Before you fire up this year’s viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, make a quick batch of today’s Lasso the Moon cookies for snacking.
It’s a Wonderful Life turns 70 this year. The classic holiday movie follows the life of George Bailey, a man who never left his little town and feels like a failure. While contemplating suicide, his guardian angel, Clarence, shows up to show George what his town would be like if he’d never been born. George is able to see glimpses of an alternate universe where his good deeds went undone because George wasn’t there.
Clarence observes, “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” And (spoilers) when George returns to his real life again, he’s able to appreciate anew what a wonderful life he’s really had.
David and I send out Christmas cards every year, and as much as I love a good stationery store, around the holidays we usually do something more personalized. This year we did a card based on It’s a Wonderful Life with David as George, and me as George’s wife, Mary. (A few years ago, we were Scrooge and Marley.)
The card is a parody of one of the well-known movie posters for the film. Of course, Avon and Jezebel needed to be included too. Avon was billed as Clarence, the guardian angel second class, who is still trying to earn his wings. And Jezebel was cast as Mr. Potter, George’s nemesis and local curmudgeon.
In the film, when George is able to return to his timeline, he knows he’s home again when he reaches into his pocket and finds his daughter Zuzu’s flower petals, that he’d hidden there earlier in the film. So inside the card, I tucked a few petals inside of each one. Of course, I knew not everyone would understand it, and so I was excited when my brother texted me a couple nights ago with the phrase, “Zuzu’s petals!”
(The remaining roses are currently in a vase in the closet, because Avon desperately wants to eat them. He keeps standing outside the closet door begging to get in. Don’t bother ringing any bells. At this rate, it will still be a while until he gets his wings.)
Continuing with the It’s a Wonderful Life theme, today I have a cookie recipe to share – Lasso the Moon Cookies.
At one point in the film, before George and Mary were married, George was flirting with her. Mary makes a wish, and George tries to squeeze it out of her. He wonders if maybe her wish was for the moon.
So he offers, “What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”
She replies, “I’ll take it. Then what?”
And George continues, “Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and toes and the ends of your hair…”
I can’t make any promises about moonbeams where your nails used to be, but today I lassoed the moon for you. These sweet little cookies would make a great treat for Christmas movie watching, to snack on with coffee while playing holiday music, or as a little gift for the It’s a Wonderful Life movie lover in your life.
Crescent moon cookies are classics like It’s a Wonderful Life. Mine are vegan, of course, and made with both all-purpose and almond flour, and a touch of almond extract. The buttery light cookies have a slightly salty edge that marries perfectly with a dusting of powdered sugar and a chocolate lasso.
The lassos are very easy to make by first melting chocolate chips in the microwave. (Of course, if you are more old school than I am, you’re welcome to melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler instead.) Then pipe the melted chocolate onto parchment paper with a pastry bag or freezer bag that has a hole cut in the corner. Draw simple lasso shapes (basically a loopy 6), and let them solidify in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
These delicate moon cookies have a slight crunch to them and a nutty edge by way of the almond flour. The chocolate completes the experience perfectly. Not overly sugary, they have just a kiss of sweetness.
I hope that you are having a very happy holiday season, however you celebrate. Best wishes to you and yours!