Archive | November 12, 2011

Confection not a cookie

Chocolate Hearts

These are my all time favourites and they really aren’t a cookie. They are a confection because they have no flour.

3 oz of bitter chocolate
1 lb powdered sugar
2 or 3 unbeaten egg whites
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Melt 3 oz of chocolate
Add 1lb of powdered sugar
And mix thoroughly
Work to a stiff yet pliable paste with the unbeaten egg whites
Add 1 tsp of vanilla
Roll ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutter
Sprinkle the board with powdered sugar instead of flour
Place on oiled or foiled pan
And bake until firm at 325 degrees
Remove from pan after standing a minute to cool

Grandmother Dorchester Cookies

Grandmother Dorchester Cookies

2 cups Brown sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of water
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of cloves
2 cups raisins

Cream together brown sugar and shortening
Add egg and water
Sift together the dry ingredients
Add to the sugar mixture
Add raisins and mix well
Dough will be quite stiff
Drop by large tablespoon on foil lined cookie sheet
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 -15 minutes

Makes 3 -5 dozen

This is a very old recipe and is named for the grandmother of my grandmother’s girlhood friend

There is more than one fruitcake circling the world

Theory – There is more than one holiday fruitcake in the world

To be proved: There is more than one fruitcake in the world

Steps:

Mom, Grandma and my aunts packed their Christmas cookies in air tight old fruitcake tins

My mom alone had over 30 tins.

Some years we would get a gift of fruitcake which only my dad would eat and the tin would be added to the collection. My grandma had at 20 and the Aunts had more. I had 4 Great Aunts.

There are at least 90 fruitcakes that have existed.

Proof: There are at least 90 fruitcakes that have existed in the world not one eternally circling.

My tweets

Cookie – Spritz Bakelser

Spritz Bakelser

1 cup sugar
2 cups Butter (never ever ever use margarine in any cookie calling for butter unless you want a nasty tasting mess)
1 egg
½ cup finely chopped almonds
4 cups Soft as Silk cake flour

Chop nuts in blender or food processor. (this used to be done by hand by her indentured servants)
Cream Butter and sugar together until light and delicate
Add egg and gradually work in flour and almonds
Chill dough
Squeeze through pastry tube with small star tip on to foil lined cookie sheets
(Mom used a cookie press with the star opening, much easier and more fun)
Bake in a preheated oven 400 degrees for about 12 minutes or until tinged with pale tan
Remove carefully when set

Makes 3-5 dozen

This recipe is from my Swedish great-grandmother and was transcribed my grandmother. It began as a little of this and just enough of that.

Not a cookie but BIG family favourite!

Pineapple Pickle

2 #2 ½ cans of pineapple chunks
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
20 whole cloves

Drain pineapple, reserving the liquid.
Add liquid to other ingredients and boil for 10 minutes
Add Pineapple and simmer for 10 minutes longer
Remove spices
Seal in hot sterilized jars or refrigerate until ready to use.

Serves 6-8

Warning when we made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas there is never any left to store. The longer you wait before serving the better the spices will do their job. So make the day before at least

Easy cookie – English Matrimonials

English Matrimonials

1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of butter
3/4 cup of raspberry jam (Mom used Mary Ellen but use the good stuff)

Measure flour, sugar, oats, salt and butter into bowl.
Mix with hands to a crumb-like consistency
Place half of mixture in an ungreased 6×10 Pyrex pan and press firmly
Cover with jam and top with remaining half of mixture
Press firmly
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes
Should be slightly candied around the edges and not too moist in center
Cut when cool

Makes 3-5 dozen

The recipe can be used as a dessert by substituting 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce or cherry or apple pie filling for the jam. Serve warm with ice cream.

Baking Education

It’s funny looking at all these recipes and realizing that whether I liked it at the time or not, the culinary education I received in baking people pay a lot to learn now. The three of us were not so willing sous chefs to my mom’s cookie juggernaut.

I found some notes of hers in the recipe file about making all the cookies. Her personal best was the year she made 34 varieties of cookies. I remember that year because it was the only year she made some things. I remember a sandwich cookie that I loved that she decided it was too much trouble to make again but it was really good. I guess at some point some one asked her for one favourite recipe of the family and she said she couldn’t because everyone had a different favourite cookie or two or three.

I remember feeling like an organ grinder’s monkey turning the nut grinder over and over again and getting in trouble one year for singing Pop Goes the Weasel over and over again. Just when you would think you had finished she’d say, “Oh now you have to grind these. These have to be finely done.” And the batch before had just been coarsely ground. We ground every nut I think except cashews. Pecans for the Pecan Balls, Pistachios and Brazil Nuts for Twin Nut Wonders. Shelling Walnuts for the perfect halves for the top of Chocolate Nuggets. Filberts for some cookie I can’t find the recipe for. Almonds for a hell of a lot of them. One cookie had a blanched almond on the top and it was great fun to have to squirt the almond out of its husk.

We learned when to use the mixer and how to add things to it so you didn’t end up looking like a snowman. How to cream things into butter and how to separate eggs. I know to dust my surface for rolling out dough with flour so it won’t stick. We learned so much just by doing it truly amazes me. I became a good baker because of her and her mother and grandmothers and grandfather. I have all these recipes that have been handed down must from person to person. Very few from a book. Now that I will never have children to pass these on to I’ll just have to pass them on to you. All are well tested and all are favourites. So enjoy!