I’ll be honest with you… My mom didn’t send me off into the world with great culinary skills. For many of you who are home cooks, you would be horrified if you knew how little I can actually cook. I’m a master microwaver and I really love cereal for any meal. This is an area of my life that I know I have great room to improve in. However, my kitchen doesn’t sit empty and downcast. I love to bake! In fact, I try to make a treat my Wednesday girls each week. It’s a special treat in my life and I love to share it!
My mom might not have passed down a love for cooking to me, but she did pass on a love for baking. There weren’t many treasured recipe books in our family, but there was one that both my sister and I loved dearly. It’s title – “Cookies”! Originally published in 1983, this book was a staple in our household. I’m absolutely positive the best cookies are made from the recipes in this book. Getting married and moving out of the house meant leaving the cookie book behind at my parents. No other cookie book took its place. I brought the cookie book to work once and photocopied my favorite recipes out of it. For Thanksgiving 2009, my mom surprised April and I with copies of the cookie book. She had found them used online since I’m guessing this book is out of print. It has been truly a blessing to have the best cookie book back in my midst.
Below are my three favorite cookies out of this book. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
1 cup butter, room temp. 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups (12oz.) semisweet chocolate pieces (I use milk chocolate)
2 eggs 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired (I certainly never desire nuts)
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, baking soda and salt, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate pieces and nuts, if desired (not). Drop by rounded teaspoons, 2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light browned. Remove from baking sheets; cool on racks. Makes 100 (2-inch) cookies.
Snickerdoodles – (This is Jeremy’s favorite cookie that I make)
1 cup margarine, room temp. 1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1-1/3 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs Pinch of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Prepare cinnamon-sugar coating; set aside. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, beat together margarine, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt, beating until blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in cinnamon-sugar coating, covering completely. Place 2-1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Remove cookies from baking sheets; cool on racks. Makes about 80 (2-inch) cookies.
Basic Butter Cookie Dough – (This is my holiday cookie dough. There is a great variation using peppermint extract and food coloring to make candy cane cookies.)
1 cup butter, room temp. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup sugar 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder
In medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and baking powder, beating until blended. Use dough immediately or wrap and store. May be stored in refrigerator up to 1 week. May be frozen, wrapped airtight, in moisture and vapor proof paper up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator several hours before using. Bake at 375F. Cookies should take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook depending on thickness.