Cookie lovers unite

By | October 17, 2003 12:00 am

Coleen Gorski
Almost everyone loves cookies, and somewhere in their childhood memories, they remember watching their mother or grandmother baking cookies, just waiting for the first batch to get out of the oven.
For those who are not sweet eaters, they can still probably relate to the closeness and warmth of the kitchen when cookies were baking.
Baking cookies is not just an activity. In many ways, it is a tradition. Christmas cookies, shaped like bells, angels and snowmen, covered with colored sugar sprinkles, are a sure way to enjoy the festivities of the holiday season. Traditions vary from family to family, and many recipes are passed from one generation to the other. Some cookies do not require baking at all, while others require much more attention.
Numerous people enjoy baking cookies. Whether it is a mother, or father, grandparent or brother, almost anyone can bake cookies.
Cookies were not invented by accident. While wood heat is warm, it was sometimes difficult to judge oven temperatures. Therefore, a small amount of batter was baked to test the oven temperatures.
In early American cookbooks, cookies did not even have their own section. They were listed at the end of the cake chapters, with names such as Jumbles, Plunkets and Cry Babies.
Dutch, English and Scotch immigrants originally brought cookies to America. In Australia and the UK, they are called biscuits, and a Southern colonial housewife proudly referred to them as tea cakes.
All countries have their favorite cookie. France has sables and macaroons, Italy has biscotti, and in America, the favorite cookie is the chocolate chip. At least half of the cookies baked in American homes are chocolate chip. Oddly enough, the chocolate chip cookie was invented accidentally by Ruth Wakefield of Whiteman, Mass., who managed the Toll House Restaurant.
While experimenting with a cookie recipe, she chopped up a bar of semi-sweet chocolate into the batter, thinking it would melt throughout the cookie. However, the chocolate pieces held their shape and chocolate chip cookies were born. The Nestle Company realized the potential and developed a semisweet chocolate bar with a small cutting instrument making the job of cutting up the chocolate easier. On the inside of each chocolate bar wrapper, was Wakefield’s recipe. In 1939, Betty Crocker published it in her radio series on Famous Foods From Famous Eating Places.
The origin of the brownie, another popular sweet, is uncertain. But, some historians feel that it was probably created by accident, the result of a forgetful cook who neglected to add baking powder to the cake batter. In 1897, Sears Roebuck catalog published the first known recipe for brownies, and the mix was even available for purchase in the catalog.
Fortune cookies date back to the 13th and 14th centuries when China was occupied by the Mongols. Secret messages were hidden in the Chinese traditional lotus nut moon cakes about the date of an uprising against the Mongols. Chu Yuan Chang, a patriotic revolutionary, disguised as a Taoist priest, distributed the moon cakes, feeling confident the secret was safe as Mongols had no taste for lotus nut paste. The uprising was successful, and the basis of the Ming Dynasty was formed.
Pizzelles are the oldest known cookie and originated in Italy. They were made many years ago for the Festival of the Snakes. This festival was to celebrate a village in Italy that was able to chase out an over-population of snakes.
Using cookie cutters is another entertaining feature about baking cookies. Historians think they date back to 3,000 years BC and were used in Egypt. Cookie makers used a wooden tool with carved designs to stamp the cookies and create decorative figures on the dough before baking.
In early America, tin smiths used their scraps from various projects to make cookie cutters, utilizing leftover material.
Several people collect cookie cutters and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Some collectors use their cookie cutters, while others find them useful as decorations in the kitchen, on shelves, in wire vegetable hangers or even as mobiles. They research history of various cutters and have exchanges during clubs and conventions.
Baking tips are available online, and in many cookbooks, for those amateurs as well as experienced cooks.
– To save a mess, roll out cookies on wax paper
– Run out of flour for rolling cookies?
Sprinkle some powdered sugar. It works as good as flour and adds a sweet taste.
– To prevent cookies and cakes from going hard, place a slice of white bread in the container. The moisture in the bread will keep them moist.
– A slice of apple will soften up hardened brown sugar.
– Brown sugar can also be put in a microwave for a couple minutes to soften up.
– Add a slice of bread to the brown sugar in container and it will keep it moist.
– If you flour a cookie sheet after it is greased, there will be less tendency for cookies to thin out too much during baking.
Whether they be chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter or sugar cookies, they are usually gone as soon as they come out of the oven.
Fudge cookies
submitted by Susie Spears
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup
cocoa
1 cup milk
20 marshmallows
Boil sugar, cocoa and milk until it forms a soft ball in water. Add butter “size of egg”. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and pour over chopped marshmallows. Add 3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and drop by teaspoons on waxed paper.
Mrs. Wakefield’s Original Toll House Cookie Recipe
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.)
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
pan cooking variation:
Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
Diabetic Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Yield: 4 servings
2/3 c oatmeal
2 c Flour
1 tsp Lite salt
1/4 tsp Soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 c Corn oil
2/3 c salt free peanut butter
1/4 c Eggbeaters
1 egg
3 tb skim milk
4 tb liquid sweetener
2 tb sugar substitute
Sift flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. Cream next 6 ingredients together add oatmeal, beat. Add flour mixture, stir until it forms a ball; roll into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down with glass. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Each cookie 35 calories.
Sugarless Cookies
3 c flour
3/4 lb butter softened (margarine if desired)
1/2 c water
Blend all ingredients. Roll into balls using about 1 teaspoon of dough. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour. Bake at 350 degrees until the edges begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Options to sweeten: Before baking, make a thumb print in each cookie and fill with chopped nuts or sugarless jam. Posted in COOKING by: Jean Cody
Various recipes and baking hints and tips are available online.
For recipes, check out www.cookierecipe.com or www.masterstech-home.com. For cookie cutter information, go to www.cookiecutter.com or www.armchair.com.
Easy Bar Cookies
1 box cake mix (any flavor)
2 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
optional (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate or other flavored chips)
Melt butter in medium bowl, add dry cake mix and eggs. Mix well. Add optional ingredients.
Spread evenly in 10×15 inch jelly roll pan. Bake16 – 18 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven.
Let cool approx. 5 minutes, cut and place on cooling rack to complete cooling. These can be iced or topped with decorative sprinkles.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
2
cups all-purpose flour
1
cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4
teaspoon
cinnamon
1/4
teaspoon salt
1
cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4
cup granulated sugar
1/4
cup powdered sugar
2
teaspoons vanilla
Additional powdered sugar (approximately 3/4 cup)
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, combine flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt; mix well and set aside.
2.In medium bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; beat on low speed just until dry ingredients are incorporated.
3.Using a small scoop, drop level scoops of dough, 1 inch apart, onto flat baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until cookies are set but not brown. Remove cookies to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes. While cookies are still warm, roll in additional powdered sugar to coat. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Yield: About 4 dozen cookies
©The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2003
www.pamperedchef.com
Praline Cookies
1/2
cup butter or margarine
1/2
cup packed brown sugar
1/2
cup sugar
1
egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2
cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2
teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2
cups chopped pecans
Powdered sugar
1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Microwave butter in medium microwave safe bowl on HIGH 40-45 seconds or until butter is melted. Add sugars, egg, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add pecans; mix well.
2.Using a small scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart onto baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool 2 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen
©The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2003
www.pamperedchef.com
Simple Shortbread Buttons
1/2
cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2
tablespoons
sugar
1
teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4
cups all-purpose flour
1/8
teaspoon salt
1/4
cup powdered sugar
1.In medium bowl, combine butter and sugar with spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Gradually stir in flour and salt until smooth. Form into a ball.
2.Dust a 15-inch piece of parchment paper with powdered sugar. Transfer dough onto Parchment Paper; shape into an 8-inch log. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Cut cookies into 1/2-inch slices using Crinkle Cutter. Place on baking sheet. Bake 20-22 minutes. Cool 3 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Cool completely. Sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
Nutrients per serving: (1 cookie): Calories 60, Total Fat 4 g,
Sodium 50 mg, Fiber 0 g
Variations:
Orange Shortbread: Fold in 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest with flour.
Almond Shortbread: Fold in 1/3 cup chopped almonds with flour.
©The Pampered Chef, Ltd. 2003
www.pamperedchef.com
Almond Raspberry Cookies
1 package (20 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 cup blanched slivered almonds, chopped
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup red raspberry preserves
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cookie dough in medium bowl. Chop almonds very finely. Add almonds and almond extract to dough; mix well.
2.Using a small scoop, drop dough 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Press lightly floured finger in center of dough to make indentations. Fill indentations with about 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves.
3.Bake 15-18 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown. Remove cookies from baking stone to cooling rack. Cool; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Yield:
About 4 dozen cookies
Chocolate Cluster Cookies
1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1/2 cup plain candy-coated chocolate pieces
1.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Unwrap cookie dough; place in medium bowl. Add peanut butter to cookie dough. Mix well. Chop nuts. Add nuts, chocolate morsels, oats and candy-coated chocolate pieces to dough; mix well.
2.
Drop dough 1 inch apart onto large baking sheet using a medium scoop. Bake 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown. Cool 2-3 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Store in tightly covered container.
Yield:
About 2 dozen 2-inch cookies

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