According to the theory of the American writer, Gary Chapman, several misunderstanding and difficulties in our relationships originate in the differences in our love languages. He believes that if we take the time and effort to get know our partner’s, sister’s, friend’s love language, that will definitely lead us to a healthy and harmonic relationship. The aim is to fill up each other’s love tank regularly with nice memories, kindness, little favours and gifts and respect for one another. Because with a full love-tank each one of us can deal with difficulties more easily and actually live in harmony and peace.
I like Gary Chapman’s books, but I would love to add a little addition to his theory. My opinion is to keep not only your love tank full, but also your cookie jar. Moreover, I think that cookies are the sixth love language.
Having cookies and biscuits is just a simple, but real pleasure. A quick morning coffee becomes a soul-warming drink if you have some cookies to grab for and talk about your plans for the day over it. You can wrap some for your loved ones who is going to travel somewhere, or you can send a handful of them to a family member. If a friend goes through a hard period in her life, you can simply and quietly push the cookie jar to her side, along with some Kleenex while you give her a warm hug.
Baking cookies fills up the whole house with nice smell, and the four walls are not only four walls any more- they become a home.
I have found the antique glass cookie jar in an antique shop and I placed it once on the counter in my bistro, Bistro 181 so everybody, who came in and out could take a look at on it. I kept it full with madeleines, the small French sponge cookies which I gave as a ‘thank you’ gift to each one of our guests in hope that the memory of its taste will last for a long time.
This jar would sit for years in my mother’s cellar, while I was working in Spain, and later, until we have finished the renovation of our house. If there is no home, it doesn’t make any sense to keep a cookie jar.
But finally, sooner or later, there is a time for everything.
Even for cookie jars.
Our cookie jar must be full, and if it isn’t, we start recognising that something is wrong. Still, it has been empty for quite some time recently, I must admit. Áron has pointed it out softly, without hurting my feelings and I knew it is time to fill it up again. Because, we don not only need our love tanks full, but shouldn’t forget about our cookie jars either.
And when it comes to cookies and biscuits I like baking something which reminds us to our childhood, were always baked by our mothers and grandmothers and belonged to our sensation of home.
‘Darálós keksz’ is originally a cookie for which the dough was well-kneaded then shaped by letting it go through a meat-mincer with a star-shaped attachment. I have found the recipe of it in the old, handwritten notebook that I got as a present from my grammar school tutor, which once belonged to her grandmother. This notebook has been source of several recipes in this blog and I quickly came to realise that trying any recipes in the book is a guarantee of success.
I tried to figure out the exact amount of some ingredients, which quantity was not exactly set, and also decided to spice up half of the dough with lemon zest, the other half with Dutch cocoa powder.
Since I don’t have this kind of attachment to my meat-mincer, I needed to look for another solution. That was the moment, when my rocking horse shaped cookie cutter, which I got as a Christmas present from my dear friend, Meli.
I can tell you now, from personal experience, that cutting cookies with a rocking horse can be as much fun as mincing a cookie dough through a meat-mincer.
After that, we have nothing else to do then monitoring the cookie jar, regularly check the amount of cookie left- you will be surprised how quick this process will be!- and refill it as soon as possible.
Because after all, if you have your cookie jar full, nothing can go wrong.
Textiles I use for photography are hand-woven and botanical dyed, made by @textil_szakacsniki
Lemon and cocoa flavoured biscuits
(see the original remarks of the old recipe in brackets)
750 g all-purpose flour
250 g confectioner’s sugar
150 g butter (’15 dkg butter or fat, or replace the half with margarine’)
2 teaspoons of baking powder (‘a whole package, but don’t add all’)
1 tablespoon milk (‘very little milk’)
1 package vanilla sugar (“vanilla fits well”)
1 pinch of salt
grated zest of 2 lemons
3 teaspoons Dutch cocoa powder
Mix flour and baking powder with butter, until it forms crumbles. Add sugar, vanilla sugar, salt, eggs and milk and knead well. Divide the dough into two equal parts, and add lemon zest to one half, and cocoa powder to the other half. Wrap each dough into plastic foil and refrigerate for a night, or at least for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 190 ºC (or 180 ºC with fan). Roll out the dough very thinly (the thinner, the better it tastes, I think) and cut any shape you would like to have with a cookie cutter. Place the biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes.