I had one of those pivotal mom experiences the other day with Camille. I tried to soak it all in, and take photos and videos of it, of course, because lately, the only way I can fall asleep is to scroll through old photos of her. We have a shared photo album on our phones, and every family member can see an uploaded photo of Camille. It’s way better than taking a photo, and then texting it to 10 people.
Anyway, I usually end up with 1-2 days a week without any childcare. It’s good for me. I tend to be a workaholic. It’s good for Camille, too. In fact, when things get busy and I book her extra time at daycare, I notice she starts acting out and clinging to my leg from 5-6:30pm (while I’m trying to make dinner).
I obviously try to sneak in some errands while we’re together on my days off, and I just can’t help it if we end up at the kitchen shop every week.
I’m one of those annoying first-time moms that has literally carried her everywhere since day one. If she wasn’t being carried on my hip, she was strapped into a shopping cart inches from my body. But now, at 19 months, I’m giving her some freedom. She holds my hand and walks around now. It’s kinda the best thing ever. Me and my little buddy, walking so dang slow (I’m a recovering fast walker now that I’m a mom).
Camille is in many ways my total opposite–extremely extroverted, lover of new people, and she handles rejection and the word ‘no’ very well. The unfortunate parts of me that she has inherited include frustration with electronics (throw it across the room when it doesn’t work) and extreme dexterity in the kitchen (you should see her help me bake!).
Given her interest in helping me pour ingredients into a bowl and mix them up, I decided we would bake Christmas cookies together this year. However, I only own heart-shaped cookie cutters. I have many sizes of heart cookie cutters, but not a single snowflake, ginger person, or tree-shape. Soooooo, off to the kitchen shop we went.
We pulled into the store in her stroller, but thanks to piles of holiday gift items stacked all about the store, the stroller wouldn’t fit anywhere. I took a deep breath, and let her out of the stroller. Everything breakable was within her reach—glass dishes, espresso machines that cost more than my mortgage, even knives! I was scared.
She was actually a little overwhelmed too, and clung to my side. I was relieved.
We went to the cookie cutter tower and began digging through the shapes. She went a little wild when she realized she could pull them all out. Naturally, I spent the next 10 minutes spinning the tower around and around, trying to put the cutters back into their seasonal slots. Finally, I convinced her to hone in on the holiday cutters, and we picked a few out.
We headed to the register to pay, and she spotted some sprinkles. Now, my kid does not know that sprinkles are things that you eat. (I know, I know, I’m working on the whole sugar thing, I swear!). Camille thinks sprinkles are maracas. I have all of them on the bottom shelf of the pantry, and she makes music with them all day long. She grabbed a few seasonal maracas to add to our pile. I obliged, and swore I would let her eat sprinkles!
We were leaving the shop, and I was trying to persuade her to get back in the stroller, but she was not having it. All she wanted in the world was to carry the bag and walk beside me while I pushed the stroller. It was the cutest thing ever. She hiked the bag high on her shoulder, and she started walking with a mission. I’m telling you: cutest thing ever. I ran ahead of her, and turned around to take a quick video of it, and that’s when I realized everyone around us was was staring at her and smiling. It really was quite a sight.
The moral of this story is this: I bought a bunch of Christmas cookie cutters, and then I still used hearts. But, I learned that I can trust Camille in a store full of breakable things, and she is an excellent bag-carrier. Oh, what a shopping buddy to have!
We made these cookies together, and she had a great time. While she napped, I made the jam fillings: I pulled out the jams from my pantry: strawberry, blackberry, and peach, and I stirred matching booze into all of them. The strawberry jam got a splash of Cointreau (orange liquor), the blackberry jam swam in Chambord (raspberry liquor), and the peach preserves soaked in Bourbon. You need a splash of liquid to thin-out the jams anyway, so why not make it even more flavorful? I should tell you that I made a few with just water so Camille could have them.
Mini Linzer Cookies with Boozy Jam filling.
35 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at rom temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (fluffed before measuring)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup of your favorite jam (or use as many flavors as you like)*
- 2 teaspoons booze*
- In a stand-mixer bowl, add the butter and sugar. Turn the mixer to medium speed, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Crank it to high, and beat for 30 seconds to make it pale yellow and fluffy.
- Next, add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Sprinkle the flour, baking powder and salt evenly over the mixture. Beat until combined--be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure its evenly mixed.
- Gather one-quarter of the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll out until about 1/4" thick. Use a 2" round biscuit cutter to cut out as many circles as possible, and then use a mini heart-shaped cutter to cut out hearts in half of the circles. Carefully move the shapes to a lined cookie sheet, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Repeat with all remaining dough (or just use half and freeze the rest, like I did)
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.
- Bake the cookies for 9 minutes, until just starting to turn golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool completely.
- Stir together the jams and booze until slightly thinner.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar on top of all of the cookies.
- Place a 1/2-teaspoon dollop of jam on the circle cookies, and top with a cut-out heart cookie to sandwich together.
- These cookies are good on day one, but even better on day two when they soften.
*I used 1/4 cup strawberry jam with 2 teaspoons orange liquor, 1/4 cup peach jam with 2 teaspoons of Bourbon, and 1/4 cup of blackberry jam with Chambord.