12 June 2016

Do you share recipes?

I've always shared recipes, except for my favorite cookie recipes. Those I'd held back from posting online. For a time I worked on a plan to sell to corporate clients, or through a website I had envisioned. The fact is that our family interactions and travel are more important to us than developing a small business.

I'm ready to share my best cookie recipes. Because I only ever use the finest ingredients, these are 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (5 stars). Am I required to post reviews, or is "scout's honor" good enough?

Aunt Roxy's Oatmeal Crisps
(My MILs Aunt Roxie was a school cook, and bequeathed some killer recipes. )

Preheat oven to 350°

1 cup White sugar
1 cup 
Light brown sugar 
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Butter
2 medium Eggs

1-1/2 cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt

3 cups Quick oatmeal
1cup Nuts, chopped (pecans or walnuts, usually)
1cup White raisins (may substitute partial qty of dried cranberries
(Roxy added 1 cup of Coconut, but I rarely have.)
(My husband CA thinks it's an abomination to add chocolate chips, but they do taste good in these cookies.

1. In large mixing bowl, combine both sugars and butter. Add vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
2. Beat in eggs.
3. Add dry ingredients into mixture in this order: flour, baking soda, salt. Now, stir in; mixing well.
4. Pour in the quick oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit(s), etc. Mix in thoroughly.
5. Scoop cookie dough into walnut-sized balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet 2" apart.
6. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned. For softer cookies, remove from oven when tops are still moist-looking. Cool slightly on baking pan.
7. Place cookies directly on a cooling rack until they're cooled to room temperature.
8. Store immediately in air-tight container.

WARNING: Oatmeal is quite absorbent, so, for best results do not refrigerate or freeze raw dough. Doing so will result in drier, crunchier cookies.

This is a very special shortbread recipe, discovered by a friend of a friend, but my friend, too--JZ. Posting this is especially poignant right now as JZ was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness. I have co-opted this recipe and shared it with appreciative friends for over 25 years.

JZ discovered this recipe in the old Cuisine magazine in December 1983.

This a 5"x5" baking pan=1/4 recipe.

This is an 8" square pan=1/2 recipe.

My Father's Shortbread
Cuisine Magazine, 12/83

1 lb. Butter
1 cup Sugar
3 cups Flour

1. Blend together as you would pie crust; do not knead.
2. Press mixture tightly into 9"x12" baking pan. I prefer a baking pan with squared-off corners rather than rounded. Cuisinart makes a great pan. The 8"x8" is perfect for 1/2 a recipe.
3. With a metal scraper or chef's knife, score the cookie dough into 1"x 2-1/2" rectangles, small squares, or larger squares cut diagonally into triangles.
4. Press the pointy tines of a fork into each cookie to prevent bubbles.
5. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 48 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350°.

6. Bake for approximately one hour--watching carefully as ideally they will be slightly golden. The carmelizing butter makes the cookies darken. These cookies are very rich; the more carmelized they are, the richer they are.
7. Wait just 5 minutes, then re-cut all lines and edges, and poke again with fork tines. Cool to room temperature.
8. Carefully remove cookies from baking pan.
9. Seal immediately in airtight container. These cookies have a high-fat content, so interleave layers with parchment paper or waxed paper.

This next recipe fascinated me as soon as I spotted "sieved egg yolks" in the ingredients list. My Polish girlfriend's mother declared she'd never, ever heard of such a Polish cookie. They're still fun to make and quite tasty, with an interesting texture.

Sarah Leah Chase's
Polish Butter Cookies
Cold Weather Cooking

1 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1 Egg yolk, slightly beaten
2 Hard-cooked egg yolks, cooled and sieved*
2 cups Flour**

  1. Beat together softened butter and sugar.
  2. Mix together beaten egg yolk and flavorings.
  3. Add seived egg yolks.
  4. Gradually mix in flour, until forms soft ball.
  5. Gather dough into ball, wrap with cling film and refrigerate one hour.
  6. Roll dough to thickness. Cut into small shapes 1-1/2 - 2".
  7. Bake at for 12 - 15 minutes @350°
*Press chilled yolks through a fine mesh sieve.

I worked for 16 years at a very good corporation, as an executive secretary. Yep! I'm that old. All of the lovely ladies I worked with were excellent cooks. The friend that gave me this recipe is a true southern character. One of my favorite sayings MK would pull-out when a certain co-worker would consistently over-share: "It's like you put a quarter in and she just can't shut-up."

Mary King's
Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
1 Egg
2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground cloves
1/2 tsp Ground ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
Extra granulated sugar for rolling in.

1. Cream together butter and sugar
2. Add molasses and egg: beat well
3. Whisk together dry ingredients in a separate bowl
4. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture
5. When well-blended, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour
6. Preheat oven to 350°
7. Shape cookies into 1" balls, roll in sugar
8. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown
9. Cool 5 minutes; remove cookies to cooling rack; store in air-tight container

I sometimes use this recipe to make sandwich cookies--with lemon filling. Just regular icing with a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest added.

Our family calls these Monster Cookies because originally we baked them over-sized. The unbeatable combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

Monster Cookies

1 cup White sugar
1 cup Light brown sugar
1 cup
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2/3 cup Peanut butter
2-1/4 cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
12 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate chips (I prefer Ghiradelli)
1-1/2 cups Pecan pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Beat together butter and sugars.
3. Mix in peanut butter, eggs, vanilla.
4. Add flour and baking soda; stir until well mixed.
5. Add chocolate chips and pecans; blend in completely.
6. Form 1" to 2" balls--I use a cookie scoop.
7. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake at 350° for approximately 15 minutes.
9. Cool 10 minutes; remove to cooling rack and cool completely. Store in Ziplock or airtight cookie tins.

We usually scoop half the recipe into balls and freeze on a baking sheet. Drop frozen cookie balls into Ziplock bags and store in freezer. Thaw slightly before baking.

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