When I was a little girl my parents were friends with this couple who also had two kids, each one year older than my sister and I. We had all become good friends and their grandparents had become surrogate grandparents to us: Grandma Bea and Grandpa Sam.
Bea and Sam had once owned a luncheonette. She was a wonderful baker and used to make these delicious cookies stuffed with all sorts of jams, nuts and chocolate pieces. I remember how excited I was coming home from school to find a box of her cookies sitting on the table or when my mom would send us over to her apartment to pick them up. Mmm, I can remember just how good they smelled, just baked. She would package them up in a shirt box, you know, the kind you get from a department store.
Of course Grandma Bea wasn’t just the cookie lady, she was an occasional baby sitter when we were young and an avid knitter who kept my sister and I in cozy, warm hand knit sweaters, hats and scarves for many years; she was family. I remember my mom taking us over to her apartment periodically for “fittings”. I suspect she designed her own patterns as well. Hmm, if only I knew then what I know now, I’d have learned to knit from her many years ago. Sigh.
This cookie recipe was one I believe she created herself. I’ll admit to making a few small tweaks, replacing the melted margarine with cubed, room temperature butter. I also worked out a few “approximate” measurements and formalized the instructions. This was one of those recipes that was done by feel. Many years later she had told my mom the recipe who wrote it down and I got it from her.
December is #cookielove month!
Please join the #cookielove fun by linking up any cookie recipe from the month of December 2011. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so your readers know to stop by the #cookielove event! The twitter hashtag is #cookielove. My fellow co-hosts for this bloghop are:
Badger Girl Learns to Cook, Baking and Cooking: A Tale of Two Loves, BigFatBaker, Bloc de Recetas, Bon a Croquer, CafeTerraBlog, Cake Duchess Creative Cooking Corner, Easily Good Eats, Georgie Cakes, Hobby and More, Mike’s Baking, Mis Pensamientos, No One Likes Crumbley Cookies, Oh Cake, Queen’s Notebook, Savoring Every Bite, Simply Reem, Soni’s Food for Thought, Teaspoon of Spice, That Skinny Chick Can Bake, The Art of Cooking Real Food, The Spicy RD, The Wimpy Vegetarian, Vegetarian Tastebuds, Vegan Yack Attack.
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Here is Grandma Bea’s recipe for her lovingly made cookies.
3 cups flour (14 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of butter, cubed at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar (5 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Fillings of your choice
1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs one at a time until combined, then add the vanilla.
4. Turn the mixer down to low and add about 1/3 of the flour mixture until mostly incorporated then Add a bit of the milk.
5. Repeat twice more, ending with the milk.
6. The dough will become stiff. When it starts to form a ball, stop the machine and turn out onto a floured surface and bring the dough together, gently.
7. Split the dough in half and form each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic. Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour or overnight. Allow the dough to soften on the counter before proceeding.
8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8″ thick.
9. Using a 3″ round cookie cutter, or a glass as Bea did, cut out a series of circles. Set the scraps aside.
10. Place a small amount of your filling in the center of the dough. Fold one side just past center and the opposite side over that, press gently to seal. You can also form into crescent shapes if you wish.
11. Bake on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheet in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
Allow cookies to rest on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- The dough freezes well. I usually bake off half and freeze the rest of the dough for a later craving.
- You can re-roll the scrap once, after that I usually just bake the bits sprinkled with a little cinnamon-sugar.
- Jam with or without crushed nuts and/or raisins
- Cinnamon-sugar and raisins
- chocolate ieces
- Sliced apples or pears
- Spiced pumpkin puree
- Hazelnut spread
- Peanut butter and chocolate