Tonight, in between dishes, laundry, dinner, Cub Scouts, and Charlie Mingus - the world's most regal beagle, I finished the 40th cookie variety. I wrapped the evening up with a remake of 1975's Almond Bolas; the Portuguese almond cookie I made last week and entirely forgot to add the sugar to. I was quite careful to remember it this time, and the result was a beautiful little cookie with so many interesting characteristics. Nutty and chewy like a macaroon, the center reminding me strangely of scrambled eggs (I couldn't help but think of breakfast when I remembered the addition of breadcrumbs to these), and the crunch from the almond on top. Not too sweet, it would be a lovely cookie with some afternoon tea.
I also prepared the cookie portion of Sparkling Lemon Sandwich Cookies, a delicate little lemon shortbread rolled in sanding sugar, which I'll assemble with the filling right before they're packaged; Navette Sucre, or Sugar Shuttles, a French butter cookie shaped like a loom shuttle, coated with egg white and sugar; and Polish Apricot Cookies, a delicate cream cheese dough wrapped around a filling of apricot, golden raisins, honey, cinnamon, and orange marmalade - much like a fat, overfilled rugelach without the walnuts. In my love affair with all things New York City, I'm enamored with rugelach. I can't wait to get into these.
With 28 recipes left to make, I feel bittersweet about nearing the end of this project. It wouldn't take me more than 3 days of steady work to get them done, but I find myself wanting to drag it out longer. Despite the stress of real life bearing down on me, these cookies have become such an extension of who I am. They've provided me with much needed discipline and focus, and an outlet for the only way, it seems, that I can really connect with people. I spend more time with them than I do my friends, and sometimes it seems my family. I've been so focused on ingredients, recipes, when to bake what, packaging, who will receive an insane box of cookies, etc - that finishing ends up feeling a lot like the first time I moved away from home. I'm not sure what's going to happen next, but the future is exciting and terrifying.
In the event that anyone is interested, I have several extra boxes available. They can be purchased for $68, in honor of 68 years of Gourmet magazine. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com