Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baking up a Blizzard

I was snowed in today. All day. I baked. I drank. I played in the snow. It was a good day.

I've been waiting all week to try the Lemon Poppy Seed Sandwich Cookies from The Washington Post feature on cookies. They're rollout cookies, so I knew they would take some time. Then we were hit with a blizzard. Excellent. Time for baking!

Oy! These cookies were a lot of work. What rollout cookies aren't? However, there are rollout cookies that are worth the work and then there are these cookies. The dough was so unforgiving, breaking up into crumbly bits, as if on command, after the first re-roll. Damn. Frankly, I am not even going to put the recipe up here. Feel free to investigate the link.

The cranberry jam, on the other hand, was fabulous. I only wished I had a brunch to go to this morning to share this jam with others. Tart, but sweet and just how I like it. I had hoped the jam would be able to save these cookies, which it did, to an extent. If it weren't for the jam, I probably would have thrown the cookies out. They weren't bad, but they were a little floury and flavorless for all the effort (and butter) I put in.

So after hours of boiling, pureeing, rolling and baking, I finally looked up to see over a foot of snow on the ground outside. Holy blizzard, Batman! Having lived in DC for almost 5 years, I didn't realize how much I missed a healthy snowfall. After staring dejectedly at my cookies for half an hour, I tugged on my duck boots, tossed a scarf around my neck, pulled a hat on my head and struck out into the wintery wonderfulness.

Okay, I may have been that girl walking up and down my neighborhood, occasionally singing, but mostly humming Bing Crosby tunes to myself as I jumped and tromped into snow drifts, chasing that satisfying crunch of loosely packed snow. It was grand.

And then it hit me, why not make some mulled wine to warm up after my snow adventure - which is exactly what I did. This is my blizzard mulled wine, which consists of whatever wine, fruit and spices I had on hand.

Blizzard Mulled Wine

2 750-ml bottles of Charles Shaw Merlot
1 lemon, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 generous tablespoons of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker. Cover and simmer on low for at least an hour, but be careful not to let it boil. Ladle into mugs, snuggle up with someone special and sip contentedly.

Happy Holidays!

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