Monday, May 21, 2012

Spring Rain & Cookie Baking

Volunteer Forget Me Nots
It was a long weekend here trying to get things working and ready for the spring planting.  Every year there is new issues to deal with with the sprinkler system.  I don't think there has ever been a year where some parts don't have to be replaced and this year was no exception.  Fortunately most of the system runs along the fences so there is no digging involved.  That is with the exception of the run that has to cross the driveway and lo and behold it decided to break this year so this year digging was involved with the repairs.  So on Saturday we got the line dug up and repaired.  All is well right?  Well....I put in a new digital sprinkler controller last spring and (you guessed it) it decided to wig out and isn't working.  It's one of those dicey things where it's on then it's not then it's on again.  Of course it's a week or so off of warranty.  The one it replaced lasted 15 years....To say the next cliche that comes to mind would smack too much of turning into my mother so I will let you fill in that blank!

Today it's raining.  I'm glad as my legs are protesting after my digging grass out of the garden rows yesterday.  I was trying to hurry so I could get my lettuce seeds planted as this round of wet cool weather moved in for the week.  It rained so hard that I lost my satellite dish for TV so what does one do then?  Why bake of course!  So today I decided to bake one of my favorite cookies - Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies.  Easy, rich and oh so good with a hot cuppa tea as the rain pours down.

Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter (no substitutes)             1/2 c. dark brown sugar - firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract                           1/2 tsp. maple extract
1/2 tsp salt                                            1 3/4 c. unbleached flour
3/4 c. old fashioned oats                    3/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
course sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray  2, 8-inch round cake pans with no stick spray (I use Pam).
Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and extracts.  Add the flour, oats and nuts.  Divide dough in half and press evenly into the two pans.  Score the dough into 8 wedges for breaking after it is baked.  Sprinkle with course sanding sugar and lightly press into the dough.  Bake 25 - 30 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool in pan for 10 min.  Remove carefully to keep from breaking.  Cool completely.  Gently break along scored lines.  Store in an air tight container.