I need to get back to making my Christmas cookies. Why? Because I want lots of cookies. That’s what Christmas is all about. Cookies and fudge. Well there is of course the Christian-ness of Christmas but these essays are about the food part! Thus far I only have a molasses cookie, Rob Roy, and Santa’s Whiskers. I have not been making a cookie batch each weekend. But now that I am homebound with my broken ankle, I can wheel around my kitchen and put some batches together.
I want a chocolate cookie. I looked at several of you bloggers’ cookie postings as well as my Mom’s notebooks. I had a list from her recipe file but have not chosen to make all of those anymore. There were a lot of good looking cookies to choose from. I settled on a Chocolate cookie that Mom notes are a good drop cookie. Although the title is Chocolate Coconut the coconut is only used as a garnish. I think I will use my homemade mint extract in the frosting and roll is sprinkles. I have a lot of sprinkles and red and green sugars from Christmases past.
While perusing Mom’s recipes I find another Betty Crocker “How to” booklet. “How to make the perfect cooky”. This one is from 1966. And there is another quiz on the back to rate your bake.
The chocolate cookie recipe that I chose is for sandwiching. It bakes up cake-like similar to the molasses cookie.
- ½ cup soft shortening: I use butter;
- 1 cup sugar; 2 eggs;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla;
- 2 cups sifted flour: I don’t bother with sifting;
- 2 teaspoons baking powder;
- ½ teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon soda;
- ½ cup cocoa;
- 1 cup buttermilk: I make sour milk by putting 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar in the measuring cup and adding milk to the one cup mark.
This mixes up the ordinary way: cream butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time, add vanilla and dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. Of course one has whisked the dry ingredients thoroughly in a separate bowl prior to this step. The batter is very cake-like as it comes together. Bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
They are mostly uniform in size. I now need a frosting. I will just make a vanilla buttercream. I had a lengthy and interesting conversation with my sister, a fellow avid cookie baker, about buttercream and how sweet it is, too sweet for some. She tells me about her internet research into buttercreams and directs me to this blog: http://thetoughcookie.com/2015/06/07/how-to-make-flour-buttercream-or-ermine-buttercream-the-battle-of-the-buttercreams-2-0/
- 4 1/2 Tab flour
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teas vanilla
I read the blogger’s series all about this testing and improving Butter-creams. I am just going to use the Vanilla Flour Buttercream recipe to fill cookies and not go through the more work of making the German Buttercream.
I was looking at this Buttercream and comparing it to the Chocolate Velvet Frosting I made for the Birthday Cake. It is the same pudding principle. One cooks the sugar, flour, and milk into a pudding, let cool, and proceed with the butter and flavorings.
The improvement that the blogger made in adding the “pudding” to the beaten butter could be done to the Chocolate Velvet and would have made it less pudding like and creamier. So it should be possible to make this buttercream with water and cornstarch if need be. The frosting I made today is with soy milk for the lactose intolerant of my family members.
I have been baking all my life and still have lots to learn.
What I do need to do is get these notebook pages in acid-free sheet protectors sooner rather than later, particularly now that I have started using them again.