After displaying a picture of my sweet dog a few posts back, I decided I haven't given him the recognition he deserves. So this post is dedicated to Kona.
Kona is a Golden Retriever. I had never owned a golden before, and I'm fairly certain I will never choose another breed again. When we discussed getting a puppy several years back, my son was very small and rough. If you can imagine a tiny bundle of flailing testosterone, that was Carson at two years old. We felt it was necessary to select a breed that was known for having great patience with flailing little people. Golden Retrievers seemed to be the stand-out breed.
|Ava and Kona~ 4 yrs. and 8 weeks!|
The beating our poor dog put up with in his first year was insurmountable. My commands were directed toward my SON, more often than the puppy, "Carson, NO HIT!" Carson had a favorite game of running and jumping on top of Kona while he was sleeping. A lesser dog would have snapped at him for sure. Come to think of it, I might have snapped at him if he pounced on me while I was sleeping. Yet Kona just looked up with alarm, then sighed and went back to sleep.
|Carson 2 yrs., Kona 4 months|
He has such a light and calming personality. Even when he does something naughty, it's hard to be upset with him. He has the habit of stealing dirty socks. Yet, he'll bring the sock to you and wait to see if you notice it in his mouth. Only after he's shown you the sock, and reveled in the fact that you didn't notice it, does he tip-toe off to swallow it! Usually we catch the sock-in-mouth and scold him. He promptly drops the sock, and gives you a sorrowful look as if to say, "Thorry Math-ter." (We've determined his doggy voice would sound like Doug, from the movie UP.)
There is one thing I could live without. Kona has a special pillow he considers his "lady friend", if you catch my drift. He hasn't made moves on any other inanimate object, just this certain pillow. We've hid the pillow for extended periods of time, but every time we pull it out, he puts on his swagger!
On one occasion, we were all in the kitchen and Kona dragged his pillow in next to the counter. We had just turned up some lively music. Suddenly my little girl, looked down at Kona grasping his pillow. She starts clapping to the beat and said, "Look mommy, Kona is DANCING! Dance Kona, DANCE!!!"
After we stopped laughing and wiped away the tears, the pillow disappear for a long...long time.
The pillow issue aside, Kona is the best dog I've ever owned! Affectionate, attentive, patient beyond words, gentle, seemingly wise, what more could you ask for?
So here's to Kona! I'm honoring him in cookie form. I'm sure he would have it no other way--especially if he gets a taste!
Whether you decide to make this recipe with a puppy cookie cutter, or not, it is a truly wonderful spice cookie recipe. More tender than gingerbread and lighter than a molasses cookie, it is a grand platform for holiday cut-outs! You can glaze or frost these cookies and decorate 'til your heart's content. In this case, I used marshmallow fluff as the topping to replicate Kona's coat. A friend of ours once told us he looked like a toasted marshmallow! I spread the marshmallow fluff over the cookies and placed them under the broiler for 30 seconds to toast. The result was a delightfully light frosting with a crisp toasted exterior. A perfect complement to the spice cookies!
This would make an excellent addition to your Christmas cookie exchange this year!
Molasses Spice Cookies with Toasted Marshmallow
2 cups and 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 Tb. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon, and ½ tsp. each of ginger, nutmeg and allspice)
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup softened unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tb. dark molasses
1 lb. marshmallow fluff
Small candy for eyes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add the rest of the wet ingredients while it mixing.
Then scrape the bowl and add the flour mixture a little at a time.
Once the dough has come together, divide it onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough into two disks and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Remove one disk from the fridge. Flour a work surface and roll it out to between 1/8 -1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies as close together as possible. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. The dough is fragile, so if you lose an appendage, gently press it back together. Remember, fragile dough = light tender cookies.
Gather the leftover dough and repeat. Try to get as many cookies cut out of two rolls on each disk. The more you gather and re-roll, the tougher the dough gets!
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool. Raise the oven rack to the highest position and turn on the broiler.
Using a piping bag, or a freezer bag with the corner cut off, spread the marshmallow fluff over each cookie. The goal is to get a smooth layer about a 1/3 the thickness of the cookie. If you add too little is will get bumpy when you toast it, and if you add too much, it will run off. I used about a tablespoon per puppy cookie.
The marshmallow fluff will smooth out after a minute or two. To create the effect of an ear, place one more dollop of fluff on the head, right before you place the cookies under the broiler.
Toast the cookies under the broiler for about 30 seconds. DO NOT take your eyes off them! Marshmallow fluff burns fast! Once the come out, quickly add the eyes to your puppies!
Makes 20-24 large puppies!
Share your BEST holiday Cookies HERE!