Friday, February 13, 2009

Sweet Nothings for Valentine's Day


Two Poems for Valentine's Day
love poem by e. e. cummings
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

or, if you are less romantic:

Reflections on Ice-Breaking by Ogden Nash

Candy
Is dandy.
But liquor
Is quicker.

Romantic or not, here are some sugar cookies for your loved ones from Ms Dorie Greenspan. They are easy to make, and the resting period in the fridge means you can make the dough up to three days in advance of actually rolling it out, cutting and baking. The dough also lends itself to whatever additions or toppings you want to give it, and was sufficiently firm to hold even fairly intricate patterns (I will be making these again cut out as snowflakes at Xmas, I suspect). Have a Great Valentine's day.


Grandma's All Occasion Sugar Cookies from "Baking: From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting (optional)

Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.

Beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated — because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.

Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter is up to you — I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in plastic. Whether you're going to roll or slice the dough, it must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. If you are making roll-out cookies, working with one packet of dough at a time, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut out the cookies — I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for rerolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets with a spatula, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the cookies. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cutouts; if so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you've rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, then chill, roll, cut and bake.

If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a sharp thin knife to slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between the cookies.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon sugar, if you'd like. Let them rest for 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

4 comments:

Summer said...

i love those poems, two great poets. the cookies look delicious too. Happy Valentine's Day!

avagdro said...

Hello dear Suzie,thank you so much for sharing delicious hearty stuff besides hearty poems,so cute,lovely.Wish you n all around the world a great joyful,accident free Valentine's day.

lol:)
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Cathy said...

I love BOTH of those poems! And the cookies are looking pretty great as well!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What a great accompaniment to cookies, lovely poetry! :)