Sparkly roll-out sugar cookies

sparkly sugar cookies

sparkly sugar cookies

“Do you think I would do this if I wasn’t hoping for something?” Asked our Isaac in his exasperated voice. The “this” he was referring to was inside-out pjs. The something he was hoping for was a snow day, and he got it. Yes, we had a thick layer of soft sparkly snow, slick streets and sidewalks, icy flurries with every gust of wind. White and bright and cold cold cold. Isaac stayed in his inside-out pajamas all day long. In the morning Malcolm wanted to play a lego batman video game with me, which is touching but somewhat odd, because if I’m not the worst player in the world, I’m most certainly the worst in this household. He likes to help me out…he’ll make me a car or a tiny helicopter and patiently tell me how to drive it or fly it. It always feels like one of those nightmares in which you suddenly forget how to drive, or your brakes don’t work, or your feet don’t reach them. I careen wildly through a dark and chaotic Gotham City, pelted by the constant streaming rain. If I get too lost, Malcolm presses a button and I return to his side. The whole thing reminds me of a dream I had that Malcolm could drive, and I bet he could, too, I think he’d be good at it, and I half want to teach him. I don’t really play the game, I just like to meander about the town, and so Malcolm does, too. In video games as in life I lack drive and competitive spirit. I’d rather just take a walk and see what’s around the next corner. The boys happen to be remarkably skillful and coordinated, but sometimes they just explore, too. The other day Isaac was upset with the way the game was going so he said, “I’m going for a walk,” and set off down the virtual street. They like the bad guys best–the Joker is their favorite–because the good guys are boring. I like to think this says more about the way we tell this story and all stories than about my boys’ morality. Well, finally Malcolm left the dark sleety streets of Gotham for the bright blustery streets of our town and went off to sled and to eat pizza and cheese fries. And Isaac and I made sparkly snowflake cookies. David said, “the snow doesn’t give a soft white damn Whom it touches,” and (I looked it up) the line before that is “The rain is no respecter of persons,” which is so perfect it makes me weepy, and the whole poem is

XIX

i will cultivate within
me scrupulously the Inimitable which
is loneliness, these unique dreams
never shall soil their raiment

with phenomena: such
being a conduct worthy of

more ponderous
wishes or
hopes less
tall than mine” (opening the windows)

“and there is a philosophy” strictly at
which instant(leaped
into the

street)this deep immediate mask and
expressing “as for myself, because i
am slender and fragile
i borrow contact from that you and from

this you sensations, imitating a few fatally

exquisite”(pulling Its shawl carefully around
it)”things i mean the
Rain is no respecter of persons
the snow doesn’t give a soft white
damn Whom it touches

It’s by ee cummings, of course, and I think it’s about playing lego batman with absolutely no ambition on a snowy day. It’s about writing stories with interesting good guys, and submitting them even though you haven’t got a chance. It’s about embracing every strange thought in your head, about Isaac’s perfect lego house with the beautiful bank of windows and two ladders to the roof, about Malcolm’s story about a hood full of snow, about making anything, doing anything, about getting out of bed in the morning. It’s about tall hopes and graceful weighty wishes. Do you think I would do this if I wasn’t hoping for something?

Sparkly sugar cookies

Sparkly sugar cookies

These are just ordinary sugar cookies. They’re easy to roll out, and they hold their shape fairly well, though they do puff up a bit. I’ve arrived at this recipe after much experimentation. These cookies are simple, but they’re also sort of perfect in the way that simple things are. We put sparkly raw sugar on them instead of frosting, because this particular snow is the sparkliest I’ve ever seen. David said they also look like flowers, which is a hopeful thought!

Here’s Shiny Things by Tom Waits

2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 t vanilla
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt (or more if you like it a bit salty, which I do)

Raw sugar to sprinkle on top

I made these in the food processor because I was feeling too lazy to cream the butter. So…put the butter in the processor or a bowl, and process/cream till smooth. Add the sugars and vanilla and process/stir again until completely smooth. Add the egg, process/stir.

Add all of the dry ingredients and process for a minute or two until it all clumps together in a nice thick even dough. Transfer to a bowl and chill for 20 or 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter your baking sheets. On a well-floured counter roll the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out in any shape you like. Transfer to the baking sheet, sprinkle with raw sugar, and cook until they’re just starting to turn golden brown on the bottom. It was about ten minutes for me, but keep an eye on them!! Let cool on a cooling rack for ultimate crispiness.

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