Finch Feathers and Brown Sugar Cranberry Cookies

IMG_6601A few days ago a goldfinch was at the feeder (nothing new, I know!) and I found myself admiring his wing and tail feathers. The various feather groups have names, such as the mantle feathers, the scapulars, the upper and under tail coverts, and more. So I took some photos showing the backs of these little birds, as well as the fronts, hoping that you will, like me, enjoy the beauty of their feathers, which are like soft, warm winter cloaks of amazing  complexity and perfection. Thank you for stopping by.

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Meanwhile, I have been baking (also, so what else is new!) and I found a very nice recipe for “Brown Sugar Cranberry Cookies.” Somehow they sounded wonderfully old-fashioned, like something Little Red Riding Hood would carry in her basket. They are tender and buttery, with a bit of crispness and chewiness. All that we can want from a cookie!

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Here is the recipe:

Brown Sugar Cranberry Cookies

The baked cookies without the powdered sugar.
The baked cookies without the powdered sugar.

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Beat sugar and butter together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and sour cream; beat until creamy. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until well mixed. Stir in cranberries and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.

Baking notes: You don’t have to use this particular mix of spices–you can use what you like or have on hand. I used a Kitchen Aid cookie scoop to scoop up the dough. It really made the cookies look like little round pillows–nice!

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And lastly, the weather has turned cold–I love the way the winter sky looks as evening comes on. Namaste. Fran

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