In troubled times, nothing seems as healing as sharing food and company. I need to keep that in mind, the next time busy-ness and bitterness keep me away from my keyboard. Besides, in a city where the average rents are skyrocketing, we’re going to have to learn to rely on one another for sustenance and support. So, connecting through writing and food may become tools for survival as much as pleasurable pastimes.
That’s why Dorie Greenspan’s #cookiesandkindness initiative is such a timely project. Homemade cookies bring cheer while nourishing us in a deeply satisfying way – they may not be dinner, but psychologically and primally speaking, they will help assuage what ails you.
Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart Cookies
Cookies certainly helped soothe my fellow committee members when we met on the evening of Valentine’s Day. I didn’t make one of the giant break-apart hearts that the recipe calls for, since it wouldn’t have fit on the table (or on the agenda, for that matter). Instead, passing these chocolate wafers around the table brought a necessary bit of cheer to the evening.
They remind me of Dorie’s Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta from Baking Chez Moi, with the same cocoa-forward flavour. The salt I used was a bit assertive, so I’ll probably reduce the quantity by 1/4 teaspoon next time I make these, but they were otherwise perfect. One of the delights of this book has been discovering how many delicious variations there can be for what seems like one of the most straightforward of cookies.
Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans
Shortbread is another cookie with simple roots and infinite variations. This version is made for showing off and sharing. Subtle notes of rose complement the brightness of hibiscus. My tea also included lemongrass, which added another layer of flavour. Rice flour increases the sandy texture of the cookies, which is welcome in shortbread. It’s perfect for an afternoon tea of dreaming and planning for a better future.
I want to believe we can beat the historical odds against curbing inequality. I hope that affordable housing solutions like housing co-operatives can once again build diverse communities in our cities. I’d like to see intersectionality become the guiding principle in movements and in everyday life.
Along the way, I’ll be baking and cooking to soothe myself and to nourish those around me. It’s a small thing, but it’s a necessary one.
February’s Dorie’s Cookies goodness can be found here and here at Tuesdays with Dorie.
7 thoughts on “Dorie’s Cookies – Valentine’s Day Share-a-Heart & Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans”
Just looking at those delicious cookies puts a big smile on my face!
Keep on baking and cooking, I mean, it can’t hurt, right?
This is a wonderful post, as thoughtful as it is attractive. I quite agree with your concern about the growth of inequality and structural problems such as affordable housing; and the need to think about what this means, as well as to live sustainably in hard times. This is so true here in Egypt where more and more people are being driven into poverty (in 2012, the figure I have seen was about 30% of Egyptians). Simple, basic foodstuffs are becoming very expensive: a 500g bag of lentils now costs EGP21, the same of chick peas EGP32 – meat hovers somewhere around EGP100 per kilo and is mostly beyond the reach of the poor. I am deeply concerned about how people manage simply to survive, to keep their heads above water.
I would like to see NGO or govt.-led initiatives to enable every family to grow green leaves, herbs, maybe veg such as carrots, in pots on urban balconies, and to cultivate any small patches of land wherever they can (it’s surprising how many little patches you come across in any city, including Cairo and Alexandria). This would mean providing items such as pots, soil and seeds – as well as educational programmes. But it would be a meaningful contribution to improving health and empowering people.
One question about the recipes: what would the Scots say to icing on shortbread??!!
I am sure those cookies were a welcome treat for your meeting. I try and bring muffins to my morning meetings when ever I can (Dorie recipe of course). We loved both recipes and would make again. Good luck with all your initiatives.
Both of your cookie batches look devine. I agree, things are becoming tougher for everyone, and it’s the little things like cookies that can really brighten someone’s day.
Cookies & kindness are such a natural combination that, somehow, we tend to forget about how well they go together 🙂 I am sure the cookies made the important discussions even more productive!
I’ve never seen shortbread so pretty 🙂 I’m so happy I discovered your blog. What a great message – compassion with comfort food.