The Cookie Basket
Recipes from Wickwood's Kitchen
Everyone loves cookies!! Especially at the Holidays.
The fun of baking with friends or as a family including every age and
generation, amidst clouds of flour and sticky fingers while laughing,
singing and sharing memories is a tradition many of us hold dear. A
combination of favorite Family recipes sparked with a new cookie or two
keeps everyone tasting the batches as they emerge from the oven. Cookies
are one of our favorite gifts as they reflect so much thoughtfulness. We
always put them in a Cookie Basket, a tradition we began at The Silver
Palate. Just fill a ribbon trimmed basket with cookies of all kinds and
they are perfect for a gift or the centerpiece on the buffet table at a
Holiday Open House. We like to cluster the same kinds of cookies together,
on end and in high and low shapes, small and heaping piles . . .
alternating dark and light for texture and movement. Lush and abundant is
the key, high and low to make them look luscious.
At Wickwood our Afternoon and Evening Sweets . . .
generous cookie plates . . . is the way we love to indulge our guests.
They may include Pecan Squares, Toffee Bars, Spicy Chocolate Wafers,
Butterballs, Tiny Chocolate Chippers, Dark Chocolate Bites, Vanilla
Sables, Raspberry Shortbread Bars, Almond Bark, Chocolate Jumbles or Three
Ginger Cookies alongside some Chocolate Bourbon Truffles and Chocolate
Dipped Strawberries. We do love our Sweets.
"Today I will live in the moment unless it's unpleasant, in which case, I
will eat a cookie!" --- The Cookie
remember the day we created these in the kitchen of The Silver
Palate . . . It was just before our first Thanksgiving and we were
sending out samples of our "Everything but the Turkey Menu" to the
local New York food press. The messengers were waiting to deliver
their packages, the kitchen smelled of butter, toasted pecans and
caramel and when the first batch of these heavenly squares were
tasted by all, we knew we had to include them in the Cookie Baskets.
They were still warm when they left our kitchen.
next Wednesday we were the lead story on the NYT Food page with huge
photos of our pies, cookies and leaping off the page were the Pecan
Squares. It was our first big story and we were overwhelmed with
orders! Our two bakers and anyone with a free moment worked night
and day while my Dad built shelves (after he located a lumber yard
in NYC) for cooling as quickly as he could. It was a wonderful
nightmare and one I treasure.
INGREDIENTS - CRUST
Butter, for greasing the pan
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
INGREDIENTS - TOPPING
2/3 cup (approximately 11 tablespoons) unsalted butter,
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 1/2 cups shelled pecans, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
2. Make the crust: Sift the sugar and flour together. Cut in the
butter, using two knives or a pastry blender, until fine crumbs
form. Pat the crust into the prepared baking pan Bake until golden
brown, 20 minutes; remove from the oven. Leave the oven on.
3. Prepare the topping: Mix the melted butter, honey, cream, and
brown sugar together. Stir in the pecans, coating them thoroughly.
Spread over the crust.
4. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes more. Cool
completely before cutting into squares.
"The jar is empty?! You took all of the cookies?!
Were they crying to get out?" --- Charles Schultz
Over the years, these have become the classic Coconut Macaroon
recipe yet they always taste fresh. Today, we love to dip or drizzle
them with dark 70% melted chocolate . . . just a little goes makes
them dazzle on any cookie plate.
Butter, for greasing the cookie sheet
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a cookie sheet well.
2. Mix the flour, coconut, and salt together in a bowl. Pour in the
condensed milk and vanilla and stir well to make a thick batter.
3. Drop the batter by quarter-cupfuls onto the well-greased cookie
sheet, allowing an inch of space between the cookies Bake until
golden brown, 20 minutes. Remove from the pan at once and cool on
1 1/2 dozen macaroons
"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."
--- Barbara Johnson, Ford Model, 1968
OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
day we opened The Silver Palate, this classic was front and center.
We made them large as dinner plates and sold them for $1.00. No one
had ever seen cookies that large, and they sold like crazy, right
alongside Chocolate Chip Cookies the same size. Today, we like them
much smaller, but the size is up to you. Sometimes fifty cent size
is perfect, sometimes 2 or 3 in diameter. Size them according to
your audience and time them according to your own taste . . .
entirely crispy or soft in the center. Just test a few first and
time them carefully and you're on your way. Be sure to have the cold
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for
greasing the cookie sheets
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
2. Cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the egg and
beat thoroughly. Mix in the water and vanilla.
3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; add to
the egg mixture and mix well. Add the oats and raisins and mix.
4. Form the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake until the
edges are done but the centers are still soft, 15 to 17 minutes.
Remove to a rack and cool.
30 large cookies
Holidays are a wondrous time for all of us who are or want to feel
like a kid again. At the Silver Palate we were the first on our
block to sell giant cookies and they were always a best seller. The
technique couldn't be simpler. Apply it to your own favorite cookie
recipe or try it on the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe. The resulting
cookie is spectacular --- a real handful.
you've made the basic batter, use an average-size ice-cream scoop
for portioning the dough. Drop the ball onto a greased cookie sheet,
wet your hand with water, and SPLAT the dough ball out into a 5-inch
round. Repeat with remaining dough and bake to desired crispiness.
friend is someone youll give up the last cookie for."
--- The Cookie Monster