That's why when my friend Mouse talked about the cookies her mom used to make for her, I knew I should try and make them myself. I had been looking for something tasty to make for a friend who was in town, but even when that didn't pan out it I decided I would like to try and replicate the cookies Mouse had grown up on for her sake. I had already tried to replicate her nostalgia once, on her birthday, with mixed results. The candied apples I made in lieu of a cake looked beautiful, tasted wonderful, and played hell on your teeth. My inexperience with candy thermometers made what could have been a perfect treat more reminiscent of the glass Christmas ornaments my punk friends used to eat to freak people out. I wasn't going to let one mistake in the kitchen discourage me, however, so I set out to find a recipe.
I waited until a morning that Boy asked for cereal instead of a cooked breakfast and set to work. These cookies were pretty easy, but I was trying to fit them into a pretty narrow window; I drop Wife off at work by 7, and leave to take Boy to school at 8:25. There could be no lolly-gagging.
For those of you who don't like to click links, this is the recipe I was working with:
1 c plus 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 1 tsp instant coffee (optional)
Pretty straight forward, and it began in the usual way: combining the dry ingredients. The flour, baking powder, and teaspoon of cinnamon went together in a bowl and were mixed together. The brown sugar and the butter got mixed in another bowl until creamy, and then the eggs were added.
|Tastes like childhood.|
Once the trifecta of heat/cool/mix has been accomplished, it is time to make the cookies. I've never had patience with making each cookie identical, but the original recipe says that if you make one inch balls you can get thirty cookies. I got a reasonable eighteen. After you make them, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mix and put them on a greased cookie sheet. I saved my leftover cinnamon sugar for toast; I haven't a clue what you would do with any remaining sugar if you added the coffee as well. (Except maybe add it to more coffee?)
|Ready for the oven|
I was really impressed with the way these cookies turned out, and I would definitely make them again. I don't know what these would be like with the mocha flavor the coffee would provide, and I certainly wouldn't mind making a batch that way in the future, but I am glad I made the change from unsweetened to semi-sweet chocolate. Neither myself nor any of the people (Boy excluded) who tried these cookies like their desserts overly sweet, and these seemed just right for us-I could imagine them being perhaps a little plain without that extra bit of sugar.
And as for the girl whose traditions inspired me to make these? I have to say Mouse was quite pleased, although in the end she only got to have a few as all of the people who came around between when I finished baking and when I finally brought them to work had to try one (or two.) Even Wife (who usually prefers the savory to the sweet) had a couple.