Mix together one box vanilla cake mix—I use the French vanilla—two beaten eggs, one stick softened butter, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and 1 oz. green food coloring.
In another bowl, mix one cup corn starch with 1 cup powdered sugar. Using a large spoon, scoop up a lump of the green dough, shape it into a ping-pong ball, and roll it around in the starch/sugar mixture until coated.
Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375 on a middle rack until they crinkle, about 8-10 minutes. Take care they don’t brown. Once done, remove from oven and let sit 2 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.
For hearts, mix a half cup each of flour, corn starch, and powdered sugar mixed with a half stick soft butter, just enough cold water to make a stiff dough, and red food coloring. Cut into heart shapes and bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 until crispy. Glue to cookies with a paste of powdered sugar and water.
When working with the dough, use powdered sugar on your hands and wax paper wrap instead of flour; these cookies are floury enough. The longer you chill the dough, the better it holds its shape. Use unsalted butter, and almost anything other than red currant jelly is too sweet. Mashing the jelly with a fork makes it less likely to bubble up and spill over onto the dough.
Take 3/4 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1 1/2 cups cake flour. Cream butter and sugar with egg yolk. Fold in flour, knead a little bit, wrap in wax paper, and chill. Roll into 1/2 inch balls, make a small depression in the middle, and fill with jelly. Bake at 325 until golden.
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 with a half cup chopped pecans and a tablespoon dried 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 must work with flour-dusted hands. Form dough into a ball, and pat or roll into an 8” round, score into six wedges, and crimp the edges with a fork. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 until the edges are just brown. Cut and serve. This recipe makes great cookies, too.
Preheat oven to 350. Cream two sticks softened butter with a cup of granulated sugar and a half 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, blend into the butter/eggs, along with 2 cups chocolate chips to make a dough. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil, coat generously with cooking spray, and mash the cookie dough onto it. Add a layer of Double Stuffed Oreos. Top with a brownie batter made with a family size box of good 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, slackers, you can use store-bought chocolate cookie dough. But it won’t be as good.
You don’t see many Southern recipes for apple cookies. Apples simply don’t do well in the South, and those that do are usually made into sauces, pies, or cakes. A quick scan of Southern Sideboards, Bayou Cuisine, River Road Recipes, Vintage Vicksburg, Gourmet of the Delta, The Jackson Cookbook, and The Mississippi Cookbook turned up nary a one, but I did find an apple cookie recipe in Hosford Fontaine’s Allison’s Wells: The Last Mississippi Spa, and you can’t get any more Southern than that. I use Galas or Grannies.
3 cups of unpeeled diced apples 2 sticks butter, softened ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup brown sugar 3 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups flour 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon A half teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt 2 cups rolled oats ¼ cup white raisins ¼ cup chopped pecans
Cream butter and sugars well, add eggs and flour mixed and sifted with spices and baking powder, then stir in apples, oats and nuts. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes, stirring once. Form dough into ping pong balls, and bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet with parchment paper at 350 or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes about two dozen wonderful, chewy, sticky cookies.
For best flavor, you must use 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 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.
Cream 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar with 1 cup softened butter. Add two beaten eggs and a teaspoon vanilla extract; mix well. Then work in 3 cups flour that have been sifted with a teaspoon of baking soda. When thoroughly blended, refrigerate for an hour, then roll out on a floured board, cut into rounds, place on a flat, heavy baking sheet, and place in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly before serving.
People had been making a criss-cross impression on balls of cookie dough with a fork long before 1925, when George Washington Carver issued an agricultural bulletin with 105 recipes using peanuts, including three for cookies. Some people might tell you the imprint helps cookies bake evenly, but more likely a fork is nine times out of ten more at hand than a cookie press. How the criss-cross became a traditional hash tag for peanut butter cookies is material for a Beard Award. Here’s a good one-bowl recipe for this all-time American favorite.
Combine 1 cup packed light brown sugar with a half cup each of softened butter and peanut butter. Mix until smooth; add a beaten egg and a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix very well. Sift in a half teaspoon each baking soda and baking powder into a cup and a half of AP flour, add to peanut butter mix, and stir thoroughly until it forms a smooth dough. Shape into balls a little smaller than a ping-pong, roll in sugar (optional), and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls with a fork that has been dipped in sugar so it won’t stick. Make a criss-cross pattern, and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Wittgenstein and his ilk will demand—in various languages—“Just what IS a cookie?” Eggheads steeped in negative logic will say, “It is easier to say what a cookie IS NOT than to say what a cookie IS!” and a resonant female voice will state, “A cookie is a cookie is a cookie.”
Flour, sugar, and butter with a leavening agent and eggs constitute the Ur-cookie. These can be topped with a sugar frosting or glaze or sprinkles, or chopped nuts. You can add food coloring to make them magenta, chartreuse or cyan. You can cut them into any shape using traditional cookie cutters or you can use a knife if you’re feeling (or are) artistic. For true inspiration, make them with children at your elbow.
1 c. butter 1 c. brown sugar 1 c. white 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.