“Who doesn’t love cookies?” Lisa Prolman, the assistant director on the Greenfield Public Library, requested me not too long ago. The query was rhetorical as a result of Prolman knew that my reply can be a convincing “Nobody!”
Final week, Prolman and her colleague Pamela McBride hosted the library’s second annual cookie change through Zoom. A small group of stalwart bakers convened on-line to debate their favourite recipes and share tips on baking and giving vacation treats. The occasion was sponsored by the Associates of the Library.
I used to be alleged to be current merely as a reporter, however I couldn’t resist opining about matters just like the relative benefits of various fat in cookie baking and the difficulties of mailing vacation treats.
Ultimately, I submitted my very own favourite vacation cookie recipe to the library as properly. We’re within the season of sharing, in spite of everything.
I requested Prolman what prompted the library to launch the cookie change final yr.
“With the pandemic in full swing and folks having to cut back their vacation celebrations, we wished to see if we might use know-how to, if not duplicate, provide one thing near what of us could be [accustomed to] taking part in,” she stated.
“I used to attend a cookie swap at a pal’s dwelling and liked speaking with everybody about what they made and why, and we thought, why not do a digital cookie swap?.
“The cookie swap program went so properly, we did one other one on comforting soups and stews in January and have performed a couple of others over the previous yr as properly.”
Prolman defined that she sees the cookie swap as match for the general mission of the library.
“One of many library’s functions is offering programming for folks of all ages,” she famous. “With the closure of our assembly rooms again in 2019, that has been a problem, however the pandemic sort of surprisingly supplied us a chance to do programming once more with know-how.
“We now have all the time supplied packages of assorted sorts—ebook discussions, writing teams, story occasions, lectures—however with know-how, we now have been capable of get again to seeing folks ‘nose to nose.’”
The cookie recipes the group mentioned different extensively. A number of have been comparatively wholesome, emphasizing fruits and de-emphasizing fat. A number of have been decadent, typical Christmas cookies. There have been additionally novelty cookies — just like the Cool Whip cookies submitted by Francesca Passiglia.
“Belief me, these are scrumptious,” Passiglia wrote. (She was unable to attend the swap.)
I’m not an enormous fan of synthetic whipped topping or cake mixes, the primary components in these treats, however I could strive them. I’ve a sense that their texture could also be one thing particular.
A number of the featured cookies got here from relations, like Prolman’s Rugelach; she inherited this recipe from her grandmother. Others have been tailored to swimsuit their bakers’ wants. For instance, McBride bakes quite a bit with coconut oil as a result of her husband can’t eat butter.
I got here away with quite a lot of enjoyable new recipes to strive. Anybody who would love the entire record of recipes could request them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cookie followers are additionally welcome to come back into the library to vote on their very own favourite sort of cookie, to get an inventory of cookie books accessible at native libraries, and to peruse the cookie books on show.
In brief, the library is dedicated to cookies, significantly in these unsure occasions. McBride praised the baking abilities of Marianne Snow, one of many cookie-recipe submitters and a Pal of the Library.
“She helped us get by means of elements of the pandemic together with her cookies,” stated McBride of Snow.
Listed below are three of the recipes featured in final week’s digital cookie change. I’ll return subsequent week with one other … together with my family’s favourite cookie.
Carol Foote despatched on this primary sugar-cookie recipe and thru her images confirmed members the right way to mix cookies (with frosting) right into a festive vacation tree. Foote used 3-inch, 4-pointed star cookie cutters.
3/4 cup shortening (Foote likes half butter or margarine.)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Completely combine collectively the shortening, the sugar, the eggs, and the vanilla. Stir collectively the flour, the salt, and the baking powder.
Mix the 2 mixtures, and chill the dough for not less than an hour. Preheat the oven to 400 levels. Roll the dough out on a evenly floured board. Lower it into shapes.
Place the minimize dough on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for six to eight minutes, or till the cookies are a fragile golden shade. (Baking time will rely upon the thickness and width of your cookies.)
Cool the cookies on a rack; then frost them and (if you wish to) prepare them to make a tiered tree.
Foote didn’t specify a yield, however I might estimate that this recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, roughly, relying on measurement.
I’m a sucker for snickerdoodle — there’s one thing about this cookie’s pillowlike consistency that speaks to me at a primary degree — so I used to be intrigued by Pamela McBride’s maple model of this traditional cookie.
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup softened butter (McBride substitutes a mix of coconut oil and vegetable oil right here; I ought to suppose all vegetable shortening may also work very properly.)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 egg, overwhelmed
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) maple syrup
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 extra sprint cinnamon (optionally available)
Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Stir collectively the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the two teaspoons of cinnamon. Put aside.
In a big bowl, cream collectively the butter and 1/2 cup of the white sugar till the combination is mild and fluffy. Beat within the egg and the maple syrup. Progressively mix within the dry components till simply blended. Cowl and chill the dough for not less than 1/2 hour.
In a small dish, combine collectively the remaining sugar and the maple sugar; add a splash of cinnamon if desired. Roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and roll every ball within the sugar combination.
Bake the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets for 8 to 10 minutes. The snickerdoodles must be crackly on high however look barely moist. Cool them on racks earlier than consuming them. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Francesca Passiglia tailored this recipe from allrecipes.com.
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (18.25-ounce) cake combine, any taste; Passiglia like strawberry however says that lemon and chocolate are good, too.
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 levels. Calmly grease baking sheets or line them with parchment paper
Beat collectively the whipped topping and the eggs. Add the cake combine and the flour and proceed to combine. The dough shall be thick. Chill the dough for about half-hour.
Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls right into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar and roll the cookies to coat them. Place the rounds on the ready baking sheets. Bake for roughly 10 minutes. The cookies gained’t fairly look performed, however they may harden up as they sit on cookie sheets and funky down.
Passiglia didn’t observe the yield, however based on allrecipes the unique recipe served 18.
Tinky Weisblat is the award-winning writer of “The Pudding Hole Cookbook,” “Pulling Taffy,” and “Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb.” Go to her web site, TinkyCooks.com.