(Editor’s note, August 2009: Can you believe how bad this photo is? We’ve come a long way, friends.)
They say there’s something about blogging that makes people want to confess things, to bear their souls as if to a private diary, to admit things they wouldn’t normally say out loud. So it’s maybe no surprise that I feel I must tell you, dear readers, a rather alarming fact about myself: I am no trendsetter. In fact, I am rather slow to catch on, to almost anything.
I bought rain boots almost two years after I started seeing people wearing them. I’ve never owned a pair of those very popular, wear-with-a-tunic leggings, save for the pair I think I had in elementary school, which was not at all the same thing. And for over four winters, I’ve been wearing the same knee-length leather boots, usually with the same skirts I’ve been wearing since college, which is now, I’m sorry to say, more than four years ago. And these examples are just fashion. I’ll spare you literature, pop culture, current events, music.
So the following question, which I already know is foolish, comes from that perspective, understand. I’m not asking to inform you, to say, look, readers, at this surprising discovery I’ve made!, but rather to show you, as if with my arm around your shoulder, that hey, I’m finally in the loop, too.
Did you know Martha Stewart makes cookies?
I know, of course you did. She has magazines, she hosts a T.V. show, she was a guest judge on Next Food Network Star. Everyone who’s anyone who’s ever left home over the past decade knows about Martha Stewart and knows she bakes things.
But did you know she makes really, really good cookies?
I was a very hard sell on Martha fandom. She led me down a very dismal New Year’s Eve party several years ago, with a bitter, bitter buttermilk cake that I obeyed her recipe on to a T. That one experience left me unwilling to try any of her suggestions again, no matter how pretty the pictures or how loud the applause from other cooks.
Thankfully, my brother, Adam, who is in every way trendier and more accomplished than I am, who originally planned to go to cooking school, who–still–knows more about food than I do, made a batch of Martha’s Earl Grey sables. The rest is history, as those Early Grey cookies are, I’m not exaggerating, pure bliss in cookie form. Now I have come to learn and happily believe Martha, at least on one point: her cookies are always good.
After making my peach cobbler last week, I still had three peaches leftover, which were about to go bad any day and which needed to be used. Martha’s peach cookies, highlighted in one of her Living magazines, were the perfect fit. As a bonus, you probably won’t have to pick anything up at the store, save for peaches, if you don’t already have them. These peach delights are part cookie, part pastry, best fresh and hot out of the oven. The next day, they’ll get a little soggy/mushy, so it’s definitely best to eat immediately or heated.
Martha’s Peach Cookies
Very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted & cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3 cup apricot preserves
cinnamon/sugar mixture, for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt & baking soda.
In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until pale and fluffy, about four minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to this large bowl, beating until combined. Add peaches and jam; beat until just combined.
Using a tablespoon, drop rounded balls of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing them about two inches apart. If not baking all the dough right away, put remaining dough in refrigerator between batches. Also, dough can be refrigerated for up to two days.
Dust balls with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Put in oven and bake for 11 to 13 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Let cool for five minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.