As I’ve moved closer to graduation and have started taking higher-level classes, almost all of the “busy work” I’ve had since middle school has disappeared. It’s been replaced with many more long-term assignments, expected independent reading, and the like. I’m actually fine with this approach. I feel like I’m being treated more like an adult, and it’s a liberating feeling to know that you’re only going to get out of a class whatever you’re willing to put in. However, such a “hands off” approach in classes leaves a lot of room for that evil little demon called procrastination to weasel its way into my life.
“I’m totally going to get started on this semester-long project tonight and block out work sessions between now and the due date so that I won’t be overwhelmed when it’s time to turn it in,” said no high school student ever. At least no high school student I’ve ever known. I try to be responsible and think ahead, if anything to save myself the stress of a last-minute cram session, but it’s so easy to put things off…just until tomorrow. <<Famous last words. College applications, year-long reading assignments, independent Spanish projects, and more have been piled on throughout the fall, and it’s just hard to get motivated. Which is why it’s nice to have such an open-ended project like my Spanish one, because kids can pick something they’ll actually enjoy doing and have a greater chance of not waiting until the night before it’s due to throw twelve weeks’ worth of work together and turn it in hoping for a C. Some serious self-destruction goes on inside the walls of my high school. And I’m sure we’re not alone!
In my last post, I talked about my independent project in Spanish 3, which is to create a recipe book of at least ten authentic recipes from Spanish-speaking countries. I started off with Spanish Chicken with Kidney Beans, and I know that procrastination hasn’t reared its ugly head into this project because I’ve already finished recipe numero dos! Knowing me, there was no way I could make more than one savory dish in a row, so naturally this recipe is for Mexican Cinnamon Cookies, or Polvorones de Canela. Last year while studying Mexico I learned that Mexican Wedding Cookies, which are basically pecan-studded shortbread balls, are a very popular dessert in Mexico. These cinnamon cookies are very similar, but without nuts and with the addition of a healthy dose of cinnamon. The butter and powdered sugar make for an incredible melt-in-your-mouth cookie, and a hint of vanilla and a dusting of cinnamon-sugar finish it off. These are great cookies to make in large batches, and are fast and easy to whip up. No specialty ingredients or fancy instructions needed! And the best part was, by baking up these delicious cookies I was also making progress on my schoolwork. I wish all my homework could take the form of buttery cinnamon cookies!
Polvorones de Canela
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line or grease two cookie sheets.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and the salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture (dough will be stiff).
In a shallow dish, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Form the cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on baking sheets.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire racks.
(Recipe adapted from All Recipes)