It’s Valentine’s Day and I devote this post not to romantic, white hot, young love but to old, weathered, comfortable love. Love that is strong and tenacious, sturdy yet tender and sweet. I am writing of a love that endures the battering winds of life and fierce trials one must weather, all the while feeling as though their personal supply of air has been cut off. No one wants to revisit those times, shudder, BUT, and that’s a great, big but, when you both come out of the other side of those hard times, well, how dang strong is that love? As it says in the Song of Solomon, it’s as strong as death. Love involves risk and daring; it is passionate and ferocious; it is as elemental as death. Old love sometimes requires sacrifice and monumental patience. Tolerance as long and deep as an inky, black pool of water is essential. Old love is not simply the love we have for our spouses or significant others but the love we have for our parents, our sisters and brothers, our children. You just can’t walk away from that kind of love. No. It is ingrained in our very DNA. Today, Valentine’s Day, celebrates this specific love. Whether it be bathing an elderly loved one, exchanging that ever intimate, specific look between you and your lover that says, “Can you believe that?!?” to preparing a surprise afternoon cup of tea for your sweetie just because, old love owns every aspect of life. Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t all bad. Travel through Europe, the Mediterranean, in fact, all travel is a million times more fun and gratifying sharing that time and those places with my husband. My husband gives me all the space I want. He doesn’t give me a hard time about, really, anything! Support? He supports me 200% and strongly encourages me to exercise my mind, to grow both intellectually and spiritually. After 30 years, old love is a give and take, a major exercise in compromise which, hopefully, will evolve into a higher level of personal growth. My intent today is not to bring a message of doom and gloom. On the contrary. Old love brings new levels of hope, tenderness and inner strength. New love starts out with bridal showers, weddings and christenings. These classic Greek butter cookies are served at all Greek milestones and celebrations. Through tin, pearl and gold anniversaries, old love endures. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all. Stick with it. It’s well worth it!
Greek Butter Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 jigger Metaxa or other brandy
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pound confectioners sugar in a large bowl, to finish
- In standing mixer, cream butter and 1 cup of confectioners sugar until white and fluffy, about 15 minutes.
- Add egg yolk and brandy and mix until incorporated.
- Sift flour with baking powder then add in thirds to butter mixture, adding more when each third is fully incorporated. If using almonds, add them now and stir well. You’ll end up with a soft dough.
- Mix until smooth, cover bowl with a clean dish towel and let dough rest for 1 hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 350°. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a melon ball scoop or spoon, scoop out dough in the size of a small egg. Roll into balls and place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten each ball with the palm of your hand.
- Bake cookies for 15-20 minutes.
- Roll hot cookies a few at a time in confectioners sugar and let cool. I put them back onto the paper lined baking sheets.
- Store in an airtight container. Typically these cookies are served in small, paper cups for cupcakes or candy.
- Sprinkle with additional confectioner sugar upon serving.