Falling for Cookies!

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“Ah, September!  You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul…but I must confess that I love you because you are a prelude to my beloved October.” Peggy Toney Horton

In the small town where I grew up, I could walk to elementary school and back by myself.  I would even come home for lunch every day.   One of my fondest memories is picking up the pace to get home even faster when I would smell my mom’s molasses cookies permeating the crisp air.  Even though the school was a few blocks away, I could recognize that enticing aroma and knew my mom and the cookies would be waiting for me as soon as I got home.   It was the greatest feeling in the world.  Every fall, when the temperatures start dipping,  I get in the mood for baking cookies.  Here is a half dozen of great fall cookies sure to fill your home with irresitible aromas for creating happy memories for a loved one of your own and to herald in autumn.

(My childhood molasses cookie recipe is found in the monogrammed gingerbread recipe below.  My mom would cut the dough in round shapes.  Using a smaller cutter, she  would remove the center of half the cookies, creating a window similar to that of Linzer cookies.  She would sandwich a bit of her homemade raspberry jam between two soft, perfectly spiced gingerbread-molasses cookies with the jam oozing out of the peekaboo cut out of the top cookie. Pure bliss!)

Spiced Chocolate Cut Outs

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12 Days of Christmas with 12 Favorite Cookies

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“Baking cookies is comforting, and cookies are the sweetest little bit of comfort food. They are very bite-sized and personal.”  Sandra Lee

Holiday cookie baking is a labor of love for me. Truth be known,  I am just more of a cook than a baker.  These cookie recipes are tried and true favorites of this reluctant baker. I hope you’ll find a recipe or two to try yourself.  To access the recipe, please click on the highlighted titles. Crank up the Christmas carols, roll up your sleeves and get your holiday baking on!

Cranberry~Almond Sugar Ccokies with Double Chocolate Drizzle


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WSJ Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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On September 19, 2015 The Wall Street Journal declared the oatmeal raisin cookie the unlikely “it” dessert of 2015.  How Had I missed this announcement?  I have been a lover of good oatmeal cookies all my life.  Will choose it over the more popular chocolate chip cookie everytime.  Now I was actually on trend!  The Journal called this recipe “The Best Oatmeal Raisin Cookie We’ve Ever Tried”.  That designation was enough of a challenge for me.  I would have to try it and see for myself!

We all know of the health benefits of oatmeal:  lowering bad cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, and helping to fight high blood pressure.  So baking it in an oatmeal cookie seems virtuous, as far as cookies go…. Oatmeal cookie batter can be doctored with a lot of add-ins to jazz them up such as coconut, swapping the raisins for other fruit, adding spices and nuts and even chocolate chips.  But a good classic oatmeal raisin cookie is worth it’s weight in gold and the one I prefer.  This recipe comes from Sadelle’s Bakery and Restaurant in NY City and is modeled after a cookie at Bouchon Bakery, where the chef, Melissa Weller, had previously worked.  The key to this recipe is to age the batter for FOUR days before baking the cookies…WHAT????  The first time I made them, I had not read this detail  and baked them immediately as I was serving them at a book club meeting that night.  Who has time to wait 4 days to bake cookies anyways?  What difference could it possibly make?  Well, the first batch was good but nothing to write about.  We thought they were too salty and tasted of  baking soda too much.  The second batch with the chilling made for sublime cookies:  crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with the flavors pefectly in harmony.  As if they had been magically transformed.  The chilled batch were drier going into to oven  and did not spread while baking.. Try it and let me know if you agree and if this recipe is your new favorite, as it is in our family!

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