Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cape Cod Cookies or Kitchen Sink Cookies?

Somewhere in my cobwebby memory which probably goes back decades the recipes for Cape Cod and Kitchen Sink cookies became entwined, mostly Cape Cod, a little Kitchen Sink.  When living and working in Manhattan all those years ago, I loved going to Cape Cod for summer vacations. Fannie Farmer, the author of my culinary bible, authoritatively calls a particularly delectable, chewy oatmeal raisin cookie that name though I never did encounter the eponymous cookie during my visits to the hook-shaped peninsula. Kitchen Sink cookies came from Frances Moore Lappé's Diet for a Small Planet. Those cookies are wittily called that because the only ingredient not included in the chock-a-block, goodie-filled cookie is a kitchen sink.

Looks aren't everything as these cookies fill the kitchen with divine fragrance too

Since The Calm One does not care for nuts or chocolate, the dough was divided into two portions before the delicious morsels of walnuts, chocolate, and raisins were added. His section got 1/2 cup of raisins and mine got 1/2 cup of the solid bits in thirds.


Molasses is wonderful in all aspects, but especially in its licorice flavour. So distinctive and so associated with childhood, that nostalgic taste transcends culture and language as when we were enjoying some ice-cream at a sidewalk cafe in Hyères, our hostess when I asked what that silky black mass was in her cone repeatedly said reglisse to no avail since I did not know that word then. Briefly frustrated, her face changed to one of enlightened purpose, and she thrust the cone near my mouth, saying, gouter (take a bite). I did, and my face then lit up in recognition. Licorice. Unmistakable and unforgettable.


Though I wouldn't say no to a good quality white or milk chocolate, my preference is and always will be chocolat noir.

 Pépites (little seeds=chips) of dark chocolate

Ingredients
makes 70 small cookies, about 5 cm/2 inches in diameter, ingredients can be doubled
  • Flour, white, 210 g (1 1/2 American cups, that is, 12 fluid oz)
  • Baking soda, 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon, ground, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • Egg, large, 1, slightly beaten
  • Sugar, white, 200 g (1 American cup, that is, 8 fluid oz)
  • Butter, sweet, 115 g (8 T), melted
  • Molasses, 1 T (tastes wonderful but also is essential to provide the acid that activates baking soda)
  • Milk, whole, 60 ml (1/4 American cup, that is, 2 fluid oz)
  • Oatmeal, raw, flaked, not instant, 420 ml (1 3/4 American cups, that is, 14 fluid oz)
  • Raisins, 79 ml (1/3 American cup, that is, 2.6 fluid oz)
  • Walnuts 79 ml (1/3 American cup, that is, 2.6 fluid oz)
  • Chocolate chips, dark, 79 ml (1/3 American cup, that is, 2.6 fluid oz)

Preheat the oven 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Arrange by slightly mounded teaspoonfuls (heaping teaspoons or even tablespoons can be substituted for larger cookies but they will need more baking time) on unbuttered cookie sheets (pans are easier to clean if first lined with parchment or silicon mats) and bake until the edges are brown, about twelve minutes.

Capacious British yellowware bowl beloved by The Calm One. That flattened area near the bottom allows easy tipping of contents

Let cool for a minute or so and then using a thin spatula, lift them off the pan.


While they are still in the oven, I peek underneath one to see if it is browned enough before shutting off the oven.


To keep the outsides crisp, cool on a wire rack. Store in lidded jars where they will keep in the larder for about a week or so. They also freeze well.


A colleague's husband was known to adore chocolate chip cookies so I made a batch of these for them. She came back the next morning and told me that he said that these were the best cookies he ever tasted. The Calm One would agree though he will always reserve a special place in his heart for ginger cookies. For those weird folks who dislike raisins, find yourself another cookie to love.

Broken in half to reveal all that is within, small masterpieces that they are

Home-baked cookies and cold milk. You can't beat that combo.


À la prochaine!

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