World’s Best Slutty Brownies

Preheat oven to 350. Cream two sticks softened butter with a cup of granulated sugar and 3/4 cup light brown sugar until well-blended. Beat in 2 large eggs and a tablespoon vanilla extract. Separately, add a teaspoon baking soda and a teaspoon salt to 2 ½ cups flour. Thoroughly blend this dry mix into the creamed butter mix, along with 2 cups chocolate chips. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and coat generously with cooking spray. Mash the cookie dough into the bottom. Add a layer of Double Stuffed Oreos. Top with a brownie batter made with a family size box of brownie mix. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting. And yes, slacker, you can use commercial refrigerated cookie dough.

Bobbie Gentry’s Cherry Cookie Bars

This recipe appeared in Bayou Cuisine (1970) and was credited to Edith Streetner of Greenwood. Bobbie Gentry was born Bobbie Lee Streeter July 27, 1944, on her paternal grandparents’ farm near Mantee, Mississippi. Her father, Robert H. Streeter, lived in Greenwood, Mississippi. Bobbi Lee Gentry moved to Arcadia, California at age thirteen to live with her mother and stepfather. They relocated to Palm Springs two years later, where Bobbie graduated from Palm Springs High School. She changed her name to Gentry after seeing the 1952 film Ruby Gentry, starring Jennifer Jones and Charlton Heston. Likely Edith is Gentry’s stepmother, who writes, “Bobbie’s favorite recipe that she has loved since she was a little girl, and I always made them for her when she came home.”

These are two-in one cookie bars. They have a rich, buttery cream-colored layer below and scarlet cherries, coconut, and nuts in the layer on top.

Sift together 1 cup plain flour and 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar. Cut in 1/2 c. butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of an ungreased 11×7 or 9×9 inch pan. Bake in a moderate (350) oven for 10 minutes. Sift together 1/4 c. plain flour 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 c. sugar. Add 2 eggs lightly beaten, then fold in 1/2 c. maraschino cherries, finely cut, 1/2 c. grated coconut, and 1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds). Spread over partially baked dough and bake in a moderate (350) oven 30-40 minutes. Cool and cut into bars or squares. Makes about 3 dozen.

This also makes a delicious main dessert. Cut into larger servings and top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Wookie Cookies

Traditionally made on May 4, Wookies are fun to make and delicious any day of the year. Preheat oven to 350, and line a lightly oiled baking sheet with parchment paper. Flip the paper to oil both sides. Cream together 2 sticks softened unsalted butter with 1 cup sugar. Mix in one 1 large egg, beaten, and add a tablespoon vanilla extract. Set aside, and mix 2 ½ cups AP flour with1/2 cocoa and 2 teaspoons baking powder. Slowly pour the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. On a clean floured surface, work the dough until smooth and roll out to about ¼ inch. Cut into “wookies” with a gingerbread man cookie cutter, place onto the parchment baking sheet, and use a fork to make fur.  Bake for about 10 minutes, remove from oven and cool thoroughly before decorating with frosting and sprinkles. A friend of always says that they’re a little chewy.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream 1 cup softened unsalted butter with 1 cup each white and brown sugar and 1 cup your choice of creamy/crunchy peanut butter. Mix 2 teaspoons baking soda with 2 ½ cups flour and a teaspoon salt, stir in 2 beaten eggs, and gradually blend into the peanut butter mixture. Add a cup or so of chocolate chips and refrigerate for a half hour. Drop by spoonfuls onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Date Oatmeal Cookies

Coarsely chop about  eight ounces of pitted dates or another dried fleshy fruit, and add ¾ cup brown sugar mixed with one stick soft butter. Sift in a cup all-purpose flour, a teaspoon baking soda and about a teaspoon salt. Add a lightly beaten egg, a teaspoon vanilla, whatever spices fit your groove, and a cup and a half of quick-cooking oats. Mix well. Spoon golf ball-size globs onto lightly oiled baking sheets and place on the middle rack of a preheated 350 oven for about 20 minutes. This mixture–divine, sensuous, the very essence of destiny itself–can be baked in a pan and sliced into bars after cooling.

Basic Cookie Dough

This recipe has endless variations: add cocoa for chocolate cookies, oatmeal for oatmeal cookies, pecans for pecan cookies, peanut butter for peanut butter cookies, and so on and so forth. Top with sugar frosting, glaze, sprinkles, chopped nuts, grated coconut, or shaved chocolate. Add food coloring to make them red, green, pink, or chartreuse. After rolling out to a half inch sheet, cut them into any shape. For true inspiration, make them with children at your elbows.

1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream butter with sugars; mix well. Add eggs, vanilla and then flour, sifted with salt and baking soda, a little at a time. Bake at 350 degrees on a flat, heavy baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

Ginger-Pecan Sandies

This recipe makes a rich and aromatic, soft and crumbly cookie or small cake that goes perfectly with a hot drink—coffee, tea, cocoa, even sweet mulled wine—and it’s so simple a child can make it. To make real sandies, you must use sanding sugar, which is slightly coarser than granulated.

Cream 1 stick butter with a cup of confectioner’s sugar, and a teaspoon each almond and vanilla extract. Blend in 2 cups plain flour sifted with a teaspoon of baking powder, a  half cup chopped pecans and a tablespoon ground ginger. (I have tried this recipe with freshly-grated ginger, and it simply does not work at all well at all with so much butter.) This mixture makes a soft, elastic dough that you have to work with flour-dusted hands to form into a ball. Refrigerate for a half hour. Pat or roll the dough ball out a half inch thick, sprinkle with sanding sugar, cut into rounds or squares, and bake at 350 middle rack until lightly browned. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

Red Currant Thumb Cookies

Use powdered sugar on your hands and the wax paper instead of flour; these cookies are floury enough. Make sure it is unsalted butter, and anything other than the red currant jelly is too sweet. Use a baby spoon or even better a grapefruit spoon to put the jelly in the depression. If you break it up some, it will be less likely to bubble up and spill over the cookie. Chill the dough overnight or all day. It will hold its shape better, and use parchment paper.

Take 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg yolk, and 1 1/2 cup cake flour. Cream butter well, add sugar and blend thoroughly. Add egg yolk, fold in flour, knead a little bit, wrap in wax paper and chill for several hours. Roll into 1/2 inch balls, and make a small depression in the middle. Fill with red currant jelly. Bake at 325 until golden.

Banana Pudding Cookies

Banana pudding is an iconic Southern summer dessert, and these cookies are a fun alternative for a family outing. For the best flavor, you must use ripe bananas that are soft, aromatic, and with a light freckling. The vanilla wafers should just be broken up into small pieces, not reduced to crumbs. Some people top these with whipped cream and a banana slice, but that’s just over the top, and it makes them soggy.

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ripe banana mashed
1 package banana cream instant pudding mix
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup smashed vanilla wafers

Preheat oven to 350, and line baking pans with lightly oiled parchment paper. Combine flour and baking soda, then set aside. Cream butter and sugar thoroughly, add the banana, pudding mix, and eggs. Mix until smooth and slowly stir in the dry ingredients, then blend in the chips and wafers. Use about a tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Bake until lightly browned, about ten minutes. Cool before transferring to a rack.

Lucky Charms Treats

They’re magically delicious!

1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
2 10-oz bags mini marshmallows, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 cups Lucky Charms

Line a 9 x 13-in pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with softened butter. Set aside 2 cups of the marshmallows. Heat butter to bubbling, add half the marshmallows. Remove from heat, add the rest of the marshmallows and the vanilla. When the marshmallows are melted, add cereal and stir until well-blended but still warm and gooey. Press the mixture into an even layer in the baking pan and cool at room temperature for an hour. Cut into squares.