We're packing our bags and hitting the road again, this time for Door County, Wisconsin, where we'll be attending an Elderhostel that is titled Door County, Cooking, Cuisine and Culinary Arts. This will not be our first trip to Wisconsin, but it will be our first venture out onto the "thumb" of the left-hand Wisconsin "mitten" that sticks out and up along a 70-mile peninsula into Lake Michigan. Door County has been called "the Maine coast" of Wisconsin and we anticipate lots of wonderful surprises and beautiful fall foliage. We know we'll be attending a Door County Fish Boil and attending classes in several cooking schools but I'm looking forward to a lot more adventures along the way ... and to coming home with new recipes and food ideas to share with you.
We just couldn't head into middle-America without planning a visit to three of our grandchildren – Rebecca, Rachel and Henry Wadman - who are attending Cedarville University in the tiny, tiny town of Cedarville, Ohio, just northeast of Dayton. Since my mother always came to visit me with a tin of homemade cookies in hand, I've been having fun testing new cookie recipes that I can take along to share with them. That's what grandmothers are for, isn't it?
The recipes for two of these take-along cookies - Chewy Chocolate Cookies and Rice Krispie Cookies – appear below along with Mac Mcallister's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that earned Mac a blue ribbon at the 2012 Delaware State Fair. Wouldn't someone you know love to be surprised with a plate of homemade cookies? Pick a recipe and start baking.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies
1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12-ounce package) chocolate chips or 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (12-ounce package) or 1 cup of each
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixer bowl, cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla to mix well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and stir together to blend. Slowly add to creamed mixture just until blended. Stir in chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared baking sheets. (I got 18 cookies to a sheet in three rows of four and two rows of three.) The cookies will puff up while baking but spread only slightly. After they are removed from the oven, the cookies will flatten. Cool at least 5 to 10 minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire rack to complete cooling. Stir airtight. This made 92 cookies and I baked one sheet at a time in the center of the oven, reusing the parchment paper.
Page 2 of 2 - Mac Mcallister's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3.5-ounce) package vanilla flavor instant pudding mix
1 (12-ounce) bag dark chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour and baking soda; set aside. Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and pudding mix in large mixer bowl; beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs; gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts (batter will be stiff). Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 9 1/2 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.
Rice Krispie Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla OR orange extract
1 cup Rice Krispie-like cereal
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl; stir to mix and set aside. Place the butter into the large bowl of a large electric mixer and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in sugars and continue to beat until creamy then beat in the egg and extract. Beat, or stir in, the flour mixture. When well blended, stir in the cereal, oats and coconut. Drop the mixture by level measuring tablespoon (or a small cookie scoop) onto the prepared cookie sheets – about 20 per sheet if you use a small cookie scoop. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Recipe yielded 60 cookies. Store airtight.