This post marks Day 14 of Miss Ginsu's 2008 Advent Calendar. To find other days and other projects, use the calendar page to navigate.
There are those gelid winter days on which some part of me believes I'll never be warm again. These are the moments when I pine for a wood-scented sauna, but settle for a hot, spiced bath instead.
J's mom makes awesome soaps, but anything having to do with lye is a bit terrifying to me. I also love fizzy bath bombs notmartha has a great post on that... I just haven't been able to lay hands on liquid glycerin and spherical molds yet.
So homemade bath cookies are about as complicated as I'll probably get with body care recipes for the moment. Though they don't fizz, they do make the water feel soft and pleasant, they're cheap, they're endlessly customizable and as with traditional cookies, they're pretty fun to make.
You can find vitamin e and epsom salt at drugstores. (The vitamin e is optional, but it's good for the skin.) Essential oil shows up at natural food stores, craft stores and places like the Body Shop. Add a little color for festivity, or go au naturel, as you like.
Lemon-Ginger Bath Cookies (Makes about 36)
2 cups epsom salt or finely ground salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vitamin e oil (optional)
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp ground ginger
Food color and/or Essential Oil (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, baking soda and corn starch, blending well.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the olive and vitamin E oils (add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, if you like) just until they're warm.
4. Whisk the eggs into the warmed oil and pour this mixture into the dry ingredients. Blend just until the mixture forms a dough.
5. Roll heaping tablespoon-sized portions into discs. The dough will begin to dry, so work quickly. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 7 to 9 minutes.
6. Cool on the baking sheet before storing in airtight containers. Allow to rest overnight before using. To use, drop 1 to 2 cookies into a hot bath and allow them to dissolve slowly.
Use them for yourself or put some in a pretty box with some "do not eat" usage instructions. They make a festive — and comforting — homemade gift.