Today, however, is not a good day. I tried to eat some of the fabulous pasta salad I'd put together 2 days ago, and it is delicious, but apparently eating normal food is not going to be one of the day's accomplishments. The coffee is not working its usual magic. I had a rather sudden nosebleed, splashing blood all over me and my keyboard and nosebleeds always depress me under any circumstances.
Let's talk about cookies. One cannot be depressed, despite the stabbing pain on the left side of one's back, when one is contemplating fresh, homemade cookies, can one? I've been working my way through my list, trying new recipes but always going back for a batch of old favorites. This recipe for Queen's Cakes is from The Joy of Cookies by Sharon Tyler Herbst, copyright 1987 which makes it as old as my son. Ha. You will need some miniature muffin tins; I have 4 tins, each baking 12 mini-muffins, that I bought in 1976 to make the Nut Cup recipe I got from a coworker. Just this past month, I found a 48 mini-muffin pan, really well-made by Wilton, and I treated myself. Heck, I was in Walmart, it was reasonably priced. I've also seen 24 mini-muffin tins there. If you like to bake, mini-muffin pans are something of a necessity, in my opinion.
Robert loves the way they taste, as do I, but I also love the fact that they are called Queen's Cakes. I have a special bond with Queen Elizabeth II, although she is unaware of it - she was crowned in 1952, the year I was born, so in case Alex Trebek ever gives me that answer, I have the question. Royalty for $400? God save the Queen!
3 cups all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
scant 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup dried currants
1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, blotted well on paper towels
coarse decorating sugar (I used turbinado)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease or no-stick spray 48 miniature muffin tins. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and extracts together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sour cream, then stir in the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Stir in the currants and cherries (I like to use a rubber spatula to fold them into the dough).
Divide the dough evenly among the 48 miniature muffin tins. (I used a scoop. No kidding.) The tins will be almost full. Sprinkle lightly with the decorating sugar. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the cookies are baked through and the sides and bottom are golden brown. Remove the cookies from the tin and transfer to wire racks to cool completely.