Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD: Cornmeal Shortbread


I keep telling myself that I'm on the home stretch. Only two more classes, a presentation, and two papers before I'm free. And by free, I mean chained to a lab bench until the end of August. Sounds exciting, huh? But I can't wait for some of the inherent flexibility that happens during summer research - I can take an hour or two out of my day to go on a run, I can traipse off on three day weekend adventures a bit more easily than when I have classes keeping me on a short leash. There will be visits to new babies, visits to new friends, visits to family. I can't wait - everyone has had to come visit us, because it has just been too difficult to get away for a weekend when I don't really know very far in advance what I'll need to get done for the following week. Case in point: I figured that the end of March would be incredibly easy for family to visit - little did I know that I'd be frantically writing a rough draft of a research paper, researching for another project, and coordinating a group presentation for the following Monday. Let's just say that I didn't get to visit with J's parents too very much that time.

 
So I'm looking forward to the summer. However, I keep on getting derailed - I keep forgetting what I need to get done for each day. I have completely checked out, with very little interest in actually getting those final edits done on that research paper that's due in a week. The presentation I have today? Yeah. Haven't really practiced that one too much. I'm much more focused on trying to find a reasonable time to get my runs in now that it's godawfully hot and humid here already. Seriously, 90* in April is not okay.

 
In the meantime though, I keep bringing baked goods into my classes, I keep sending baked goods to J's office. And while I'm not always sure that he isn't hoarding them in his desk drawer, I got wonderful feedback on these cornmeal shortbread cookies. Well, who wouldn't love them? Cornmeal in cookies gets me every time - it adds just a little bit of sweetness, just enough texture to make me like shortbread. And given my general dislike for shortbread, that's key. (What is also key is not to use polenta or coarse-ground cornmeal. Unless you like breaking your teeth on these cookies...) It probably didn't hurt that I made a half batch but more than doubled the lemon zest. Lemon zest is good stuff, people. Oh! And while I love Dorie's use of plastic bags to roll cookies out in so that you can chill them then cut the bag open in order to get uniform cookies, I'm a plastic bag hoarder. You see, I wash and reuse my plastic bags, so the idea of sacrificing one? No thanks. I rolled these up into a log and did the refrigerate-slice-bake thing, and it worked perfectly.

Last Week: A Tourtely Apple Tart
Next Week: Basic Marbled Loaf Cake (one of the first requests from J - this time though, I refuse to do the chocolate-mint combo. *shudder*)

12 comments:

AmyRuth said...

ah, you are a smart one. The baking? Well I figure it makes you happy in an otherwise frantic time in your life. Its that connection. Your cookies look delish. Mine are chilling & will be baked a little later. Can't wait to taste. I love cornmeal in baked goods.
How is the traffic here this week? More hits? I'll bet so. Congratulations btw! That's awesome & and so rewardingly fun.
Good times
AmyRuth

natalia said...

Ciao ! I really hope you will soon get more time for you ! Your cookies are great and, I bet, not hidden in a drawer

Tia said...

your rounds look soo crisp and good.
Buttercreambarbie

alvarosa said...

ahhh, good old time in research... you just gave me a wonderful flash-back :o] (even though I KNOW that it is not as exciting as long as you are in this period... PhD comics made my day, maybe yours, too?)
and, to say something about the most important part of your stroy: round shortbread - excellent idea!

Bridget said...

I used to be a plastic bag wash-and-reuser, but...now I'm not. I feel bad about it when I throw bags away, but...well, I absolutely hate washing them. I started buying thinner bags at least, so that's something I guess... And I use containers whenever it's the least bit practical. And justify justify justify...

Mary said...

I love that you admitted you are a plastic bag hoarder...I obsessively save plastic restaurant takeout containers from Chinese food :).

Tracey said...

I try to be as environmentally kind as possible but admit I haven't ever thought to reuse resealable bags. I don't think I'm motivated enough to wash them, but good for you!

Hope things calm down soon for you so you get some "you" time :)

Boodle said...

Where are you located?

And why dost you not link to the recipe?

Judy said...

Doh! I totally forgot about rolling the dough and slicing it. I hate fighting the plastic bag, let alone ruining it. With my current work load, I barely have time to think. Hope your summer lightens up a bit.

Nicole said...

90 degrees would be awful but its in the 40s here and we could have snow/rain showers tomorrow. Summer seems so far away...Someday you'll finish with your schooling! Hang in there!
Your cookies look tasty. I like the rounds.

TeaLady said...

Grad school is such a busy busy time. Loved it but was glad when it was over. Tied to a lab bench. Can you use the bunson burner to cook with?? ;)

Cookies look perfect.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Smart idea to make these as slice and bake style. I don't hoard bags, but I use as few of them as possible.