Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cookbook of the week #17: Cookies: Favorite recipes from the Land O’Lakes Test Kitchens, and a recipe for Cashew Butter Cookies

Following on from the recipe of the week, I decided to go for one of my two cookie books. Christmas is coming in just over three weeks, and one of the things Christmas means to me is cookies. My mother didn’t generally make cookies from scratch when I was growing up, being more of a cake person, but she always baked cookies for Christmas. When I was a child the staples she would make were cornflake mounds, air cookies, vanilla rings and vanilla sandwich cookies, crisp chocolate chip and nut cookies, coconut cookies, meringue drops, pepper cookies and gingersnap sandwich cookies, not to mention the experiments that were never repeated or that she made a for a few years and then stopped making, like oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies. (She would also make brown cake, dream cake and devil’s cake, but that’s another story).

The number of types of cookies has dropped down to four now, plus the one type I always make which are more like confections than cookies. My appetite for these lovely little nibbles has not diminished (although I have to be careful now how many I eat in one session), and therefore I am looking forward to testing some of the recipes in this book. I will probably make at least a couple of the sample recipes, perhaps more, and review them as I go along, rather than post one review at the end of the week.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Land O’Lakes is a dairy company based in Minnesota in the USA and the book is a promotional publication to push their products, especially butter and sour cream. Neither is imported to Iceland, so I will be using Icelandic products instead. In addition to recipes, the book has plenty of useful advice about how to get the best results when making the various different kinds of cookies.

The first sample recipe is for Cashew Butter Cookies:

The recipe is supposed to make 54 cookies.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cup chopped salted cashew nuts

Salted cashew halves for decorating

Heat oven to 190°C (375°F).

Mix together the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.

Combine butter, sugar, honey and egg in a mixing bowl and beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy (2-3 minutes). Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. beat until well mixed (1-2 minutes). Fold in the chopped cashew nuts by hand.

Using two teaspoons, drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Top each cookie with a cashew half. Bake for 6-9 minutes or until golden brown.

No comments: