And when you're not, you're still hot. This is Florida, mind you. Here in Central Florida, we have two seasons - summer and winter - and winter lasts for three weeks. I have lived here for almost 24 years, and I do not own a winter coat.
Clearly, there was nothing else to do but bake cookies. Not just any cookie, mind you, but The Very Best Cookies In The World. These are my mother-in-law's butter cookies. I first tasted them when I was dating Rob, circa 1972 (oh yes), and continued to consume them in impressive quantities through our engagement and first marriage. When Rob and I separated in 1975, I was devastated. Besides feeling like my life was destroyed, I had never gotten that cookie recipe from my mother-in-law. I tried to find a recipe that would come close, but to no avail.
Eventually, Robert and I came to our senses and remarried, and as a splendid bonus, I finally got that recipe. It is not true that I remarried to get that recipe ... but it didn't hurt. (Just kidding, sweetheart.)
Rob and I, his brothers, and all my ex-sisters-in-law call these Mom's Butter Cookies. The cooking grandchildren, my nieces Mara and Adina, call them Grammie's Butter Cookies. Simpler, then, to call them "The Very Best Butter Cookies In The World." Because they are.
So while I'm working on the cookies, I had a visitor. He's black, he's white, he's short, and he's entirely too fond of the heat given off by the oven.
Mom's Butter Cookies (aka The Very Best Butter Cookies in the World)
1/2 pound butter (not margarine or any other substitute. Real dairy butter or nothing.)
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (the real stuff)
3 cups sifted flour
strawberry jam, or apricot preserves
First and foremost: bite the bullet and sift the damn flour. If you don't, if you believe that the flour is "presifted", you will end up with dry and heavy cookies. You have been warned.
Second and nextmost: yes, these are thumbprint cookies, but if like me you have acrylic fingernails, don't bother trying to use your thumb or any other digit. Instead, haul out the hardware:
You're also going to need a stand mixer or hand mixer. Cream the butter; add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla, and beat everything together.
No, seriously, BY HAND. Time to play with your food. Wash those hands and dive right in.