There are Things in This World We Don’t Understand.
A cookie is a token of love. You mix, beat, knead, mold, and roll out your love. You sing songs of endearment as you picture a recipient’s happiness. You present your love in your best china or on your finest tablecloth or in a box unwinding with ribbons. A cookie is as sweet as a memory or as sweet as a kiss. To consume a cookie, is to consume a heart.
Magic. Death. Destiny.
I saw Dark Shadows on its opening night with my dad. The 60s/70s TV series was his favorite growing up. In the parking lot after the movie, I found a wooden stake and took it home as a memento. I think there’s a lot to be said about Barnabus. He accepts it when women come on to him (He can’t be with his love after all.), but all he wants is to be with Victoria/Josette, and he’s willing to lose everything he has to be with her. He has aesthetic tastes for the handmade, the antique, the classy. The paintings and carvings in his family home come alive to him, so his father mechanically built some to move, and the family curse caused some to literally acquire sentience. He is a sympathetic person, but comes across as manipulative and icy because the only person he truly cares about is his beloved, and spares some feelings for three of his distant relatives. The same could not be said of his attitude toward Roger, the relative who coveted Victoria/Josette. That same day, my beloved bought me a copy of Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. It’s my favorite book, but I’ve always read it in digital format. The Phantom and Barnabus have no shortage of commonalities, which can only confirm the psychic connection between my sweet and I.
What Does it Matter What Anyone Believes?
In my own way, these are the makings of warm and fuzzy (Dank and velveteen?) memories. The same kind of memories people reminisce of during the holiday season (December), which is when many people gift tins of butter cookies. The variety made in Puerto Rico have mango in them. The Q’Kiss brand has the most adorable name. Pronounce it in Spanish to get the joke. My recipe tastes like 80% mango and 20% dairy and flour.
Mango Butter Cookies (Galletas de Mango)
Mango 2 medium: ripe, peeled and pitted
All-purpose flour 3 1/4 cup
Butter 2 1/2 cup
Confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup (You can’t substitute this for regular sugar, but you can skip sugar altogether if you’d like.)
Eggs 1 yolk (the white would make the cookies uncharacteristically porous)
Vanilla extract 3/4 tsp
Almond extract 1/4 tsp
1. Puree 1 mango in a blender. Dice the other mango into chunks that are about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch.
2. Break egg into a bowl, separating the yolk. Place yolk in another bowl, and beat it.
3. Mix the mango puree, 1/2 cup of the butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Taste to see if you want to add the confectioners’ sugar. Mix in the diced mango. Slowly mix in the flour, fully incorporating it before adding more. Mix in egg yolk, fully incorporating it.
4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
5. Knead dough and roll out with rolling pin. Add more butter if the dough is too crumbly or add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
6. Slice batter into rectangular strips about 1 inch wide, 4 inches long, and 1/4 inch thick. You might want to use a pizza cutter.
7. Grease baking sheet with butter. Place cookies on baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
8. Melt the other 2 cups of butter in the microwave and brush them onto the cookies with a pastry brush (I recommend silicone.). Make sure you leave no visible flour (the hot butter will dissolve the visible flour).
9. Bake for about 30 minutes. Check them frequently because they will be done BEFORE they start to brown.
10. Let sit until cooled. Traditionally, butter cookies are refrigerated overnight. You probably want to try them the first day and the second day to see what you prefer (I prefer the second day).