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The Power of Warm Cookies

Not only is February Girl Scout Cookie month, it’s also homemade cookie time.  It’s okay to heat up the kitchen with a hot oven on a cold winter day, and nothing tastes better than just-baked warm cookies.

            My mom probably took cookies out of the oven only a few times as soon as I got home from school, but my kid memory says I ate warm cookies and drank hot chocolate every afternoon throughout my elementary school years.  That’s the power of warm cookies. 

            Families have their favorites and for us, there’s none better than chocolate chip cookies. I grew up eating Mom’s cookies made by the recipe on the back of the Nestles’ semi-sweet chocolate chips package.  Sidenote: recipes on packages and cans are good.  After all, those recipes have been kitchen tested and tasted, over and over, and have to be good or they wouldn’t be printed.

            I made Mom’s cookies until Daughter baked Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies*.  At first, I thought Daughter’s cookies were better just because someone else had baked them, but an at-home taste test proved otherwise. 

            Daughter shared a few secrets:  substitute milk chocolate chips for semi-sweet chocolate and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, then cool on aluminum foil, not cooling racks. And her recipe calls for Butter-flavor Crisco and brown sugar.  Cookies don’t have to be healthy, just delicious.

            Before Daughter’s and Son2’s wedding reception in our backyard twenty-two years ago, she and I baked dozens of cookies to share with neighbors who would be inconvenienced by traffic on our street.  Just last week, one of those neighbors told me those were the best-ever chocolate chip cookies.  And Son requested those cookies for dessert at his and Daughter2’s wedding rehearsal dinner. 

            The cookie section of my dessert three-ring notebook is filled with a plethora of recipes – most shared by family members and friends.  Recipes that are hand-written, many on 3 x 5 notecards which dates the recipes, are the ones I like best.  Like Mom’s Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies with her notes, “don’t like the cocoa, cook just a little longer and don’t make when rainy.”

            I’ve used Sister-in-law’s Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe since September 1995. I’m the only one in our family who likes oatmeal raisin cookies so this recipe is perfect because the dough is shaped into cylinders, like store-bought slice and bake cookies, and keep in the refrigerator for two weeks.  It’s my treat when I bake a few cookies to enjoy with a cup of hot tea.

            Nancy’s Sour Cream Cookies are the only sugar cookie I’ll ever bake.  For Christmas eating, my Grands decorate bells and Christmas trees and candy canes with cream cheese icing and mounds of sprinkles.  These cookies are hearts for Valentine’s Day and colorful eggs for Easter.

            Life is better with warm cookies – even a store-bought or Girl Scout cookie zapped in a microwave for five seconds.

            *Recipes available:  https://susanrray.com/recipes/


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