Hello. Hi. Howdy, Santa. It’s me, Heather. Remember?
Okay, maybe not. Although, it was only 27 years ago. I’m sorry we weren’t the best of friends then. I’m sorry my mom made me wear those pigtails – she was trying to make me look cute and innocent. But I probably still screamed and said that I didn’t like you. I definitely tried my best to get away from you but you held me in place with those, those, those huge hands of yours.
But look at us there. We were BFF. And I know you were diggin’ on my lilac jacket. And check out my color coordination – I was dressed. to. impress. I think that was our best year together. Me – stylish, you – new contacts and looser beard curls. It was all downhill from there, I’m afraid.
I’m sorry I let my mom give you those chips a-hoy cookies for all those years. I’m also sorry that sometimes I drank all of your milk before you got there, and I’m sorry that our fireplace was always really dirty. My dad really liked to build fires and he never would clean it for you, even though I told him to. You were still always very nice to me and you gave me the coolest gifts – that barbie bike rocked and I especially enjoyed all those cabbage patch dolls. That easy bake oven? You always knew how to make me smile. And you always wrote me the nicest thank you letters, although I swear you had my dad write them for you. That’s ok, I know you were very busy.
I know I didn’t get to go visit you in the mall this year, or for that matter, the last …. 20 years. But to make up for it, I thought I would make you some tasty cookies. I hope you like clementines because they’re my favorite – so little and cute and extra juicy. And if you’re like me, cardamom might be one of your very favorite spices. I’m sure regular old sugar cookies or even oatmeal chocolate chip cookies would have been just fine and dandy, but I wanted to do something extra special so you’d remember me. I even made a special glaze on top – which kinda reminded me of the topping on those store-bought oatmeal cookies. It’s really yummy.
I hope you like these. I also made some ginger cookies, but I ate a lot of those and my husband took the rest to work to give to his friends. I would share homemade egg nog or spiced sangria with you, but that sleigh is hard enough to drive as is.
Thanks Santa, for everything. Tell Prancer hi.
Heather, your BFF
Cardamom-Clementine Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit, December 2009; makes ~55 cookies
these are extra special sugar cookies. and not just b/c of the extra flavors. the dough is extremely soft, even if refrigerated as suggested in the instructions. but even if you have to re-refrigerate them a few times between cutting the cookies, it’s well worth it.
2 1/2 c ap flour
1 1/4 t g cardamom
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 c + 2 T sugar
1 1/2 t finely grated clementine (or orange) peel
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 c powdered sugar (optional)
1 T milk (optional; may need a bit more)
icing dye for colored glaze (optional)
Whisk flour, cardamom, and 1/2 t salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric or stand mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add 1 c plus 2 T sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in finely grated clementine peel and vanilla. Add egg; beat to blend. Add 1/3 of flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend. Add remaining flour in 2 additions, beating on low speed just until blended. Refrigerate until firm enough to shape, about 1 hour.
Divide dough in half. Form each half into ball. Flatten into disks and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm enough to roll out, about 45 minutes. Keep refrigerated. Let chilled dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out cookies using festive cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps into ball. Flatten, cover, and freeze dough until firm enough to roll out again, about 10 minutes. (Note: this step may be repeated frequently, as the dough is very soft. If preferred, the dough can be rolled into a tube and cut into slices for baking, rather than cut using cookie cutters and rolled dough).
Bake cookies until light golden brown, about 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking for even cooking. Carefully slide parchment paper with cookies onto racks to cool completely. Let baking sheets cool completely, then repeat process with remaining dough, lining sheets with fresh parchment between batches.
While cookies are baking, combine powdered sugar and milk to make glaze. Once cookies are cooled, paint with glaze and let sit at room temp to dry. Wet glaze can be sprinkled with raw or decorating sugar, if desired.