The Way the Cookie Crumbles (Or Stays Chewy)

If you’re like me this time of year*, you might have cookies on the brain and are creating goodies by the handful.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for some suggestions to keep your oven in full swing, look no further! Special Collection is laden with directions for tasty cookies, breads, and puddings (more on the latter over the next couple weeks). Oh, and I promise, I’m not sneaking any grossly inedible cookie recipes into this post, despite some interesting discoveries…

This week’s post features recipes from three different recipe books. The ABC of Cookies from 1961 includes selected recipes beginning with each letter of the alphabet, except for that “XYZ” combination at the end (“X-Tra Special Walnut Cookies”). Each section starts four lines of poetry, and has at least one recipe for cakes/tea cakes, bars, drop cookies, rolled cookies, pastry cookies and specialties, and winter classics like spice and fruit cookies.

“Do-It-Yourself” Butter Cookies: 56 Fabulous Cookie Ideas Plus 41 Do-It-Together Decorating Ideas (1965) is a pamphlet sponsored by a number of companies, as the cover clearly shows. It contains recipes for cookies, but also some creative display and serving alternatives (cone-shaped pine trees with hooks and snowmen with dowels in their arms for holding cookies, both using a modeling mixture make with flour). There are also a few great advertisements, including one for Nestle’s “Choco-bake,” a liquid chocolate baking additive.

The final book of this week’s cookie trilogy is a bit more modern: The Cookie Book from 2001, which touts itself as “the only cookie book you will ever need.” Whether that’s true or not, this book does have a wide selection of recipes! Venturing into the “savory” section might require a little kitchen boldness, but whatever you like, there are options: chocolate, fruit, spices, nuts, coffee, or butter.

Food history and food traditions play an important role in the celebration of many holidays, and today, coincidentally, is no except. It’s Saint Nicholas Day, a holiday celebrated in a variety of ways throughout the globe. If you’ve been good, perhaps Saint Nicholas has left you presents and treats. If he hasn’t, you might just need to bake up some goodies of your own tonight. At least to last you until we find some new recipes for next week. Until then,

Happy Baking!

* (Note: I sincerely hope you are not like me, or, while you’ve baked 26 dozen cookies to feed coworkers and friends, you are nowhere close to being finished with holiday shopping.)

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