Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The cookie quest

Some of my earliest cooking memories are of learning to bake with my grandmother, Pat. It was she who taught me the importance of following recipes precisely and measuring properly when it comes to baked goods. Christmas after Christmas, she would help me create cookies a pleanty to give as gifts to my family. Now that she is gone, I regret not saving her recipes so I am on a quest to recreate some of the ones I remember making with her.

Stained Glass Window Cookies
Stained Glass Window Cookies were light bar cookies with gumdrop slices mixed in. When they were baked, the gumdrops would melt and come out looking like stained glass windows. The cookies were like blondies but without the butterscotch flavor. The flavor was more like a sugar cookie.

My Google search for "stained glass window cookies" turned up something entirely different so I tried a different search and found the following recipe.

Gumdrop Bars
source: Razzle Dazzle Recipes
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped gumdrops
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 eggs
1 tablespoon water
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together flour, gumdrops and pecans; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and water. Add brown sugar and beat until it is just light. Beat in cinnamon and salt. Stir gumdrop mixture into the brown sugar mixture. Spread into a greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 pan. Bake at 375° F. until cookies are done, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For Icing: In saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of great orange peel and 2 tablespoons of orange juice. Sift in enough powdered sugar to make a thin icing and blend until smooth. Spread icing over warm cookies and cut into bars.

Now, my grandmother's cookies didn't have pecans or icing, but I'll give this recipe a try and see how close it comes.

Whirligig Cookies
Whirligig Cookies are beautiful rolled and sliced chocolate and peanut butter cookies. I remember rolling out the two kinds of dough, rolling them up together and carefully slicing them into rounds. This was a bit laborious, but yielded beautiful results.

A quick Google search produced some recipes but so far, all call for melting chocolate pieces and spreading over the dough, not a chocolate dough. So, the search continues.

Nana Cookies
Nana Cookies are a soft and spicy molasses cookie. It was my great-grandmother's recipe, hence the name. This is one recipe that I do have, however, I cannot seem to get them to come out like Grandma's. My quest here, is to get these ones right!

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