Friday, February 19, 2010
Country Baker Cookies and Crackers Cookbook
Today my Old Cookbook Review will focus on a specialty cookbook offered as part of a baking series offered by Country Living Magazine in 1993. The Country Baker Cookies and Crackers Cookbook is a thin, hardback book with both traditional and out-of-the-ordinary treat recipes. The Country Baker Series, published by Hearst Corporation, also included these additional titles: Breads and Muffins; Cakes and Cupcakes; and Pies and Tarts. Unfortunately, I just own the Cookie and Crackers book from the series, but that leaves me the "thrill of the hunt" this spring when yard sales and estate sales will abound! If you enjoy the same thrill of hunting old cookbooks, the ISBN of this one is 0-688-12542-5.
Yes, as I've said, this little cookbook has the traditional cookie recipes that you might expect, but also some unusual ones. In between the comforting old recipes for Hermits, Snickerdoodles and Gingersnaps are snippets of the history of the cookie recipes, and also, cookie-baking tips. If you want to find some different recipes for cookies that you've not tried before, they are in the book, also.
Those out-of-the-ordinary recipes that I've mentioned include recipes for making your own soda crackers, whole wheat crackers or cheddar crackers. You might be able to avoid the cracker aisle at the grocery store altogether, because you have a tin of freshly-made crackers on your shelf at home. With healthier treats in mind, there are recipes for fruit bars and cookies. Some of my favorite, unusual recipes for cookies featured in the book are: Fig Bars; Prune-Nut Bars; Cornmeal Cookies and Pistachio Biscotti. Biscotti is the very best cookie to have with hot tea or coffee on a cold morning.
Spring is coming, so good luck in finding this little "treat" of a cookbook as you search through book boxes at the sales! Today's sample recipe is for a crisp, little southern cookie.
Page 14 Benne Seed Wafers
1/2 C sesame seeds
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 C firmly-packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. In a heavy skillet, heat the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and beat in the flour mixture; stir in the sesame seeds. Cover and refrigerate the dough 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Let the dough stand at room temperature until it is soft enough to spoon out. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Drop the dough by slightly rounded measuring teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart.
4. Bake the wafers 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool the wafers on the baking sheets on wire racks for 1 minute. Remove the wafers from the baking sheets and cool completely on the racks.
I will be at these great recipe swaps today: