I am so sorry. I'm just going to get this out of the way. These pictures are absolutely horrendous. What began as homely, oddly shaped cookies slowly became battered and bruised, while still delicious, confections with their stay in my refrigerator. Hermit cookies are no beauties, and, to my surprise, homemade thin mints are not at all photogenic, although they are nice to look at in person. Despite their looks, both of these cookies are unbelievably addicting. I also want to mention that I added categories to the sidebar! Now you can head right to all of the chocolaty desserts if you need a little chocolate goodness or find a nice scone or simple cake if you want something special for breakfast, so I hope this new feature helps.
If you read through these recipes, something may strike you as being a little strange. Do these flavors really scream summer? No, no they do not. In fact, they seem a little more fitted to Christmastime. Before you send me off to be evaluated, let me explain myself. My friends and I decided that we needed to celebrate Christmas in July. It gave us an excuse to gather together, cozy up in the kitchen, and do some real baking.
The weather actually cooperated, bringing in a torrential downpour to set the mood for our festivities. We strung twinkle lights in my room and let the Andrews Sisters and Bing Crosby serenade us with their jolly tunes. Winter always brings both minty and spicy desserts. Of course we could not decide between the two, so Christina and Mary "twisted my arm" into making both. To make ourselves feel a little better about consuming inordinate amounts of dough and cookies, we turned to Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite blogs, for cookie inspiration.
Everything on her website and in her book is drool-inducing, and she didn't let us down this time either. The hermits are tender and fun, drawing another flavor into your mouth with each bite- spicy cinnamon, wine-like currants, and warm cloves. The thin mints are a joy to make, and you can cut them into any shape you please. To be perfectly honest, they taste even better than the little boxed cookies that Girl Scouts sell every year. Make these now, or save them for December. But why would you wait?
Since I didn't really make any adaptations to these, I figured I would send you straight to 101 Cookboks. She has some beautiful shots of both of these cookies that may be a little more enticing. I should mention that I did substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract in the thin mints; I think the cookies would not have been minty enough without them, so I definitely recommend making that change. I promise that I will post something extra delicious and extra beautiful very soon just to make up for this post. See you soon!