Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Baked!

I baked! And boy oh boy, did it make me happy! I needed cookies for my Young Women in Excellence program and decided to make these lovelies, Lemon Balm Butter Cookies. Our program was designed to help the girls focus on a talent of theirs, large or small, and share it through a short video clip. We turned it into a Young Women Talent Oscar Nite. They dressed up, received corsages, walked the red carpet and heard their names proclaimed the winner of the named nominees in their talent catagories. They even received a YW Oscar! It was a lot of fun. We experienced some hitches with the video equipment but all in all, survived in the end.

I have been thinking a lot about talents, what are they, what do they mean to us personally? I wanted to know what to say to the girls who are so young and only just beginning to know themselves and are discovering that they are fast becoming young ladies who are being taught to groom themselves for the "woman" they one day will be. I find the word talent to be daunting let alone the discription of "woman" for myself even now at my current age, so how am I supposed to inspire them to discover talents within themselves?

During the planning stages of our program I advised the girls to start out thinking small, not everyone needs to be a ballerina or a singing pop star. Look for the every day talents around you, those which beautify your home, your friendships, yourself. I can boast ownership of an overlooked talent in bed making. I can make up a very, very comfy, cozy and beautiful bed. A place in which the sleeper is encouraged to lounge and linger. There is an art to it. The main ingredient to that art, I believe, is love. Love makes all the difference. In the end, the girls in my group all chose to feature themselves in a video clip involving something that they personally love. The topics of the talent videos ranged from manicures and hair braiding to raising chickens and flower arranging.

You never know what a girl is worth,
You’ll just have to wait and see;
But every woman in a noble place,
A girl once used to be.
President Thomas S. Monson

Lemon Balm Butter Cookies

2 sticks butter, room temperature
3/4 c sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
zest of said lemon
21/2 c plus 2 tbls flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 c finely chopped pecans
generous handfull of fresh lemon balm, finely chopped

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon juice and zest and beat to combine. Add the flour mixture.

Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a log shape about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven the 350 degrees. Slice into 1/4" thick rounds. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 15 - 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

They are deliciously not too sweet. Taste similar to Pecan Sandies with a lemon undertone.


Millie Price said...

I'm so glad the night turned out good for you, I know you were a little nervous about what the girls would come up with. Sounds like you're the right girl for the calling sister! your cookies sound intriguing too, I'll have to try them.

Alissa Nicolau said...

Thanks Millie.