugar. He had an oatmeal-based dough in mind, but No. 1 son preferred it without. This first batch didn’t last more than a couple of days. There was more peanut-butter cookie dough and he elaborated on this by painting them with my home-made quince jelly. These were equally delightful – the slightly tart jelly complementing the slightly salty peanut butter. A peanut butter and jelly cookie!
The next batch was oatmeal cookies with dried cranberries, raisins, and, at my suggestion, bits of Chinese haw flakes (these needed using up). These were just as more-ish as the peanut butter ones.
I know I should be grateful — I am, honestly and truly. If you read this, dear M, please know that I am deeply thankful, and appreciate your most admirable efforts at teaching yourself to bake.
These delights go oh so exceedingly well with my morning or afternoon coffee as well. But… the constant temptation of them in a transparent jar is maddening. Every time I pass by them I think, should I, shouldn’t I? And invariably I should, and after the initial gratification I feel just a wee bit naughty (it’s my weight I’m considering). Perhaps I ought to transfer them to another, preferably opaque, container where they cannot be tempting me constantly?Nevertheless, for the pleasure of having wonderful home-made cookies that I haven’t made myself (and that haven’t been bought), I am exceedingly and deeply grateful.