Tulips are always the first to peek through the soil in the spring. We’re seeing some greenery coming up now from the day lilies and a few hostas starting to perk up; the lilacs are just about to burst into bloom and the last of the flowers on my russian almond are just starting to fade.
I know that spring has really started to…well, spring when my ornamental plum starts to flower. The tree is right outside our living room window, and I could spend days just smelling the blossoms. Such a sweet, warm scent. It’s almost always bursting with bees the first few days; like they’ve been waiting just as eagerly as I have for the tree to shed its winter dormancy and open up for a new season.
It’s done very well the last few years. It always brings a smile to my face and though it doesn’t bloom for an exceptionally long time, I always make a point to enjoy it when it does. I brought some cuttings inside this year to spread the love because I’ll always remember how, shortly after I bought it–in full bloom!–we got two inches of May snow and all the blossoms ended up on the ground outside of our gate. A reminder to always take time to enjoy the little things, I guess? Hah!
This year, I’m finally stepping outside my comfort zone and making an attempt at vegetable gardening. I’m in the process of getting some raised beds put in in our backyard, with some seedlings and seed packages waiting for their home. Another couple of weeks and we should be in the clear to start getting things planted outside (making sure to avoid the snow issue my plum tree had), and I can’t wait.
–or, as my kids like to call them “caramel cookies” or “toffee cookies”. These dainty little ladies are pretty close to perfection. They’re wickedly simple, and super delicious. I think the recipe originally popped up somewhere on my Pinterest feed around Christmas when I was frantically trying to come up with a few things to use for my holiday baking that weren’t too labour intensive.
I’ve made them a few times since, and they’re always devoured quickly.
Secretly, though, I laugh every time I pull them out of the oven. See, when I was about eight, I had this grand idea to make cookies. I pulled out mom’s old Cookies book from Company’s Coming and trawled through the pages looking for the perfect recipe. I ended up settling on some kind of M&M cookie and went to work.
That’s when poor planning got the best of me. Of all the ingredients required, I’m pretty sure I had two. Corn syrup and flour. (I’m sure you can see where this is going, even if eight year old me couldn’t.) Still, I persevered. I mixed everything up and laid out my runny dough on the cookie sheets, lurking eagerly in the kitchen while they baked. The whole kitchen smelled like caramel! I was a master baker!
They came out of the oven flatter than a crepe and about as hard as concrete. The broken edge of one probably could have been used as some sort of torture device they were so sharp. To this day, I don’t think my dad has ever let me live it down.
–and those area always the cookies I think of when these ones come out of the oven. Of course, the flatness of these is intentional. The caramel taste sweet and crisp, rather than burnt and stabby. But it’s always important to pay homage to the places we’ve been and the things that came before, right?
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Crispy, simple and delicate. These sweet little morsels will win you over in a snap with their buttery delightfulness.
- 1 cup butter
- 2 1/4 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- (optional) 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- (optional) 1.5 tbsp heavy cream
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicon baking mats and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat butter and sugar over low heat, stirring until butter has melted and sugar is thoroughly incorporated. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Remove from heat.
- With a teaspoon, drop small circles of batter on to your baking sheets. (V. IMPORTANT: Make sure you space them out. 2" is best, but make sure you do not crowd them. These babies spread like crazy. Trust me. Err on the side of caution.)
- Bake for about 5 minutes, watching closely. Once the cookies have flattened and are uniformly golden, take them out and cool for about a minute on the baking sheet before moving to a rack to finish.
- (optional) While your cookies are cooling, heat chocolate and cream over low heat until chocolate has completely melted. Drizzle over your finished cookies.
Acronychal Kitchen http://www.acronychalkitchen.com/