And I have a really good excuse! We had our 2nd and hopefully final bake sale yesterday to raise money for the neighborhood association, so I was elbow deep (vs. knee deep, which when it comes to food is just a very bad, distasteful analogy) in 4 cakes, 4 pies, brownies and chocolate eclairs. Then afterwards, G & I had a movie date that then ended at Walmart at about midnight. I gotta tell ya - if ya want to go to Walmart when it is not crowded, midnight is a good time. Also if you want to get lost in a Walmart, go to one that is in transition from a "regular" Walmart to a super center just prior to their new grand re-opening when they are moving groceries from the right half of the store (where the "Market" sign still is at this point) to the left half of the store (as you are looking at the front doors from the parking lot), because then there will be temp gates blocking off the floor sections that still need shelving setup for the new planogram sets. (And yes, just for the record and for those who talk planogram sets and resets, Google Chrome does not recognize this word in their dictionary. Just thought you'd like to know that.) Plus you have to appreciate my lengthy, run-on sentence there, agreed?
So was all of that a good enough excuse for why these cookies are a day late? I don't think that they are a dollar short, too, however, for those of you familiar with that phrase. (How old does this reference date me? I am not sure I want to know the answer to that question.)
Anyway, back to our cookie story. Except, wait, did I ever even start the cookie story? No, I don't guess that I did. So I will start here. A friend who tasted 2 of these 3 cookies had these stories to tell:
- The molasses ginger cookie was "over the top" especially when paired with the vanilla coffee that they had in the department that day. Apparently the combination was quite good, and had I not had a few tummy issues myself on Thursday, I would have tried it, but was afraid the coffee would have worked some wonderful "magic" on my system, so I didn't. But I still appreciate the story!
- The oatmeal reminded her of "some old time fairs in the summer...[and] the Colonial cookies people stand in line to eat. Down in Prairie du Roucher they have an old time brick community oven from the 1700’s, apparently back in those days they would light the brick oven early in the morning and all of the towns women would bring the bread, cookies and pies to bake in the oven all day long since most people did not have an oven in their own homes. They make an oatmeal cookie that is very similar to yours. I like yours better since it doesn’t have the wood smoke flavor like the brick oven does."
Each of these 3 cookies (4 if you count the one variation I did to the snickerdoodle dough) is made from the kind of ingredients that our colonial mothers could have had on hand. Applesauce. Oatmeal. Molasses. A bit of spice from the treasured spice shelf like cinnamon and ginger.
One thing I know that they did not have? A gas or electric stove with a thermostat. Nope. These bakers from our past would have only had their own hand to serve as their thermostat. That is one pretty stinkin' impressive feat in my mind! So if you had consistent baked goods results with a wood burning oven and no thermometer to measure the heat much less a thermostat to regulate the heat, then you get way major cool points from me!
So while these cookies don't necessarily sport a Red, White and Blue appearance, they speak of America to me - old-fashioned, classics that have stood the test of time and proven to satisfy.
I chose 3 cookies, but I will only share the recipe for 2 of them. I will share the link from the KAF website for our first - a simple, buttery, Snickerdoodle that may remind you of an after-school snack from childhood or visiting grandmother's house over summer vacation. The only thing I did slightly differently is to roll a few in plain sugar to decorate with red, white and blue frosting, but otherwise, I followed the recipe as you see in the link. (Oh, and this didn't make any where close to 3-1/2 dozen cookies for me. I got about 2 dozen, so I may have been scooping larger than 1" balls.) Here are a few pics from making these:
Shaped into balls (I used my small ice-cream scoop) and rolled in sugar (on the left) or cinnamon sugar (on the right) and flattened slightly with the bottom of a glass.
And here is my attempts to "4th of July" the ones that were rolled in regular sugar:
We have our 1960's Red, White and Blue "Sunburst" - that I decided didn't really work so good...
So then I went more military stripes, except that my lines weren't very straight...
Now, if you were my friend, S, he would tell you that you needed to do your tasting in this order when I brought in everything on Thursday:
So I will move along now to his # 2 - the Molasses Gingerbread. These are also from KAF but I made a couple of modifications - minor, but a couple.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses (I didn't have quite that much, so I used all of my molasses and then sorghum to bring it to 1/2 cup) (I did not make the ginger syrup, but I want to sometime!)
2-1/4 t. backing soda
1 t. salt
1-1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves (not a huge fan, so cut this spice way back)
1 t. ginger
1/4 t. allspice
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Sparkling white sugar for rolling
I creamed the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then I beat in the molasses, baking soda, salt and spices. I beat well after adding the eggs and finally beat in the flour on low speed until mixed. Using my small ice-cream scoop, I shaped them into balls and then rolled them in the sparkling sugar. (I actually just added sparkling sugar to the cinnamon sugar mixture left over from the snickerdoodles.) Then I baked them on parchment covered baking sheets at 350 for 10 minutes. Finally I let them cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing for final cooling.
These cookies are soft and spicy but not too sweet. If you like ginger and molasses, you should like these! If you are like my daughter, B, then you will like these zapped in the microwave for about 7 - 10 seconds to warm them just slightly. According to her, then they are the best!
But if you are like my friend, S, or my son, D, or my hubby, G, then your favorite from this set of cookies will be our Applesauce Oatmeal cookies. I found the recipe on Barbara Bakes, a blog that has been around way longer than this here baby blog. There are a few versions of applesauce oatmeal cookies on the net, but this one seemed to be the most promising to me, so it's the one I went with, and I'm glad I did! I've made these twice already, and I only found them about a month ago! As G said, these are a keeper! They are soft and chewy and full of healthy things like oatmeal, so they count as breakfast, right? The maple glaze that goes on the top just sorta puts these over the top in my opinion!
Here is what I did:
4 T. butter melted (although I forgot to melt the 2nd time, and they still turned out good!)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chunky style applesauce (I used Grandpa G's famous homemade cinnomon-y red hot applesauce!)
1-1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant oatmeal)
1-1/4 cup flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon (my addition, but I forgot it on the 2nd batch, so I added it to the maple glaze instead!)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or 1 cup total of either one)
Beat together the butter and sugars until well combined. Add the egg and applesauce and mix until blended, 2 - 3 minutes. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well combined and then stir in the dried fruit on low speed. Using my small ice-cream scoop, I dropped the dough on parchment covered baking sheets about 2 inches apart since these spread. I baked for 13 - 15 minutes at 350, and then let them cool on the sheets about 5 minutes before cooling on the parchment.
2 t. softened butter
Dash of vanilla
1/2 - 1 t. cinnamon (especially if you forgot it in the cookie!)
Dash of salt
3 T. maple syrup
1-1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
Mix together until smooth and drip-able from the end of a fork or spoon. Drizzle over the cooled cookies and then let set until dry before packing the cookies between sheets of waxed paper in plastic containers.
Since these are all the same shape and don't have any soft icings on top, then putting these together on a platter is very easy, but they still come out rather attractive. And garnishing with the decorated sugar ones, makes them "officially" 4th of July fare! (Even if that includes the 1960's Red, White and Blue "Sunburst"!
One more week for Independence Day (a cake!) and then we will be exploring some "special" holidays from now until Halloween. For example, do you like to celebrate National Nude Day? If so, don't forget that will be coming up on July 14th! Or perhaps you are more of an Amelia Earhart Day on July 24th? See what we have to look forward to?! I am having a good time deciding which ones of these to choose and just the right baked good for each one. (PS - I do not anticipate celebrating National Nude Day. I run the risk of being called into HR enough without totally pushing it!)
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to be back on Fridays again by next week!