Coconut Butter Balls
Don’t let my crappy iPhone photo fool you — t hese little balls of butter and coconut are in every way, my friends, winners. Really, they’re called Coconut Butter Balls. That’s my idea of perfection.
These cute little buttery balls are rolled in coconut, which make them pretty delicious looking and tasting on there own. The secret is, however, that there’s a surprise pecan half in every ball. Could you ask for more? No, no you couldn’t.
The recipes in the Cooky Book tend to be so generic sounding, it’s becoming difficult to tell what’s going to be delicious and what’s going to be blander than bland. The ingredient list for Russian Teacakes is pretty standard (butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and nuts), but somehow, they are magically delicious in every way.
I should disclose that it’s actually icing sugar, not regular sugar, which is probably why these little morsels are so light and fluffy. I think there’s also a mental thing — the name “Russian Teacake” just sounds so darn fancy and elegant. We had family in town when I made them and I actually served them with tea, which made all of us feel like ladies and gents.
I’m fairly faithful to the instructions and recipes in the Cooky Book, but I have some issues with baking with dates. First off, I generally don’t really like dates at all, unless they’re fresh and stuffed with cheese and walnuts and served in a fancy over-priced restaurant. But that’s me. Secondly, the decent looking baking dates in the grocery store are pretty pricey, and the cheaper ones are pretty gross looking. Thirdly, I don’t think my kids would willingly eat them. So, while in the dried fruit aisle, I made the executive decision to skip the dates in my Date-Oatmeal Cookies and go for Craisins instead.
I’m pretty sure Craisins didn’t exist when dear Saint Betty Crocker put together this cookbook, but I’m sure she would have loved them. As it stood, these cookies were unmemorable, but edible. Which is sometimes all you can ask for from the Cooky Book.
These were another Christmas cookie that I’m finally just catching up with now. I know, I know. The Cooky Book describes them as “a crisp, spicy cooky with a chiny glazed top. A favorite of Switzerland.” Hmm. Well, if the Swiss like ‘em they have to be good, no? They’re okay. That’s about it. I didn’t really find them spicy enough to be interesting, but they didn’t taste bad. They did have a weirdly flaky quality to them that I didn’t particularly enjoy. I liked the fact that they’re brushed with egg, because shiny is always fun. So okay, but not a Christmas treat that anyone, Swiss or otherwise, would likely look forward to year after year. If it’s any indication, I had a load of these left after Christmas was long over and ended up throwing them out.
Cream Filbert Candy Cookies
Betty Crocker advises that these resemble creamed filberts, otherwise known as mothball candies. To which anyone under the age of 100 is probably saying “huh?” I’ve never had a mothball candy, nor do I want to. But these are pretty tasty little cookies.
If I were to make these again I’d skip the festive decorative sugar because it’s too crunchy and distracts from the yummyness of these cookies. They’re rich and creamy little balls with filberts in the middle. They’re quite buttery, but other than that, I can’t really account for what sets them apart from any regular vanilla cookie — I think the word “cream” in the title is making them taste better than they actually are. Either way, these are a hit, not a miss.
Where the heck have the cookies been? I admit to taking a short Cooky Book hiatus. I’m only human. But I’m back on the horse. Back on the horse.
So yes, I obviously made these some months ago, for Christmas. Because they’re called Christmas Balls and one makes them at Christmas time, right? Or, at least I did, because I thought they’d be festive and worth serving to guests. Or so I thought.
These are not guest-worthy cookies. They were boring and bland and contained way too much food colouring. And they don’t really look like Christmas balls at all. People didn’t want to eat them because they don’t even look like food. How could you blame them?
Surprisingly delicious! After my applesauce cookies got all gross and moldy, I was not excited about the prospect of putting large quantities of moist fruit into a cookie recipe. But, with Halloween and Thanksgiving and all that business, I felt compelled to whip up some pumpkin cookies. I have a recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that are delicious, so I threw in half a bag of chocolate chips in lieu of nuts. The result was pretty damn good.
The did turn out a little spongy and moist (sorry, I know that word irks some people), but these pumpkin lovelies were a hit. They really are like the cookie equivalent of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, which I know some people really go cuckoo crazy for. And the kids loved them, which means I got them eating squash. Hooray all around!
Pecan Spice Cookies
The Cooky Book has been hitting ‘em out of the park lately. These are super good — very spicy, but not so overpowering that kids won’t eat them (or at least my kids, though they may have eccentric tastes). With nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cloves there’s a lot of taste packed into these little dynamos.
My kids are also weirdly obsessed with any cookie with a nut stuck on top. I’m not sure why, but I’ll go with these. These have chopped pecans inside and also a pecan half on top, so they’re not school-friendly, but are a great non-school snack for nut fans
Peanut Butter Cookies
Do I even have to tell you how these turned out? Classic PB cookies with the criss-cross on the top, you can’t go wrong. The Cooky Book boasts that these are “So rich, good with anything: a favourite with men and children.” A favourite with men and children? Well, I am neither a man nor a child and I thought they were pretty fab.
This is the most basic, flawless peanut butter cookie recipe ever and I can’t really fathom how anyone could improve on it. There are a couple of variations in here, one with honey added in and another with jelly thumbprints. I was tempted to do another batch of the jellies, but with Christmas coming up and PB being taboo in school lunches I elected to move on. Maybe when I get through the book I can go back. Catch up with me in a decade or so.
These are good, but off. It’s a fairly standard crinkle recipe, with the chocolate, the icing sugar, all that jazz. They look fudgey and delicious, but they’re lacking… something.
Full disclosure: Martha Stewart has a recipe for almost identical chocolate crinkles. Martha’s crinkles, however, are mind-blowing. I realize I could look up the recipe and compare the ingredients, but I’m willing to bet that Martha’s contain a whole heck of a lot more chocolate. On first bite, Betty Crocker’s crinkles are tasty and brownie-like, but the more you eat, the more hollow they taste. Since chocolate cookies are a rare occasion on the land of the Cooky Book, this makes this recipe tragic. I ended up crumbling the last few over homemade vanilla pudding instead of eating them whole. That’s how sad it was.