Every year Gourmet Magazine has cookies on its cover for the Christmas Issue. And every year, Marketman seems to have a self-destructive gene that compels me to make several of the suggested cookies hoping that they will come out looking like the magazine cover. Some years I am sorely disappointed. I am not a great baker, I have shakey hands and I do not have the patience for pastry work. But hope springs eternal and it never fails…it’s almost as if the challenge is laid out as soon as my December Gourmet Issue is delivered to our front door. Forget for a moment that we live 10,000 miles away from Gourmet’s test kitchens and ingredients sources and that our local butter sucks big time. Forget that I am not a great baker. Forget that they have stylists up the wazoo being paid $500 to $1,000 per day working on their cookies and photo shoots. Forget all that because this year either they are making simpler cookies or I am getting luckier, because I think this batch came out looking pretty good, don’t you??? And they slot perfectly into this year’s red and white color scheme.
Up top, one of my cookies laid ON TOP of the Gourmet Magazine page. I ended up with about 30 specimens and I only discarded 3 or 4 that were awful. The key is a runny icing, not something I am used to working with, and a little bit of imagination. If you want the recipe for the ginger cookies and the instructions for icing, get the Gourmet December Issue, or they may have published it on line. There are other intriguing Christmas cookies in this year’s line-up that I may get to try before the 25th, including damson plum pinwheels and some chocolate crinkles… These cookies are great for Christmas presents, or place car holders or just laid out in a nice flat basket on your coffee table… they smell good and they look great, at least in my biased opinion!