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I am a firm believer that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We spend it differently. There are certain things – work, school, commuting – that are fixed in our schedules, eating up allotted hours the way health insurance costs and rent checks consume our salaries.
But there’s almost always some give, some wiggle room. What we do with that extra space is what defines us.
Just like I can manipulate my budget to pay for dinner out when I really want to, I can always find time to talk with my best friend on the telephone. It doesn’t matter if I’m on vacation or if I’ve got a million tasks on the day’s to-do list. Certain things get priority.
It’s why my teacher friend, Jackie, comes over to watch a movie with me, hauling her grading records and fourth-grade papers with her on a Saturday night. It’s the reason I can stay updated with Facebook throughout the week. It’s why I’m usually in bed by 11 p.m.
And also, it’s the story of me and my kitchen.
There are a lot of people who say things about not having time to cook. They have kids or they work too many hours or they are just too busy, in that vague way we like to use when our high-pressure schedules finally work to our advantage, providing an excuse out of anything we don’t want to do.
But these cookies – yes, another cookie recipe and yes, there will be another coming soon – won’t take longer than an episode of The Office to assemble, after which you pop them in the freezer.
What could be easier?
When you find a minute (really, whenever you feel like it), pull out the frozen log, let it thaw a bit, slice into cookies and place them on a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes – less time than it takes for me to drive to work, how about you?
And you’ve got something pretty amazing.
Buttery and sweet, with the unmistakable punch of Earl Grey flavor (from bergamot, which is a sort of orange), these shortbread cookies get credit for being the first Martha Stewart recipe I ever tried and loved, after which I’ve never looked back.
Martha Stewart’s Cookies available in Paperback and Kindle from Amazon
I say this (and mean it!) about a lot of cookies, but you truly can’t eat just one Earl Grey cookie.
For one thing, they’re teeny-tiny, the size of silver dollars, at least the way I roll the logs.
But also, the beautiful dough, all dotted with crumbled bits of tea, sends this fragrant citrus smell out of the oven. One bite in, the flavor proves addictive.
I’m telling you – however you choose to spend your time over the next few days, let these cookies be a part of it.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.