When our son Kyle and his fiancée Ari got married, David and I, as parents of the groom, made bottles of lilikoi liqueur to give out to all the guests. It was very special, we felt quite satisfied and looked forward to the wedding with anticipation. But as the wedding date approached, something began to nag at us, something about the children guests… What about them? They were not going to get liqueur. If I were a child at this wedding, I would be most unhappy to be one of the few who would not receive a goodie! So at the last minute we made up some special cookies for the children. They were large shortbread disks, baked all creamy golden, and one half of each cookie was topped with chopped macadamia nuts and the other half was topped with pearl sugar. They were so cute we made enough for everybody! We labeled them “sweet and salty” and the guests understood immediately. Comments flew: “who is the sweet one and who is the salty one?” or, “I know, Kyle is salty and Ari is sweet!”
Decorating the cookies requires that you relax and allow plenty of time. It takes patience to achieve the full effect, but using your time in this way is an expression of love, which is what preparing for a wedding is all about. I just decided I was going to hand-place every crystal and nut if necessary to be sure they came out right. And it wasn’t really that hard.
While setting out on a counter to cool, the cookies looked (and tasted) luscious; but once they were wrapped in cellophane, labeled in the wedding colors and arranged on the reception tables, they looked absolutely beautiful, warm, inviting, elegant – and yes, luscious!
Kylenari Wedding Cookies
This recipe makes about 20 biscuit-sized cookies.
• 1/2 pound butter, softened
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 2 cups flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• Pearl sugar or large-crystal turbinado sugar
• Chopped macadamia nuts, or pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.
Cream the butter in a mixer, then add the powdered sugar and beat until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients, mix on low for a minute or two, then mix on medium speed until incorporated. Form into a disk, wrap with plastic and chill for an hour. On a clean, dry, floured board, roll out to 1/4 inch thick, being careful that you roll it to an even thickness throughout. I use a ruler, standing on end, to be sure the thickness is uniform. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter. Assemble the leftover bits of dough into a mass and re-roll (you may need to chill the dough again first for a bit).
Cut out a small square of paper into a size large enough to cover a cookie disk. Lay the paper on a cookie disk, covering exactly half of it. Carefully sprinkle the sugar crystals over the exposed half of the cookie. Be sure you have a nice clear edge. You may want to fill in, by hand-placing one or two crystals, to be sure the edge is clearly defined. Press the crystals gently into the dough. Continue with all cookies. Repeat the process for the nuts: cover the sugared half of a cookie with the paper and sprinkle nuts evently over the exposed surface, then gently press them into the dough.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until just light brown around the edges. You don’t want them to turn too dark.
Cool completely before packaging.
Carefully place cookies into cellophane bags. Fold over the top, trim off excess bag if necessary. Seal with a very small piece of tape; press the tape a little for good adhesion. Cover the tape with a shape 14 seal label. On the front, place a round label. Voila!
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