Christmas in August (but only for the cookies)!

I’m back to procrasti-baking. Instead of focusing fully on those college essays that will not write themselves (if only), I’ve started baking through cookie recipes. Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement; so far, I’ve only baked one batch of cookies, but there will be more to come.

I started with my favorite cookies from Christmas: pistachio and cranberry shortbread. My aunt makes them every year in massive (incredibly, incredibly massive) batches and sends them in shoeboxes to my grandmother’s house for Christmas Eve and, let’s be honest, general snacking leading up to Christmas. 

These cookies are the best! The shortbread base finds the perfect balance of butter, flour and sugar. The cranberries and pistachio add tartness, crunch and pops of red & green. Plus, the sugar rim around the outside makes the cookies perfectly festive and decorative enough to give as gifts. 

Even though the recipe seemed simple at the onset, I was a little nervous to make these cookies. Every time I’ve tried to make a shortbread recipe, it’s been (to put it kindly) a disaster. My first attempt was just your plain Jane shortbread cookies to go with lemon curd that I’d made. The first batch fell apart gloriously. Had I been aiming to make shortbread crumbs, I would have been the most successful person ever! Eventually, with a little help from my aunt (who knows everything about cookies), I figured it out, but the process was not pretty.

Since then, I’ve tried two other shortbread cookies, both the kind where you make the dough, chill it into a log shape, then “slice and bake.” Both times, I’ve ended up with batches of impressively broken cookies, delicious but broken beyond repair. So, yeah, not a great track record with shortbread cookies.

But these actually went well. When I sliced them, the cookies remained intact! I started dancing around my kitchen before finally putting the cookies in the oven.

The cookies came out quite nicely, a little bit smaller than the one’s my aunt makes for Christmas and almost as delicious. The only thing that would’ve made the experience even more festive (I had a glass of milk with the cookies) was Christmas carols, but had I put on even a single Christmas song, my dad would’ve thrown my phone out of the window. If he had it his way, Christmas music would only be played December 24th-25th. Our house compromise is that we only play Christmas music in December.

Besides missing festive Christmas music (although even I have to admit August is a little early for Christmas music) these cookies did not disappoint. Further proving that you don’t need to wait until December to make christmas cookies!


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