Tag Archives: Cookies

March Maple Madness Day 4: Maple Butter Cookies

I have a confession to make.  I did not make these cookies today, but rather mixed them up and had my two friends cut them out and bake them in preparation for the Staycation Party a couple of weeks ago.  Note in the picture below that they are alligator shaped.  The whole idea of the Staycation is to go on a trip without ever actually leaving home, and I thought some Australian wildlife – we ate koala maple cookies and kangaroo maple cookies, too – would do the trick.

This recipe is adapted from Epicurious.  I’ve been adding whole wheat flour to a lot of baked goods lately, party to free up some space in my cupboard, and partly to give my baked goods a more nutty, hearty quality.  For this recipe in particular, I think the whole wheat flour was a good addition that made for a richer tasting cookie that’s not too sweet (I know what you’re thinking Dad – why bother, right?  But really, these are pretty good!).

Maple Butter Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Mix in maple syrup and egg yolk.  Fold in salt and flours until combined well.  Divide dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350º.  Remove one ball from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8″ thick (or thicker or thinner depending on your preferences).  Cut cookies out using fun cookie cutters from your friends in Australia (or whatever fun cookie cutters you have).  Chill scraps.  Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake cookies for 10 – 12 minutes, depending on your oven.  Repeat steps with remaining ball of dough.  Gobble up them up within a week!

Maple Butter Cookies


Pumpkin and Maple Ice Cream Sandwiches

Day 2 of March Maple Madness brings you a dessert recipe with flavors that remind you of how wonderful the past fall was, how sweet this spring is, and how refreshingly cool and delicious the coming summer promises to be.  Though these little gems may not be the most photogenic item I’ve ever made, they are pretty tasty.

Pumpkin and Maple Ice Cream Sandwiches (adapted from Cooking Light)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2  c.  all-purpose flour
1  tsp.  baking soda
1/2  tsp.  salt
1/2  tsp.  pumpkin pie spice
3/4  c.  granulated sugar
1/2  c.  butter, softened
1/3  c.  brown sugar
1  cup  canned pumpkin puree
1  egg
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

For the filling:
1  quart vanilla ice cream
1/3  cup  maple syrup

1.  To prepare filling, combine ice cream and syrup.  Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.
2.  Preheat oven to 350°.
3.  While filling freezes, prepare cookies.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and pie spice, stirring with a whisk. Beat granulated sugar, butter, and brown sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring just until moist.
4. Drop dough by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. With moist hands, flatten cookies into 3-inch circles. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until set. Remove cookies from baking sheet; cool completely on wire racks.
5.  Spread about ice cream onto the flat side of each of 15 cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing gently. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap; freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Pumpkin and Maple Ice Cream Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

You know what’s VVG?  My grandma’s Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.  I haven’t made one of Grandma’s recipes in quite a while so I decided it was time to break out my little recipe box and dig out a gem.  And dig one out I did!  I forgot about how wonderful these are!

I like to think that in addition to being a tried and true Grandma VVG* recipe, these cookies also turned out well because I made the peanut butter myself.  That’s right – I made peanut butter!  No, I did not shuck the peanuts and roast them myself, nor did I manually grind them into a fine butter, but I did go through the painstaking process of pouring a bag of roasted nuts in my food processor and turning it on to watch the magic of electricity and sharp blades work it’s magic.  That counts for something, right?

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1 c. shortening or butter
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 c. peanut butter
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 c. oatmeal

Mix ingredients together. Drop dough on an ungreased cookies sheet.  Bake at 375º for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

A note from Grandma:
I bake all drop cookies at 375º. Depends on your oven.  Since Grandpa replaced a spring in my oven door, it doesn’t close tight – so it’s baking by guess and by gosh!

I wish I had a picture of Grandma baking by “guess and by gosh” to share with you.  She was pretty cute perched on her stool watching the progress in her oven!!

Jar of Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies










*All of Grandma’s recipes are tagged VVG (and a few of Aunt Pat’s).  You can just type in VVG in the search field at the top of the screen and you can see them all!

Holiday Baking Party and Dough Boy Recipe

Last week Thursday, some friends of mine and I got together to bake some holiday goodies.  I love getting people to bake for the holidays because it’s a great opportunity to reap the benefits of a wide variety of cookies without having to actually make all the cookies yourself.  Plus, you get to hang out with fun people while you bake up those treats!  Really, what could be better?

As it turns out, there are a couple of ways to make an already wonderful baking experience even better.  While I’ve hosted holiday baking parties before, this one was a little different, and special, for the following reasons:

  1. We met at the Logan Park Community kitchen where we were able to utilize 2 – count them – 2 ovens!!  If you’ll remember, my friend Angela and I embarked on a tomato canning adventure a few months back in a Minneapolis community kitchen. That experience planted the seed for this baking adventure.  Really, you can get so much more done with 2 ovens!
  2. We donated a large chunk of the baked goodies to the NE Meals on Wheels program as a reward for the volunteers who deliver tasty meals to residents in the neighborhood.  I think I can speak on behalf of all of the bakers – we were happy to be able to share a little cheer to help thank volunteers for their dedication to our community!
  3. I finally got to meet my new blog friend Molly from The Found Recipe box in real life!  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do.  I think she’s one creative cookie and I’m glad she was able to make it to our baking extravaganza.

There were about 8 of us in the kitchen at Logan Park and everyone contributed some fantastic recipes.  Despite a little minor smoke plume emitting from one of the ovens, we still managed to yield quite the assortment of holiday treats!  We had spritz cookies, raspberry tarts, rice krispy wreaths, peanut clusters, ginger cookies, chocolate crinkles and a family classic – the Dough Boy.  The cookies all turned out to be quite tasty and plentiful and we were able to divvy up cookies for each of the bakers while still donating a bunch for the Meals on Wheels program, much to the dismay of the elementary wrestling team who was practicing in the gym adjacent to the kitchen.

Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies

Peanut Clusters

Peanut Clusters

Raspbery Tarts

Raspberry Tarts

Dough Boys

Dough Boys

And now, without further adieu, I present to you the classic and coveted Dough Boy recipe (imagine the narrator from A Christmas Story as you read this part because that’s what I would like my voice to sound like right now).  No, this is not a dough boy as in the Pillsbury Dough Boy.  These Dough Boys are not pale and pasty, nor do they giggle uncontrollably.  Quite the opposite. They are rich, chocolaty pieces of heaven that melt in your mouth and cause you to make that “mmmm, mmmm” sound.  In a word, the holidays just aren’t complete without a plate of dough boys.  Or at least Christmas can’t go on in my family without a plate of Dough Boys.

Dough Boys (from my mom, from her Grandma, from who knows where)
13 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)
powdered sugar

Heat oven 250º.  Layer crushed graham crackers, chocolate chips and condensed milk in a 9 x 13″ pan.  Place in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until chocolate chips appear glossy.  Remove pan from oven and mix all ingredients together.  Quickly roll into small balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Tell people they are from a complicated Martha recipe.*  Enjoy!

*Clearly this line is not from my great-grandmother.  But it is from my mom circa 2002 when she first emailed the recipe to me and a friend.  The subject of the email?  “The no-longer secret family recipe”.

Person pouring condensed milk on the Dough Boys

Pour the condensed milk on the dough boys with a smile!

Thanks to all of my baking friends for joining me in the community kitchen and for donating the fruits of your labor to the Meals on Wheels program.  I hope we can do something like this again next year!

Grandma’s Ginger Snaps

A few years ago, Grandma gave me a blue binder full of recipes from a cooking course she took in the church basement during 1973 – 1974.  Apparently they made a lot of hamburger buns in this course because there are a LOT of hamburger bun recipes marked as VVG in this binder.  Since I am out of beef (I will be returning to the Motherland this weekend to restock on essential items such as beef, cheese, maple syrup and beer) I’m not really in the market for hamburger buns.  So, I dug a little deeper and ran across this gem, marked as “v. good” by Grandma (yes, the good was underlined):

Chicken Buffet Mold
1 envelope (1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin)
1 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 1/2 c. diced, cooked or canned chicken
1/2 c. chopped, unpared cucumbers
1/2 c. diced celery
3 tbsp. minced onion
3 tbsp. chopped green olives
1 tbsp. diced pimento
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. paprika
1 c. heavy cream, whipped

Soften gelatin in cold water; dissolve over hot water; then add all at once to the mayonnaise.  Stir in remaining ingredients except cream.  Whip cream and fold in.  Pour into oiled mold and allow to set for about six hours.  Trim as desired.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Alyssa – the title of this post is Grandma’s Ginger Snaps.  Why did you type up a recipe about moldy chicken?!”  Well, here’s your answer.  Although I’m sure this recipe was v. good in 1973, Grandma never made it for me and I am not about to make it in my lifetime.  HOWEVER, I don’t want to be accused of hoarding the v.g. recipes, so I feel it it is my duty to share it.  So, if you decide to make this, feel free to leave a comment and tell me how much I was missing out.

While I wait for you to cook up the moldy chicken, I’ll munch on the cookies I made today.  These ginger snaps were a treat that Grandma made for us quite regularly and are what I consider to be a more tried and true VVG recipe.  These really are fool-proof cookies (my neighbor Bri came over to help me bake them if that says anything).  Without further adieu, here’s the recipe!

Grandma’s Ginger Snaps
6 tbsp. butter or shortening (I used butter)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. Grandma’s molasses
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt (I forgot it, oops)

Beat butter with sugar until light.  Mix in molasses and egg.  Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture.  Mix well. Chill in freezer 1 hour or in refrigerator 2 hours.  Heat oven to 350º.  Roll into 1 inch balls and dip in sugar.  Bake on a greased baking sheet for 10 – 12 minutes.

Note from Grandma:  This recipe is off the Grandma’s (Robust) bottle.  I’m sure other molasses brands will work too.

Note from Alyssa:  I used Brer Rabbit molasses.  Grandma was right – it worked too!

cookie jar with ginger snaps inside