Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bootsie Baker

When Bootsie and Zoomie stay together at Googie's, it means that, at some point, there will be cookie-baking. This first happened last summer, and the bakery re-opened last week when the two of them came to stay for several days.

Since Zoomie has dairy and nut allergies, I looked to the internet for a new, exciting, easy, fast cookie recipe with no milk, butter, or margarine. Fortunately, my search led us to Helen's Raisin Drop Cookies on the allrecipes site.

Since the kids both like raisins and I happened to have some on hand, this was the recipe we tried, and with great results. We halved it out of respect for Pa-pa's and my half-hearted dieting efforts, and ended up with about three and a half dozen small cookies that enabled us to properly honor the warm-cookies-and-milk tradition and leave a dozen or so for the kids to take home and share.

Bootsie dearly loves to commission a step-stool and help with all stages of the cookie-making from start to finish. Here is a chronicle of our process:

First she creamed 1/2 c. Crisco with 3/4 c. sugar; then, she stirred in two eggs, one at a time (she insisted on cracking them herself; that was scary), followed by 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Finally, she mixed in 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 3/4 c. flour, and 1 c. raisins (which I had soaked for about an hour and then drained).

Next (and yes, she is still wearing her nightgown), Bootsie dropped small teaspoonfuls of dough onto our cookie sheet. which we had sprayed with canola spray. Before popping our cookies into the oven, preheated to 350 degrees, she adorned them with some red sprinkles for aesthetic purposes. (This was her idea and not Helen's.)

Helpful Hint: Rather than turning Bootsie loose with the shaker jar, I shook some sprinkles into her spoon, and she dumped them with great finesse onto the little balls of dough. I learned this very helpful tip the hard way, and, sadly, I must come clean and admit that a few sprinkles were harmed in the making of these cookies.

After the cookies baked for about eight minutes, we removed them onto wax paper, leaving only one more step:

As Bootsie demonstrates here, the cookies are at their absolute best dunked into a cup of milk while they are still warm. Even after cooling, they remain soft and moist, and the recipe has found a permanent home in Googie's recipe box. We will definitely be making them again.

When Zoomie woke up, he corroborated our assessment that Helen's Raisin Drop Cookies were definitely keepers. We thank you, Helen, whoever you are.

However, although they are very easy to mix and bake, they are in fact very hard to keep. If you decide to try them (and we highly recommend that you do), I guarantee you they won't last long.

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