If you grew up in Europe and the Northern hemisphere like I did, you might find it hard to feel all Christmasy when it’s 85F humid and sunny. I know I do. Santa Claus standing beside a palm tree and blinking, winking christmas lights without snow seems like I’ve taken a trip to Las Vegas. In fact Christmas Down Under sorta feels like a trip to Vegas, if Vegas had been transferred to Miami.
I do my best to fix the juxtaposition of subtropical with of what was a cold, snowy holiday that has it’s own certain smell you don’t quite get this far south. I decorate; put up Christmas wreathes, a tree, little Santas, Advent calendars, red and green dishes and tablecloths. I become my own Christmas Cheer Squad. I become what I never was in high school: a Cheerleader — for Christmas. I generate my own cheer to get that Christmas feeling–and smell.
Cookies help. Cookies are my pom-poms.
What do YOU do to feel all Holiday cheery? Got a secret? Something you want to recommend?
Oven to 325F/165C
- 1 ¼ cups flour 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange peel finely shredded ½ cup cold butter
- ¼ cup cherry preserves ½ cup chopped pistachios
Mix together the flour, sugar, and orange peel. Cut in the butter or margarine till mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Shape mixture into a ball and knead till smooth.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into an 8-inch roll, 2 inches wide
Place the rolls 4 to 5 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Using the back of a spoon, press an inch-wide indentation all the way down the center of each strip.
Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or ‘til edges are slightly browned.
Transfer the cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Immediately spoon the preserves into the indentations.
While still warm, cut rectangles diagonally into 1-inch-wide pieces. Sprinkle with pistachios. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet.
Slightly sticky cookies are best when served with a Kenyan coffee.