Sunshine cookies and a few words

by Sarah on January 10, 2013

sunshine cookies

About a week ago, tired of listening to all the whining, I decided to instate new family rule- the complaint quota.  Everyone was entitled to two complaints a day, which seemed more than enough for our comfortable life.  However, it was impossible to enforce. I was the first to break the rule and kept up the grumpfest until I used a month’s allowance within a single day.  Luckily I have veto privileges.

Instead, we focused on inventing new words. My word was do-waht which means to agree passionately. My middle son contributed maslak- a very long and strenuous trip and my eldest thought of liemh (I’m still not sure how to pronounce it) which is the dry bottom of a piece of cake left in the oven too long. My father however is the greatest virtuoso of words, generating them effortlessly in normal conversation.  He has a Dr. Seussian attitude towards language and  frequently customizes it to suit his needs.  As a child, wewak (it has multiple meanings but most often used in the phase “what’s the wewak?” as a friendly greeting) was used so often I was surprised I didn’t find it in the dictionary.

butter cookies, jam cookies

As I grow older there are some situations that are hard to define. Lately, for example, it feels like I am starring in my very own sitcom, one ludicrous installment at a time. I wonder if there’s a word for that?  In the first surreal episode, I noticed our poor little cockatiel plopped at the bottom of the cage, barely breathing.  This ended with a midnight visit to the animal hospital where the grim prognosis was given over the racket of exploding hand grenades alternating with the sound of clucking hens. “Oh that’s the parrot in the other room.  We rescued it from abusive owners”, the vet explained after noticing our perplexed look. A few days later we received a postcard from in hospital written in bright pink “Please accept our deepest condolences for the loss of your beloved Bald Eagle II (Nesher), your dearest pet….” All I can say about that is for 700 NIS, it should have at least been laminated (the things you do for a child’s pet). RIP Nesher.

jam cookies

In another segment, I found myself persuading my son’s first grade teacher that we were not a social welfare case in need of her sympathy.  There was a simple explanation for this. My son has a favorite pair of faded pants he wears almost every other day- as soon as I wash them.  I don’t have the heart to throw them away and figure his six year old friends lack enough fashion sense to tease him.  What I didn’t anticipate was his concerned teacher who took me aside for a “chat”.

And then there’s this week with sideways rain, crazy sleet, inside out umbrellas, a leaking ceiling and flooded basement.  Ordinary errands- the morning school run- for example, becomes a complex mission with me as the drill sergeant. It is not the way I want to start the day.  But I consider myself lucky.  If the day can be improved with a batch of homemade cookies, things are not that bad. Do-what!

jam cookies

Sunshine cookies


This recipe from Benny Saida’s Cookie book.

2 ¼ cups white flour, sifted

100 grams (3.5 ounces) powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

150 grams (5.3 ounces) cold unsalted butter

1/3 cup (85ml) heavy cream (I used 38% fat)

1 egg yolk

Thick jam such as raspberry, blueberry or apricot.  Nutella can also be used for the filling

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F). In a food processor place the flour, sugar, butter, vanilla and pulse until crumbly. Add the heavy cream and egg yolk and continue to pulse until combined. Do not over mix since this will toughen the dough.

Form about 50 small balls from the cookie dough.  Place them on a parchment lined baking tray about 5 cm apart. Using your thumb or the back of a small spoon push down on each ball to create a small hollow (1 cm thick, 1.5 cm wide) for the filling.  I like to fill the cookies with jam before they are  baked but it can be done after as well. If using Nutella, fill the cookies only after baking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to turn golden.  Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa January 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I love the fact that you instated a complaint quota. Too much whining makes us sour and affects our mood negatively…

Those cookies look divine.




Sarah January 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Rosa, Thanks Rosa, I agree with you, too much complaining is not a good thing (at least not to the one listening to it)


Gayle Squires January 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I have a complaint rule too — sometimes I tell a friend that I need to complain and then ask them to cut me off after 2 minutes. Just a time limit, no quantity limit! The cookies look great – Do waht!


Sarah January 10, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Gayle, That’s a better rule than mine. I also write long complaining emails to my friends which I end up deleting, get’s it out of my system without annoying everyone ;-)


Denise January 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Love the whine quota – yeah! I am going to implement that at our house and there are only two of us! As well from now on I am calling thumbprints – sunshine cookies!!! These are definitely a little piece of sunshine; you made my day with them! Thank You!

And … happy new year!


Sarah January 10, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Denise, Thanks ;-) Let me know if you have more success than I did.


Ariella January 11, 2013 at 12:45 am

Family life IS like a sitcom sometimes…love these little glimpses into yours, and the cookies are bright and tasty-looking.


Yael January 11, 2013 at 2:49 am

טוב ,תמיד אמרנו שאנחנו “חיות בסרט” ואין לי שום דרך לתרגם את הביטוי לאנגלית, זה לא נשמע טוב. נשיקות שיהיה לכם סופ”ש רגוע.


Sarah January 11, 2013 at 6:46 am

Thanks Yael, exactly


foodwanderings January 11, 2013 at 2:50 am

Love your sitcom. Don’t we all live in one?! You captured yours beautifully! :)


Miriam Kresh January 11, 2013 at 6:33 am

Aw, Sarah, how bad can a flooded basement, leaking roof, grouchy kids, concerned teacher and dead parrot be?

Um….now that I think about it, pretty bad, actually.

But your cookies. It shows a noble spirit to conjure something sunny and delicious out of a series of downs like that. Hope everything in your house matches the goodness in those cookies – NOW.


Sarah January 11, 2013 at 6:47 am

Thanks Miriam for your thoughts, The sun peeked from behind the clouds so things are looking up already :-)


Jamie January 14, 2013 at 10:59 am

Wow, don’t we all have these lives? I think that is why I love coming here and reading your posts – they make me nod and they make me smile. And sometimes I wish I could give you a hug and share a coffee and a slice of cake. Or a plateful of these great cookies – the best medicine. (and Bald Eagle???)


Sarah January 14, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Jamie, Yes, I think my life is a pretty normal one, it’s just the details that are different. As for Bald Eagle. Our first first cockatiel, also named Eagle flew away. The second one was a young chick whose sibling pecked all the feathers off his head- hence Bald Eagle. Despite the name the birdie had a type B personality.

Reply June 7, 2013 at 7:22 am

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was helpful. Keep on posting!


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