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I had high baking aspirations this Holiday season….
There were to be all sorts of delectable goodies created in my Brooklyn kitchen. Linzer Cookies stuffed with Nutella, a Chocolate and Fruit Tarte I found in my new subscription to Bon Appetit, Shortbread Pretzel Twists, and, last but not least, our household’s favorite – Pecan Snowball Cookies. Why buy gifts this Christmas? Cookies (made with all organic ingredients, of course) would be wrapped in crinkly paper with shiny bows and bestowed upon the shining faces of friend and neighbor alike.
But, (and sorry to get all cliche and Rachael Ray-ish on you), I am a lousy baker. I can never seem to remember to leave butter and eggs out to bring them to room temperature. My measuring cups are for liquids. I confuse tablespoons with teaspoons. My baking powder is always past its expiration date. I detest kneading and rolling. Let’s face it, if you are coming to my house for a dinner party, you can’t go wrong by bringing dessert.
Still, I did manage to churn out one baked item this Christmas, and in my opinion, if you are only going to do one cookie, nobody is gonna complain if its Pecan Snowball Cookies.
We’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm weather in the big BK this past week, which has put a spring into my pregnant waddle, and apparently, Spring into my taste buds. It even inspired me to dust off the Kitchen Aid stand mixer one last time before our newest addition to the kitchen staff makes her way here…possibly in the next two days. That’s right, just two short days until the date that has been circled on the calendar for the past 9 months is upon us, which makes Husband an absolute wreck every time he sees my phone number on his caller ID, and makes me obsessively clean bathrooms while listening to Erasure. What Mama could really use is a good, stiff Grey Goose Gimlet, but today, she’ll settle for Crumb Cake.
But not just any Crumb Cake, mind you. If you are gonna do cake, you gotta do it right, and that means Barefoot Contessa style.
DO: Arrive at Prospect Park’s most prime sledding hill one and a half hours before school lets out.
DON’T: Use the center of the sledding path to walk back up the hill. That’s sledding 101.
DO: Allow rosy faced cherubs a full 30 second window to build their nerve – before you cut ahead of them.
DON’T: Stare oddly at the only couple of thirty-somethings who are there, sans children.
DO: Choose one of the other 28 acres of park land to build your Park Slope snowperson with your home schoolers. The foot of the most prime sledding hill is likely not a smart choice.
DON’T: Purposely steer into 8 year olds who have not yet learned to immediately vacate the foot of the hill at the end of the ride.
DO: Purposely steer into the Park Slope snowperson.
DON’T: Wear too many layers. Using muscles you haven’t needed since grade school makes you sweat. A lot.
DO: Make a batch of Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Scones to enjoy with a pot of Darjeeling tea when you return from your adventure. If you are able to adhere to the above mentioned rules, I may just make a batch for you.