Posted by Bonita
Last week was my best friend's birthday. I've known Kae for 17 years now, ever since our days in Sparks, pink t-shirts, pigtails and all. She's been there for me through thick and thin; always someone to laugh with, occasionally cry with, and act silly with. We've both been busy last week, so we didn't have a chance to get together. But a break in our schedules opened up this week, so I finally had time to give Kae her belated birthday present.
Birthday presents between us are a simple affair. We don't expect anything materialistic from one another. Rather, our presents are usually home-made, with some "inside story" to it or some heartfelt meaning behind it, which makes the presents that much special. This year, Kae gave me a beautiful collage she made. She's quite the artist and I've always admired many of the collages she made in the past. Low-and-behold, when I came back from my trip out West, she had a collage waiting for me. It's absolutely breath-taking, and she says that van Gogh's Starry Night inspired this work. I'll definitely cherish this one-of-a-kind piece, and it'll look lovely in my new apartment in London!
Since my best gal pal is so good at art, I thought I would return the favour by making her something that I'm good at, which is baking. Kae is not only one of my best friends, but one of my favourite taste testers. She'll always accept any of my baked goods with a huge smile plastered on her face, and that always makes me very, very happy! :) Thus, I decided to bake her an assortment of yummy-licious cookies for her to enjoy on this special occasion.
I opted to bake four different kinds of cookies, which I thought would give her enough variety to try without killing me as I attempted to bake them all. In the end, I opted to make Rugelach, Jam Sandwich Cookies and Classic Shortbread. These three are some of my favourite cookies. I'm not a big shortbread fan, but when I first had these shortbread, these sugar-topped cookies literally melted in your mouth. The recipe for these shortbread came courtesy of my friend and former roommate Nicole. I've made these shortbread several times for a friend who has allergies to peanuts, and she confessed to me that she finished the whole tin I gave her in one weekend!
The fourth cookie was one that I never tried. I know...it was risky. But the recipe looked too good to pass, Pistachio White Chocolate Thumbprints, courtesy of Cream Puffs in Venice. The cookies were easy enough to make, although it does require a bit of time to put it all together. My only problem was during the baking process. The cookies seemed to spread a little too much and loss it's nice "thumbprint" shape in the process. I had to actually re-press them halfway during the baking process (while I was flipping the tray) to get the thumbprint again, but that was about the only major problem I ran into. The cookies tasted divine on it's own; I really loved the texture of the ground pistachios, and the hint of coconut and lemon is a really nice surprise. The white chocolate adds a nice, final touch and an extra sweetness to the final product. They did look really nice in the end, but more importantly, they smelled and tasted good!
I truly hope Kae enjoys her gift this year. Here's to you Kae, and to our friendship! Happy (belated) Birthday my dear!