Weekly Kitchen: Some new cookies for your valentine
By ANGELA McRAE, The Weekly Kitchen
Among my cookbooks is a tattered copy of Meta Given’s 1953 Modern Family Cook Book. It once belonged to my grandmother, and that’s the only reason I keep it. I have zero interest in cooking some of these so-called modern recipes, including—I kid you not—Cold Jellied Tongue and Scrambled Brains. But what I am very much interested in is why my grandmother apparently used this book as her personal recipe-filing system.
In between two pages about “Conserving Minerals and Vitamins,” she tucked a page of recipes, now yellowed, ripped from the December 5, 1982, issue of Grit. Was it the Date Cake she was interested in making? The Chicken Noodle Casserole? Only the Lord knoweth.
And why did she hide so many recipes inside the chapter titled “Eggs”? The Market Bulletin was apparently a favorite source for clipping recipes, with Pound Cake, Oatmeal Pie, and Easy Tuna Casserole making the (literal) cut.
Like my grandmother, I gather recipes from hither and yon. Today, I obtain new recipes from two vastly different sources—old recipe boxes and the internet.
I recently came across an online recipe from the Detroit News that was attributed to a 1958 clipping from the Pittsburgh Press for valentine cookies that are made with oatmeal and cut into heart shapes. I’m always up for a new shaped cookie recipe, since you can make them for any holiday you like, and these cookies came out of the oven so tasty and crispy that I wanted to share the recipe with you. Full disclosure: I liked the plain ones best, but since it’s February, I couldn’t resist a little embellishing.
Valentine Oatmeal Cookies
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup uncooked oats (either quick or old-fashioned is fine)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl, whisk, and set aside. In bowl of a stand mixture, cream butter and sugar. Add milk, egg, and vanilla and combine. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Stir in the oats by hand.
The dough will be very sticky, so divide it into two discs, place each one between two sheets of wax paper, and roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Let dough chill in the refrigerator for several hours until firm. Using one portion of dough at a time, quickly cut out the heart shapes before placing them on cookie sheets prepared with cooking spray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Yields 3 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Optional glaze: Sift one cup of confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of milk or amount needed to achieve spreading consistency. Lightly drizzle glaze on tops of cookies and add sanding sugars, nonpareils, or other embellishments as desired.