Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vanilla Shortbread Cookies

Wearing a watch has a few benefits, and 1 of them is aural. To hear the watch ticking next to my ear is to imagine the tiny clockworks inside, doing their quaint businesses. But it's also imitative of a steady heart beat, and we are supposed to like that.

I don't think I've mentioned this, in the 10/11 years that I have been "blogging," but my favorite word in the history of words is: pulse. I was first asked this when I was in middle school, and it came to me very quickly for three reasons:

1. definition: a single pulsation, or beat or throb, of the arteries or heart
2. definition: bustle, vitality or excitement: the pulse of a city.
3. romance: Just saying it aloud is romantic. It's like making out with a word. Try it.

One Christmas around age 11, I thought I was going to get a puppy for Christmas. I craved this responsibility in theory, and made sweet juvenile preparations for its arrival. A small scale stocking was crafted from felt, pennies were used to purchase rawhide at the local pet store. Name lists were penned - both male and female; but the real cream was a little dog bed, foam lined, flannel blanketed, cardboard boxed - with a small round clock duct-taped to the outside, facing in. A lulling method, the ticking of the clock, dulled by a layer of cardboard, was supposed to trick them back to their mother's bosom. Anyhow, the anecdote goes on to say that I didn't get a puppy. Instead I got a damaged dog with a lot of hang-ups and annoying energy - who was far too giant for my little bed; but occasionally, I would hold the clock to his ear - "be soothed!". This only seemed to excite him. He ended up having to be put down due to a virus that was eating his organs and slowly killing him.

I lost my watch 5 years ago and wonder if I would be sleeping right now instead of making cookies if I hadn't misplaced it. I need a dose of the ticking.

1 cup cold butter (or vegan butter)
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the flour, sugars and salt together. add the butter in chunks and "chop" with a wooden spoon or spatula until butter smooths out. Add vanilla and keep mixing until a soft dough forms and roll out half of the dough (at a time, unless you have an unusually large work area) on a floured surface. You can either use cookie cutters or the edge of a cup to make perfect circles. Really, you can use whatever shape you'd like your cookies to come out as. Either way, they'll taste delicious!