I'd been meaning to make these for a while, since they looked interesting. I got a cookie press for Christmas and the cookbook I got the recipe from (Baking, by James Peterson) had instructions on how to make them with a cookie press.
"Ah, this is a sweet crust for tarts," Ruth said, looking at the recipe. "I've never tried making cookies out of it, though. Generally I use it for tarts, especially those made with fruits that have more of a bite. It's also quite good for cheese tarts, and is the crust for Sugar Pies."
"Sugar Pies? That sounds interesting," I remarked. "I don't think I've heard of that pie flavor before."
Ruth laughed. "You have to have a well-developed sweet tooth to properly enjoy them. Sugar Pies are quite popular with some of the Fae who visit often, especially those whose primary task is to tend gardens. They're nicknamed 'Flower Fairies'."
"Do they help the bees?"
"They often keep bees, yes," Ruth explained. "I think you're picturing them a lot smaller than they actually are, Miaka. Flower Faries are... hmm, I'm not sure I have a good reference in your world. Well, an adult Flower Fairy would probably not be able to see over your kitchen counters, but would still be comfortable in one of your chairs."
"Child-height?" I suggested. "Let's see, you use Imperial, so... about 3 feet tall?" (Just under 1 meter.)
"Yes," Ruth agreed. "That sounds about right. The tallest of them is a little bit shorter than the twins, although that reference doesn't carry to your world. Not that any of this has much at all to do with the cookies."
"I'm very good at getting off track, Ruth. We should get started, though."
Here we go!
Red has the measuring spoon, as usual. He seems to like the scale; apparently the glass is comfortable to stand on. Hi-chan has brought the measuring cups and is rather curious about the cookie press. Ruth is rather intrigued by this tool. "I don't have one of these at home. I've seen them, but ours look a bit different," he says. "Perhaps I should look into purchasing one."
"What do these discs do?" Black asks.
"Those go in the end of the cookie press. The dough is pushed through them to make fancy designs," I explain. "You'll see it in action later."
Behind everyone is the cookie sheet, with the sil-plat mat. I haven't had a chance to try out the mat yet, and this seems a perfect time. Normally I use parchment paper for cookies, but that won't work well with a press, as the dough will stick to both paper and press, causing a mess when you try to pull the press away.
"Pfflph." Red says, shaking his head. "Pleh. Yeah... pleh... flour by itself isn't tasty. The sugar is good, though. I need a shower..."
"I'm sorry! That was my fault. I forgot to cut up the butter. Let's get you rinsed off, Red..."
"Please add a little more sugar and flour, Miaka," Ruth asks, "we did lose a good bit with that mishap."
"Of course," I assure him, grabbing the box of powdered sugar.
"Excellent," he says. "It's ready for shaping."
"Shouldn't we get them off the baking tray so we can run another batch? There's still a lot of dough left," Hi-chan points out.
"Good idea," I tell her. "Let's get the cooling racks set up." Everyone hurries to help.
"Wait for them to cool off all the way," Ruth scolds lightly. "You'll enjoy it more if you don't burn your tongue."
"It's a lot easier to taste things with an unburned tongue," I remark. "Temporarily-dead taste buds are the worst part of a too-hot drink."
"Wouldn't taking a cold drink fix it?" Red asks.
"Not quite, Red. The cold will help to kill the pain, but it won't get the dulled taste buds working again."
"That doesn't sound like fun at all," Hi-chan remarks. "Why would you drink something that is too hot?"
"Generally by accident."