18 February 2011

Invention in the Kitchen

Jane wanted to make some cookies as an after-school snack for the two olders. I believe she may have the gift of hospitality, that girl. We pulled out the standard cookbooks and were left feeling uninspired. So, off the bookshelf came the golden-tome: Fannie Farmer.

Fannie's great. First of all, she specifies the recipe by order of operation. She only tells you the ingredients as you need them, so you add everything in the right order. Drives me nuts when recipes list all the ingredients first, but out of order! Fannie's method is much more logical.

 She also gives you a basic recipe then encourages you to try all sorts of variations and concoction to suit your present hankerings. We went for the basic sugar cookie (or "cooky" as the the old spelling used to be) and transformed them into "The Petite Orange Sweet Cookies" ... as christened by Jane. We substituted orange juice for milk, almond extract for vanilla, and tossed in a little nutmeg.

We also noticed that this recipe suggested that the yield would be 50 to 60 cookies! They weren't kidding when they said "arrange by teaspoonful onto cooky sheet." I guess our modern serving size has, indeed, drastically increased in size. While we only managed to downsize to about 35 cookies (how tiny can one make them??), I am now rethinking how big a cookie really ought to be ... or at least how much equals a serving size!