The 11th annual Currier and Ives Cookie Tour was held this weekend and it was an outstanding success! The weather was mild and the roads dry, leading to a large turnout.
The Currier and Ives Cookie Tour began eleven years ago as a way to celebrate the Christmas season. The concept for beginning a cookie tour in the Monadnock Region was initiated by Sally Adams. From the beginning and in the years following, the event has been coordinated by Holly LeClair of The Inn at East Hill Farm. Throughout the years, several inns, bed & breakfasts, historical societies, and unique locally owned gift shops and stores have opened their doors to guests on the tour. Fully decorated for Christmas, this is an opportunity for these small businesses to showcase what they have to offer throughout the year while the participants enjoy a sweets filled day with friends and family.
Why “Currier and Ives?”
The Monadnock Region is often referred to as the “Currier and Ives Corner” of New Hampshire. With our quintessential large farmhouses, town halls, covered bridges, maple sugar houses, and bucolic scenery, there is no doubt New Hampshire was an inspiration for several lithograph prints like the one below.
Careful thought and planning is put into many aspects of the annual cookie tour to make it a success. Locations, advertising, signs, ticket and map design, and decorating are all very important. But probably the biggest thing we think about is the type of cookies we are going to make! Preparation begins early as roughly 400 cookies are made by each location on the tour.
Each stop is responsible for providing cookies and refreshments, and the recipe for the cookies served. A few of the cookies that East Hill Farm has served in the past are Molasses Cookie, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie, Mint Truffle Cookie, Merry & Bright Cranberry Delight Cookie, and Salted Oatmeal Cookie with Dark Chocolate. This year our cookie was a Chocolate Dipped Almond Shortbread Cookie. Here is the recipe:
Chocolate-Dipped Almond Shortbread Cookies
Yield: 18 cookies
• 1 cup butter • ½ cup white sugar • 2 teaspoons almond extract
• 2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour • Chocolate of your choosing for dipping
1. In large wooden bowl, beat butter with sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy. With wooden spoon, stir in flour until smooth and well combined. Divide dough into 2 parts. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 300°.
3. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, one part at a time, about ½ inch thick. Using a 1 ½ inch round cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. With the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
4. Bake 25 – 30 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Melt chocolate, stirring often. Submerge each cookie in melted chocolate as much as you would like and place on parchment paper to cool. Enjoy!