January 1, 2017

cinnamon stars

Didn't I say I'd be here on Boxing Day? I think I said that. Well here's how my holiday went: I was sick through the entire Christmas holiday. And lest you think that I am being dramatical for the sake of entertaining reading, oh no no ma petites. I got a roaring sore throat the night of December 23. On Christmas Eve, I realized I felt like someone had chewed up the insides of my head and not-so-neatly-rearranged them. (doesn't this sound so nice, these beautiful words to go along with my lovely cookies???)

I also realized after the nose blowing and sneezing and extreme eye watering began, that I was producing way too much bodily fluid to present myself at our annual extended family Christmas Eve gathering, so I sent along Andrew and Julia, and I stayed home, mucous running EVERYWHERE, and eating soup and watching holiday romance movies on Netflix.

(sidenote: I watched a few holiday romance movies and I'll be back next holiday season with some reviews because....there's a lot of hilarity to be mined from them, my friends.)

Julia looked at me with a mixture of disgust and pity and said, Mama I love you but you are disgusting. Christmas Day, I coasted along pretty well with the help of Bendryl to dry up my nose a bit. I had made our side dishes for dinner earlier in the week, so all we had to do for dinner was open up the oven and put them in, along with the ham. Easy peasy. Then the day after Christmas I got even sicker, and spent the next 2 days on our sofa with several blankets and all of the pets.

Twasn't the flu. But twas the WORST COLD I EVER HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE and I've had some lovely and juicy colds in my day. And here we are, New Years Day I'm writing this, and I'm better but still hacking up bits of phlegm.

Let's move from phlegm to cookies.

So yes, I do realize that Christmas is now over, but if you are like me, you maybe didn't get to all the holiday baking you might have wanted to do. Today for example, I made gingerbread, which I had meant to do two weeks ago. But here's the thing - IT'S OK to make these cookies now, because they are perfect for wintertime. I would argue that these cookies are actually maybe too rustic and plain for the Christmas-time ball, and that they are actually more suited to be eaten with a blanket in front of a fire, or with a cup of tea and a book.

They are light. They won't make your tummy feel sad. They are crisp. (I used to hate crisp cookies. I only wanted soft, chewy cookies. But there's something about big chewy cookies that sometimes make me feel like I need to gasp for air, they can be so rich and heavy.)

And it's a good thing they are so light and crisp, because you will want to eat several at a time, several times a day. These cookies just FLEW into my mouth.

They come from one of my all time favorite cookbooks, the 'Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook', which I have mentioned many many many times on the blog. It's got loads of darling photos and really interesting recipes and I just adore it. If you love beautiful cookbooks that you like flipping through over and over, this is the one for you. I've had it since my mid-twenties and I love it as much now as I did the day I bought it.

I hope you have some time this winter to make these little stars and that they brighten your day as much as they did ours. They are such.....nice little cookies.

CINNAMON STARS - via 'Crabtree & Evelyn Cookbook'


1 cup flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar


Whisk flour, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add egg yolk and beat until light. Add flour mixture and blend well. Cover and chill cookie dough in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch star shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet (or a sheet lined with parchment paper). Roll out second half of dough and arrange on baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with granulated sugar.

Bake in the center of hot oven for 7-8 minutes, or until firm and just beginning to brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Store in a tightly covered container.

~Makes about 30 cookies.

 HAPPY NEW YEAR my lovely friends! I must mention again how these go so well with tea, or as an afternoon pick-me-up.


  1. I hate that you were so sick! These cookies look like such a delightful change from all the super heavy sweets of Christmas - like a cozy cookie for January.

    1. They are perfect for January! Great with cocoa, tea, milk, hot toddies. I feel cheered by the fact that so many many others were felled by this mega virus that is Out There....misery loves company!

  2. It is so sad that you were sick over Christmas. My entire extended family has been battling this same cold since Thanksgiving - it just doesn't seem to fully clear up. In my own house the first wave hit my kids the week before Christmas, we somehow managed to be present at all the family gatherings (although I have a feeling the Christmas cookies I let my kids decorate may have infected other family members), and now we are in the second wave. The amount of draining fluids is fantastically disgusting.

    The cookies look delicious, but I have to say that the plaid blanket you used as a backdrop is what really caught my eye. So cozy looking! As I take down all my Christmas decor I am realizing that my house doesn't feel very cozy right now. I tend to be a bit of a minimalist in my style, but I feel like we might be settling into a cold, sickish winter and I am craving warmth. I might need to break out every fuzzy blanket we own and start simmering some soup!

    1. here's a funny thing - that blanket is a scarf from Target!!! but it's big. Right now I have it on the back of a chair and it keeps falling down but I love it anyway. It's very lightweight. I don't think it'll make it past this year without falling apart but I did get a lot of good use from it! I would LOVE a plaid Pendleton blanket but they are a small fortune. I do think the answer to winter deco, even for minimalists is BLANKETS! I used to get so sad about losing all the cheery Christmas deco and just be left with flat grey January. So I began actively decorating for 'winter'. I left up a lot of our light strands, started taping up snowflakes everywhere and put out votives and candles. It really helps me get thru winter! And I do tons of paper hearts and things for Valentine's Day. By the time all this stuff has to come home, it's nearly spring and I've made it through the winter. :)

    2. has to come DOWN, not home, ha ha

  3. Terrible! I'm so sorry you were sick over the holiday. No, thank you!

    I did not do all my fave baking either. I feel ya. These look lovely and not phlegmy at all.


    1. i try to stay away from phlegmy baking ha ha ha! Happy 2017 to you and your beautiful family. xoxo

  4. I was just reading an article in our local paper (er, the paper's website via Facebook) about a horrible virus going around, worse than the usual cold but not the flu. Sounds like it must be everywhere! I'm so sorry it messed up your Christmas. Being sick over the holidays is just not fair. :(

    We're taking down Christmas stuff on Sunday. Boo. :(

    1. Oh that's so interesting!! That's exactly what I kept saying to Andrew - it's a supersized cold that just went on and on but it wasn't flu level - no fever or body aches or chills. There's also apparently a near flu epidemic in our state. I would have waited until this weekend to take down the holiday stuff but we had a lot on the calendar to do that weekend so I figured I would just get it done while J was at school. I'm now decorating for 'winter' ha. I create more work for myself, but it does help keep things more cheerful looking!