Friends and coworkers began calling me the Cookie Lady probably fifteen or twenty years ago. I took cookies to work for any occasion or not for any particular occasion. Now, living in the high desert and bowling on a practice league on Wednesday mornings, I have been taking cookies for everyone on our small league. I have been baking cookies almost all my life, starting with my childhood, searching through my mother’s Ida Bailey Allen Service cookbook for a recipe that coordinated with what was in our pantry. I had a free rein in the kitchen but no one ever went out to buy ingredients. That being said, there was always peanut butter, Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa, flour, sugar, margarine or Crisco, and old fashioned rolled oats to be found in my mother’s kitchen.
Now, the curious thing about all of this is that my sons were not, as a general rule, crazy about my homemade cookies–they would eat chocolate chip cookies as long as there weren’t any strange ingredients in the cookies –like nuts.
I would make and bake a lot of butter cutout cookies during the holidays–and my sons like those. When my son Michael was 5 years old he ate all the icing off the butter cutout cookies I had decorated at night after they were in bed; I had left the cookies drying on the kitchen table–so I learned to be careful to keep everything stored and out of reach. It was never easy to keep Anything out of the reach of four growing boys. I made a lot of chocolate chip cookies over the years–if I didn’t want the kids eating something in particular, I just added nuts.
I suspect there are as many peanut butter cookie recipes as there are brownie recipes. For years the recipe I would make was a flourless simple PB cookie recipe attributed to Miss, Lillian, President Carter’s mother. Now in recent times I have been seeing the flourless pb cookie resurrected. in a recent woman’s magazine under the heading SMART COOKIES, I found the following:
EASIEST EVER PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
1 CUP CHUNKY OR CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER
3/4 CUP PACKED LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
1 LARGE EGG
3/4 TSP BAKING SODA
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, blend all ingredients in a large bowl. Drop by level teaspoon onto baking sheets spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. bake until cookies are puffed and starting to brown around the edges – 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.
Curiously in the magazine article which shows the baked cookies, it looked to me like either some kind of white chopped nut or white chips were added although there is no mention of any other ingredients in the recipe. When I was making them for my sister’s mother-in-law’s birthday, I added a handful of white chocolate chips. I think you can play around with this recipe.
I found a molasses cookie in the newspaper and clipped it out to try. I don’t make them as big as the directions call for; I use a level one tablespoon cookie scoop (such a valuable cooking tool if you make a lot of cookies) – and I only put 6 scoops of dough onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheets; they do spread a lot. I sent this recipe to one of my Canadian girlfriends and she said her husband thought it was the best molasses cookie he had ever eaten! Thanks, Harv!
To make Easy Molasses cookies, you will need the following:
EASY MOLASSES COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon (14.5 ounces) flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the mixture until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the molasses.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and ground cloves. With the mixer running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture until completely incorporated.
4. Spoon the batter into mounds, about 1 tablespoon each) and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (space the cookies at least 3 to 4 inches apart, as they will spread). Bake the cookies until set, about 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through for even coloring. Cookies should be slightly browned around the edges. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for about 3 or 4 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
I like to drizzle the cookies with a lemon glaze after they have cooled. Just mix some lemon juice with powdered sugar until you have a thin glaze. I never measure this but I think its about 2 cups of powdered sugar–enough lemon juice to get it incorporated but you can add a little water if the glaze is too thick.
Each cookie: 221 calories; 2 grams protein; 35 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 36 mg cholesterol; 21 grams sugar; 264 mg sodium.
Look for more everyday cookie recipes in a future post!