A Smile for the Day

There is something perfectly adorable about cookies. Fresh out of the oven and paired with a glass of milk, they can be the perfect way to relax at the end of a tough day at work. They are also an ideal dessert for large gatherings (cakes tend to be too complicated, trust me on that one). A group of friends gathered for an evening of music and food the other night, and I thought cookies would be the perfect complement. I wanted cookies that were both fun yet simple, so decided to bake Chocolate Snickerdoodles and Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies.
I have to be honest: the main reason I baked these is because I love saying “snickerdoodle.” It’s one of those words that you can’t help but smile after saying it. Allegedly the name is of German origin, as a corruption of the word Schneckennudeln (which means “snail noodles”…still smiling after this). The original version of this recipe is a basic sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon sugar. I saw this chocolate version in an issue of Food & Wine I picked up at the airport, and knew I had to give them a shot – click HERE to see the recipe for these chocolatey treats.
Peanut butter cookies are a classic, and rarely fail to please. Basically a sugar cookie enriched with peanut butter, they are extremely simple to make. The practice of “cross-hatching” these with the tines of a fork dates back to 1933, with the edition of Pillsbury’s Balanced Recipes. The result gives the cookies a more aesthetic appearance – upping their “cute appeal,” if you will. I’ve tried peanut butter cookies with a number of add-ins, but the simple classic can never be topped – click HERE to see the recipe for this all-time favorite.
Cookies are always a fun project – not only do they make your house smell amazing, but they can be made with a few ingredients and minimal effort. That led me to a piece I found by chance: Three Preludes, by George Gershwin.  These are your typical Gerswhin, filled with jazzy appeal and spirit. Originally for piano (and premiered by the composer himself), they have since been transcribed for a number of solo instruments. The way I came across this set was by doing a YouTube search on the virtuoso Jascha Heifetz. I found the works so charming that I knew I had to pair them on this blog. I hope these will also bring a smile to your day – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjMJRINJNTo

Sources Cited:
– “Snickerdoodle,” Wikipedia.com
– “History of Cookies,” WhatsCookingAmerica.net
– “Three Preludes (Gershwin),” Wikipedia.com

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