The Joys of a Food Memory by Rita Cevaal

This time of the year is the perfect excuse to cozy up and watch all of the great Academy Award nominated films. One of my favorites this year was the film Lion. Based on a true story, it is about a small boy who gets lost on a train that takes him thousands of miles from home. He is eventually adopted by a couple from Australia, and settles comfortably there. It is not until he is at University that he meets other Indian students; the smell and sight of Indian food and culture trigger childhood memories .

This story reminds me of when my Grandma would visit from California, always arriving with trinkets and stories of her travels. While she was staying with us she would always bake. We would place bookmarks in cookbooks, marking the things we wanted her to make the next time she was in town. Food certainly has a way of generating memories, and this is especially true with a particular recipe of hers. She visited one time with a recipe cut out from a newspaper for “Boiled Cookies,” and it became an instant favorite. Not only were they yummy, but we loved that they were called “boiled” cookies. Today, many call these “No-Bake Cookies.” Despite the different names, they are still made the same way, bringing butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa to a boil on the stove before adding vanilla, peanut butter, and oatmeal. The next step is to spoon the mixture onto sheets of waxed or parchment on the kitchen counter, while fighting the willpower not to eat them before they cool.

I know my family now has their own memories of these cookies since they were a regular after school snack. We call these a semi-healthy cookie since they are gluten-free and we make them with organic sugar and oats!



No Bake Cookies
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. ¼ cup cocoa
  3. ½ cup milk
  4. ½ cup butter
  5. ½ teaspoon vanilla
  6. pinch of salt
  7. ½ cup peanut butter
  8. 3 cups rolled oats
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax or parchment paper. Let cool completely before removing from paper.
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Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies
  1. 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 ½ cups flour
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. 2 eggs, separated
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  7. your choice flavored preserves
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until softened. Add sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and half of the flour. Beat until thoroughly combined, then beat in remaining flour. Cover and chill for one hour.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Slightly beat egg whites. Finely chop nuts. Form dough into 1” balls. Roll each ball in egg whites, then in the chopped nuts. Arrange 1” apart on cookie sheet. With your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  5. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool. Fill in the centers with your favorite preserves.
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Gingersnaps in White Chocolate

Gingersnaps in White Chocolate
  1. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 3/4 cup butter
  3. 1/4 cup molasses
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  11. granulated sugar
White Chocolate
  1. 1 12-ounce bag white chocolate chips
  2. 4 tablespoons shortening
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, butter, molasses and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Stir in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll in granulated sugar.
  3. On cookie sheets place cookies about 3 inches apart. Bake 9 to 12 minutes or just until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.
  4. When cookies have cooled, make the white chocolate for dipping. Either in a microwave or a double boiler, melt the white chocolate chips and the shortening. Dip half the cooled cookie into the chocolate.
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Cinnamon & Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies

Cinnamon & Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies
Yields 60
  1. 1 pound butter
  2. 8 ounces sugar
  3. 8 ounces brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 ounce milk
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  8. 1 pound + 4 ounces flour
Cinnamon Sugar
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar and brown sugar until well creamed. To the creamed butter and sugar, add one egg at a time until blended; add in milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, and flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined.
  4. Scoop dough into balls of desired size, roll in cinnamon sugar and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Press flat before baking.
  5. Bake for 10-14 minutes depending on size.
For Chocolate Cinnamon Cookies
  1. Substitute 4 ounces of cocoa for 4 ounces of the flour
Adapted from Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen
Adapted from Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen
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Ricciarelli Cookies

Ricciarelli Cookies
  1. 3-3/4 cups blanched almond meal flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
  4. Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 Tbs.)
  5. 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  6. 1-1/2 T. honey
  7. 1/2 t. pure almond extract
  8. 1/4 t. pure vanilla extract
  1. Line 4 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the almond flour into a large bowl and use your fingers to break up any clumps. Add the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, and the orange zest, and whisk to combine.
  3. In a small stainless-steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-held mixer on high speed until they form soft peaks. With a spatula, gently fold the whites into the almond meal mixture. Add the honey and extracts, and mix well. The dough will be stiff and sticky.
  4. Put the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off about 2 tsp. of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is shaped into balls, placing 12 balls per sheet. Roll each ball in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, then return to the baking sheet and gently pinch the ball into a diamond shape. Let the cookies sit, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours to firm up and dry out a little.
  5. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until their tops have started to crack and they are barely tinged with gold around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  6. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  1. These cookies from the almond-growing region of Siena date back to at least the 15th century. They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender, but with a nice chew. Their cracked, snowy-white tops make a beautiful addition to a cookie platter, and they’re a great option for those on a gluten-free diet.
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Butter Tea Cookies

Butter Tea Cookies
Yields 100
  1. 6 oz. unsalted butter
  2. 3 oz. granulated sugar
  3. 1.5 oz. confectioners sugar
  4. 2.25 oz. eggs (about 1 extra-large)
  5. 1/2 t. vanilla
  6. 9 oz. cake flour
  1. Cream the butter and two sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla until blended. Add in cake flour until just combined.
  2. Make small cookies about the size of a quarter by piping dough through a pastry bag using a 2D tip*
  3. Fill the center will jam and or dust with sprinkles if desired.
  4. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 375 degrees (this is for small cookies, adjust time based on size)
  1. *If you place the tip on the cookie sheet and twist as you press, you will get a “flower” effect from the dough
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/