Dec 2 2013

Sweets of My Labor

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Amid the craziness that was my Thanksgiving, I forgot to post the “after” shots from my recent cookie-baking frenzy (and even more disheartening: I forgot to take a photo of my two completed cookie towers that were set out on Thanksgiving Day).

Enjoy these in-progress and completed cookie shots!

Black cherry-chocolate linzertortes - before the final "sprinkling." Click to enlarge.

The final 'sugared' product. Sandwiched between the two cookies: bittersweet chocolate and black cherry preserves. Click to enlarge.

Cherry chocolate chip walnut cookies. Click to enlarge.

White Chocolate Dream Cookies (orange zest gives these cookies a nice touch). Click to enlarge.

These sugar cookies and the following took a day to decorate. Click to enlarge.

Yes, those are bats that have absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving. But, as you recall ... I love bats! Even brown ones.

Chocolate-raspberry thumbprints. Click to enlarge.

My new favorite cookie: this guy with its chocolate-peanut butter base has a surprise hiding underneath. A marshmallow!

Full confession: I made a seventh kind of cookie. But it’s naughty-looking, so I decided not to picture it! You can probably imagine what it looks like by its name, “chipple.” It was a joke to get a reaction from my brothers in law. But with a brownie base and peanut butter dollop, they were pretty darn good, too.

The only thing sweeter than these treats? The time again, with my house restored to normal – finally – to curl up with a good book.

Hope your holiday was sweet!

Nov 17 2013

Sweet Distraction

Melissa Crytzer Fry

Full disclosure: this is not a post about writing. It is a post, rather, about the absence of it. Why? Because these have arrived by mail order over the past few weeks:

Yes, Thanksgiving cookie cut outs. Okay, you got me: the bat has nothing to do with Thanksgiving, but you may recall my bat love from earlier posts? My Mexican-Long-Tongued bats headed to Mexico, by the way, on Nov. 8. Click to enlarge. (Yes, that is Niña’s paw. She needed to see what I was doing).

And then I went and bought all of this:

On this year’s cookie list: sugar cutouts, chipples, chocolate surprises, white chocolate dreams, chocolate-raspberry thumbprints, cherry-chocolate chip-walnut, and black cherry & chocolate linzertortes.

And finally I got the good stuff – also known as “the ultimate distraction” – these:

I only do this “all-out” baking every few years, when my brother-in-law, The Cookie Monster, comes from New Jersey. Click to enlarge.

So, while others are participating in National Novel Writing Month (Go Julia, Go Natalia), I’m dreaming of sugarplums sugar cookies. And I’m cleaning my house in ways neglected for a year (Having family from the East coast coming to stay for the holidays always lights a much-needed fire). To be fair, though, amongst all the cupboard cleaning, baseboard dusting, vacuuming, outdoor weed-pulling and vehicle washing, I am researching away on my WIP.

But this time of year, the biggest distraction seems to be the one that snags my sweet tooth. Stay tuned for follow-up photos of the treats that will birth their way into my kitchen this week and next.

For Readers, For Writers: What distracts you from your writing and reading? Is this time of year as difficult for you as it is me?