Friday, December 9, 2016

It's a wonderful cookie: classic Christmas shortbread

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup butter, room temperature

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter, then mix with your hands to form a soft dough. Shape into 1 inch balls or roll out and make shapes with Christmas cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet 1 ½  inches apart. If making balls, flatten with a fork. Bake in 300-degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Watch very carefully, as these can turn brown in seconds! 

I've kept this blog for - I don't know how many years, and I am not sure I want to check. I do it mainly for myself. It hasn't helped me sell a single copy of my three published novels, though I was urged to start it by a publisher. And after more than three thousand posts, I am finally doing the thing I swore I'd never do.

The lowest of the low points in a blogger's life.

I'm posting a recipe.

But hey, it's a really simple one, and my mother used it before me. Her shortbread always came out better than mine, with a light texture, not flaky, but better than flaky - sort of velvety, like her pie crust. Yet I use the same ingredients for my pie crust, too.

This time of year sucks big-time in a lot of ways, and yet, when I'm not abysmally low and almost despairing, I find myself getting all frisked and sparkly like the Grinch's little dog. And I want to clap myself down in the same way.


You guess why. This ain't a good world, and please don't tell me about the kindergarten program that makes Christmas cards for homeless people, and how this act redeems all the ugliness and hate in the world - nay, totally negates it. Things haven't been good this year on the world stage, and no matter how chirpy and Jiminy Cricket-ish some people are getting (as a form of denial or, perhaps, whistling in the dark), I can't see it getting much better. To say the least.

That's as much as I am willing to say about it.

So I take what comfort I can - and it's considerable - hell, it's the best I've ever had - from my family, who have always been the best anyway. Nothing else is even close. No matter what kind of failure I think I am as a writer (and it's not that I think I'm a shitty writer, as everyone assumes - it's just that I sold three copies in 2015, and that ain't good no matter how you look at it), I know I am an awesome Grandma. How do I know? To differentiate me from the other one, who by the way is a lovely person, the kids call me "Awesome Grandma", and I don't mind, no, I don't mind at all.

I don't even use the word awesome, or I use it very sparingly, and only when something is truly worthy of the term.

So there!

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