Press them, roll them, drop them… get those cookies baking!

Printed with the permission of the Alpine Avalanche

The Jeff Davis County Library Cookbook Club met recently for a holiday inspired cookie swap and to discuss the new cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies, while eating cookies brought by the club members. Does it get much better than that? It does when you get to take home cookies from the meeting, like we all did. The Cookbook Club meets monthly at lunchtime and is open to everyone who would like to get a taste of a newly released cookbook that can be checked out from the library.elaine-and-fred-harmon-and-the-cookbook-of-the-month

Our book of the month is pictured above, with Elaine and Fred Harmon in the background.

This book’s author, Dorie Greenspan, gave up working on her doctorate in gerontology to work as a cookie-baker in the basement of a restaurant… which resulted in her career path leading her to become an award-winning cookbook author and weekly food columnist for the Washington Post, among other accolades. Dorie’s Cookies is her 12th cookbook to share with the world, and hit the shelves in October.

The word “cookie” is said to have been derived from the Dutch word “keokje”, meaning “little cake.” The Dutch first popularized cookies in the United States, and then the British discovered them in the 1800s, calling them biscuits or sweet buns and eating them with their daily tea.

Legend has it that sometime in the 1930s, a Massachusetts innkeeper ran out of nuts while making cookies and she substituted a bar of baking chocolate, breaking it into pieces before adding the chips of chocolate to the flour, butter and brown sugar dough. The Toll House Cookie, so named after the inn where it was served, was born. Thank you, inventive innkeeper Ruth Wakefield, for inventing an American classic – the chocolate chip cookie.

The earliest record of cookie-style confections is thought to have come from Persia in the seventh century, as Persia was one of the first countries to cultivate sugar. While there are six basic cookie styles, there are countless cookie recipes today, all ranging from tender-crisp to soft, and also ranging in degree of difficulty.

Drop cookies are made by dropping spoonsful of dough on the baking sheet.

Bar cookies are batter baked in a shallow pan that is cut into bars when it cools.

Hand-formed cookies are those shaped by hand into small balls, logs, crescents, and other shapes.

Pressed cookies are created by using a cookie press or pastry bag to make fancy shapes.
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Sascha Ashworth (left) used a cookie press to create her gluten-free meringues, as our Librarian Extraordinaire Gwin Grimes tells us the ins and outs of baking secrets… and today, on the blog only, we get TWO recipes… the Meringue Puffs recipe is below the World Peace Cookies!

Refrigerator cookies (also called icebox cookies) involved forming the dough into a log, refrigerating until firm, then slicing and baking.

Below, Gwin’s icebox cookie, World Peace Cookie, is the same that graces the cover of the cookbook.
thick-and-chocolately-world-peace-cookies

Rolled cookies are created by using a rolling pin to flatten the dough, then cutting the cookies into decorative shapes with cookie cutters or a pointed knife.

No matter which type of cookie you bake, they always taste better when you share them… so bake plenty to give to your family and friends. Cookies brighten everyone’s day. Questions or comments? Email johnskrysta@gmail.com

World Peace Cookies
(cookies so good, they could cause world peace if everyone ate them – it’s also on the cover of the book Dorie’s Cookies)
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 85% cacao), chopped (no pieces bigger than 1/3 inch)

Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth but not fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended (mixture may be crumbly). Add chopped chocolate; mix just to distribute (if dough doesn’t come together, knead lightly in bowl to form ball). Divide dough in half. Place each half on sheet of plastic wrap. Form each into 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Wrap each in plastic; chill until firm, about 3 hours. These can be made 3 days ahead and kept chilled…or frozen for future use.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using thin sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies appear dry (cookies will not be firm or golden at edges), 11 to 12 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool. Store airtight at room temperature and enjoy the sense of peace that comes with each bite.

img_11962 large egg whites, at room temperature¼ tsp white vinegar

⅓ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºF. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  2. Beat the egg whites and vinegar with an electric mixer until they turn white and hold soft peaks. Still beating, add the granulated sugar a little at a time—you’ll have a shiny, bright-white meringue.
  3. Keep beating, gradually adding the powdered sugar. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the sticky meringue onto the baking sheet, scraping the meringue off the teaspoon with another spoon.
  4. Bake for 1 hours or until you can easily detach the meringue puffs from the foil. Cool for 2 hours.
Per cookie: 10 calories, 3g carbs. No protein, fat, or cholesterol… AND NO GLUTEN!
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