Monday, December 15, 2008

"Betty Crocker's Cooky Book" & "Good Housekeeping's Cookie-Jar Cookbook" - Glazed Fresh-Apple Cookies and Chocolate Crinkles

Date my husband made these recipes: December 11th and 12th, 2008

Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book by General Mills
Published by: Golden Press
© 1963
Recipe: Chocolate Crinkles – p. 23

Good Housekeeping’s Cookie-Jar Cookbook by Good Housekeeping Magazine
Published by: Consolidated Book Publishers
© 1971, 1967
Recipe: Glazed Fresh-Apple Cookies – p. 4

Well, it’s the holiday season and for the first time ever, we’ve been invited to two cookie exchanges, both of which, of course, fell on the same night. So I sent my regrets to the one hostess and RSVP’d to the party we are going to and then set off to find cookie recipes.

We’re not big cookie people in this house in terms of actually baking them; buying them already made from a grocery store or bakery is another thing altogether. And so for this endeavor, I enlisted my husband, Andy, previously our household’s “pie guy” to help review my cookie cookbooks.

Although I didn’t do a detailed search of my collection, I did notice two books on my shelf that specifically spoke to cookies; the Good Housekeeping book is from my mother’s collection whereas the Betty Crocker is part of quite the little stack of Betty’s spiral-bound cookbooks from the 60’s and 70’s that I’ve been collecting.

Since Andy is the pie guy, he initially selected two fruit cookies, one from each book to bring to the party. I told him that this violated what I knew of cookie exchanges – that chocolate is required if not expected. Who wants to eat a healthy cookie at a cookie exchange at this time of year? These things give us permission to indulge!

And so I vetoed one of the cookies and substituted the Chocolate Crinkles. (He thanked me later). One can never go wrong with melted unsweetened chocolate and sugar. Never.

Since I am on a deadline at work, I asked if he wouldn’t mind starting the apple cookies that he selected and he did, and then since I got home at 7:30, I asked him if he wouldn’t mind making the second batch, my Chocolate Crinkles and he did. What.a.guy.

And so people, for the first time ever on my blog, someone else actually made the recipe instead of me but hey, I helped select them from my cookbooks so there! (By the way, he’ll be back in the kitchen at some point when I pull out my His Turn to Cook cookbook. I can’t wait for that!).

As you might suspect, the chocolate cookies were the hit of the party and the apple ones weren’t far behind. And might I point out that ours were homemade whereas some friends (who shall remain nameless—Autumn!) brought store-bought cookies to the gig. But then again, these are all busy people who don’t necessarily have a pie guy waiting in the wings who easily converted to cookie baker extraordinaire! (I didn’t see a cape involved in that transition but maybe next time).

Glazed Fresh-Apple Cookies – Makes 3 ½ dozen
2 cups sifted regular all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup soft shortening
1 1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, unbeaten
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup finely-chopped unpared apple
1 cup dark or light raisins, chopped
¼ cup apple juice or milk

Vanilla Glaze
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon soft butter or margarine
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 ½ tablespoons light cream

Notes: I inadvertently hid the confectioners’ sugar from Andy so he substituted superfine sugar and that worked just dandy. Also, we were unsure what constituted light cream (further research indicates it has a fat content between half and half and heavy cream), but since our grocery store didn’t specifically carry that, we used heavy cream and nobody knew the difference.

To make the cookies
Heat the oven to 400. Sift the flour with the baking soda and set aside. Mix together shortening, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and egg until well blended. Stir in half the flour mixture, then nuts, apple and raisins. Blend in apple juice or milk then remaining flour mixture, mixing well.

Drop, by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 11 to 14 minutes, or until done. While cookies are still hot, spread thinly with Vanilla Glaze.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl blend the sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla extract, salt and cream.

Chocolate Crinkles – Makes about 6 dozen cookies
½ cup vegetable oil
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups Gold Medal Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix oil, chocolate and granulated sugar. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed. Add vanilla. Sift flour then add the flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture. Chill several hours or overnight.

Heat the oven to 350. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into confectioner’s sugar. Roll in sugar; shape into balls. Place about 2” apart on greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake!!

By the way, we used our Silpat baking liner instead of greasing the cookie sheets. They are easy to use and easy to clean. If you don’t have on already, I highly suggest buying one, especially if you’re going to make these cookies!

No comments: