Family is not an important thing, it's everything.
~Michael J. Fox
Six years ago today, my beloved momala passed away. The best way we have honored her life and kept her memory alive is to embrace our little family and celebrate each other as often as possible. She used to say, "If you don't have something to celebrate, celebrate anyway." [Ed. note: Spinal Tap keyboardist Viv Savage also said it well, "Have a good time. All the time." youtu.be/WrhzX3dRRiI]
Our family recently got a little bigger. My little sister Julie brought the new man in her life, Frank, by for a whirlwind visit, our first time meeting him. Seems there couldn't be a more perfect person for Julie than Frank; they share a love of nature, geology, animals and family. Bonus, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of sports and wine (we were excited to try riesling and pinot noir from his own vineyard), which endears him even more to the BF. [Ed. note: We even coexist with his love for the St. Louis Cardinals and ours for the San Francisco Giants.] We feel like he's been here all along.
Unfortunately I ran out of time and could not make cookies for them to take home, but had I been able, these would have been the choice.
My momala would have adored them as well. Chocolate and orange coupled and a hint of fresh ginger and brownie texture. It would have sent her over the edge.
Dorie Greenspan (this is originally adapted from her book Dorie's Cookies) is an excellent source for all things baking. She mentions that this cookie is best on the day it is made, but I have found it stays fresh, moist and chewy for at least 3 days. So it works well for shipping or gift giving.
Number of servings: about 20 cookies
Adapted from: Saveur (Dec/Jan 2017) and Dorie's Cookies
Patience is not my virtue. [Ed. note: I want to comment, but appreciate my life.] Rolling out cookie dough and cutting out cookies with cookie cutters? No patience for it. Hell-o slice-and-bake simplicity!
These cookies are tender, lightly sweetened with honey, and swirled with cinnamon and spice–a perfect holiday cookie that travels and keeps well, perfect for gracing your Hanukkah dessert table, a cookie exchange, or to leave as a nice treat for Santa and his helpers. I have been known to have them for breakfast with coffee, or late afternoon pick-me-up with tea.
Winter is coming: let the holiday cookie season begin!
NOTE: Although the glaze is delicious, I opted not to use it as I prefer it much better plain (plenty sweet for this household), and if you are going to ship it as a gift it's probably more practical to go glazeless. That said, if you're serving at a party or leaving for Santa, by all means glaze it up.
Adapted from: Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, by Irvin Lin
Number of servings: 48 cookies
Cinnamon Filling and Baking
Make sure the butter for cinnamon filling is truly at room temperature or even slightly warmer than that. It makes spreading the filling easier.
You can make and freeze this cookie dough for future baking. Once frozen for an hour, place the log in a labeled zip-top plastic bag. Slice and bake cookies at your convenience. Frozen dough should keep for up to 2 months.
My BF has a thing for caramely, butterscotchy tidbits and chocolate chip cookies. [Ed. Note: C is for cookie, and after proper advisement from my attorney, I submit that it is, indeed, good enough for me.] I mixed the two together and added liquor and dare I say this is the cookie, at least in our house. The butterscotch schnapps put it over the top with a toasted caramel note without it tasting boozy. Have tried this same recipe with bourbon, and it's good, real good. [Ed. Note: Hiccup.]
There are rules in our house for homemade chocolate chip cookies 1) not flat and crispy 2) not cake like 3) must be cold from the fridge 4) must be soft and chewy in the center and crispy around the edges. Some people like warm cookies out of the oven, but we like our cookies cold from the fridge.
You can eat these cookies with milk, but bourbon also works. Please designate a driver if you go this route.
Inspired by: Baked – New Frontiers In Baking
Serving size: Makes 1 dozen cookies
My boyfriend Don (who helps me with this blog and has been there since before the beginning) and his mother Kathy have many similar traits: a peculiar sense of humor, love of music, financial acumen, and love of all things citrus, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, and ice cream.
Today is his mother's birthday–she passed away last December 6. Amazingly, she and my mamala have birthdays a day apart (August 3 and 4), and passed one day apart (December 6 and 7).
Over the years it has become something of a tradition for me to make Kathy a special birthday dessert, and I don't plan on ending this any time soon. I’m not sure if Kathy knew how much joy it gave me to make something special for her. [Ed. note: Um, Yeah.] Hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. Don grew up on Chipwiches and the San Francisco bay area's beloved It's It en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s-It_Ice_Cream, so this was part of my evil plan to get to his heart through his stomach. [Ed. note: Shut up, just shut up...]
The original recipe calls for pecans, which of course complement the butterscotch carmel flavor wonderfully, but since we like our desserts smooth, we sometimes leave them out. This particular cookie recipe works especially well for ice cream sandwiches because it retains its softness, and the butterscotch caramel flavor really shines through.
Cookies Adapted from The Tenth Muse, by Judith Jones and Orangette
Number of servings: 30 cookies / 15 ice cream sandwiches
Ice Cream Sandwiches
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.