This past weekend I celebrated Purim, a Jewish holiday/carnival in memory of the time that we almost all died and then didn’t, again. We’re commanded to get drunk! Adults give children noisemakers on purpose! Sometimes the rabbi wears tights!
Here’s the story: King Ahasuerus of Persia kicks his wife to the curb because she doesn’t want to do a striptease in front of all his friends.
To find his next queen, he has a mandatory beauty contest for all the young women in his kingdom. After a lot of anointing and parading he chooses Esther, a young Jewish orphan in the care of her uncle Mordechai. She keeps her faith a secret and lives in all the bliss that comes with being forced out of her home to marry a royal manchild.
Ahasureus has an advisor named Haman, who really gets off on asserting his authority. Soon after the wedding, Haman decrees that everybody in Persia has to bow down to him. Jewish people aren’t really into genuflecting though. When Mordechai refuses to bow, Haman decides that the reasonable, proportionate response is murdering all the Jews. Ahasureus not only okays this plan but gives Haman ten thousand silver talents to get it done.
You ever have a week where all you want to do is break things down to their smallest possible version, smash them flat, and bake them into submission?
Yeah. These are your cookies.
These cookies have other good qualities! They taste like summer. They are ridiculously thin and crisp. You can eat them by the fistful, the flavor profile only deepens over time and they stay good for weeks. But to be completely honest, the main attraction is shredding the shit out of some aromatics and then smashing stuff with a rolling pin.
I’ve made this recipe about 6 times now, but I am only 55% certain that I have discovered all the possible ways to fuck them up. I do not understand cookies. Cakes, I get. Cakes, I can diagnose like a human pastry tricorder. Cookies? I have never known what is going on in those flat bastards. I may never know. So I did some things, and they worked, but I can’t really guess why. These are catharsis cookies, not Greek Theater 302: The Cookies Of Emotional Completion. Proceed with caution.
I have never decorated cookies before. I understand that this is quintessential holiday stuff in most households, but for my family, the priorities were different. The cookie-to-mouth express line did not have time to stop for icing. There was no 24-hour maintenance period to allow the designs to dry. The sole purpose of cookies was to get into our faces as quickly as possible.
This time around, though, I wanted to make Hawkeye cookies.
This is Clint Barton.
This is Kate Bishop.
They are both Hawkeye. You can read about them in Matt Fraction’s incredible Hawkeye comics. Here’s the first volume. I wanted to make cookies that mimicked the targets on the cover.
That did not work out exactly as planned.
This recipe is seasonal as fuck. First of all, it contains all the obligatory flavors of early winter—apples, spices, and butter. Second, it accurately captures how I feel about winter. I’d like to take over a space station and blow the whole season up from orbit. Unfortunately, that’s not an option. So I made these instead.
Let’s all pretend that I broke that one open on purpose.
I’m not saying that spiced apples in crisp oatmeal cookie crusts are acceptable substitutes for lasers and fiery revenge. All I’m saying is that my inner evil dictator is appeased.