Give Yourself a Break

You’ll need a subscription for all our recipes. Pro tip: Subscriptions make excellent holiday gifts that will keep giving all year long. You can also check us out on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, where it’s our annual epic cookie week, and you can watch Sue Li make her supremely buttery orange-scented pistachio chocolate shortbread.

Now, as I mentioned on Monday, I’m knee-deep into my holiday cookie baking frenzy (my happy place is in the kitchen, licking the batter bowl). Many people wrote in asking about best practices for making cookies and doughs in advance. You can generally make cookie dough at least a week ahead and store it in the fridge. Most baked cookies will freeze well for at least a month (brownies and bar cookies do particularly well). Pack them between layers of parchment paper in airtight tins or containers. And note that crisp cookies like gingerbread, sugar cookies, and shortbread can last for weeks at room temperature — if you don’t eat them immediately.

Another way I’m coping with holiday mayhem is with the music of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou. My husband picked up a CD by this “93-year-old Ethiopian composer-pianist-nun” back in the heyday of handpicked record store tips, and since then we have played her music whenever we need deep, joyful calm in our house. To me, she’s a kind of bluesy Debussy (others might say a modal Duke Ellington), but her music is as undefinable and radiant as her epic life story. Tempting as it is, one oughtn’t listen solely to Vince Guaraldi for an entire month.

Sam’s back on Friday, and I’ll see you on Monday.