White Chocolate Toffee CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese crispy white chocolate cookies with bits of toffee are crunchy, buttery and sweet. They are a favorite of my friends and family. They should, theoretically, stay fresh for at least a week if kept in an airtight container, though in this house, have never lasted long enough to test that. Because of the butter and sugar it is best that the cookies be baked on a heavy baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This keeps them from sticking, and they bake and brown evenly. If you don't want to bake the entire recipe at one time, the dough can be frozen for up to one month. This recipe yields approximately four dozen 2 1/2" cookies.Date Filled Princess BarsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterPrincess Bars are those jam filled sweet, crumbly, coconutty encased treats that have been around forever. The bars are great for tea, picnics, in lunch boxes or a late night snack. They were a constant at our bakery and my father would cook dates with just a touch of lemon and some sugar for the center filling. This recipe was not in his journal, but I was very fortunate to find that my sister's friend, Carol had gotten a copy from my parents. They are really easy to make and will stay fresh for several days. French Savory Shortbread CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterI found this recipe for French Shortbread Cookies in my Dad's journal, but do not remember him every making them. The original recipe had a very low ratio of sugar, and I liked that as so many cookie recipes are just loaded with sugar. The rice flour and cornstarch give them that slightly sandy crunch that I find so appealing in shortbreads and sables. I also wanted to make them a bit different, so I added the lavender blossoms, along with the sprinkling of flaky Maldon salt across the tops. You could also try a bit of chopped Rosemary and a sprinkling a Black Lava Salt for an even different twist. These savory shortbread cookies are equally good with a coffee or a glass of wine. Store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. They are best eaten within 4 to 5 days.Chocolate Hazelnut BiscottiBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese chocolate hazelnut biscotti incorporate two very popular Italian ingredients in making sweets. Hazelnuts, (Nocciola in Italian) and chocolate. Used together, the flavor is hard to beat. The word "Biscotti" actual means biscuit, but the verb "biscottare" means to bake twice. However, the word "biscotti" has come to mean, even in Italy, these twice-baked delights that we have with coffee or sweet wine. My recipes originate in the Northern part of Italy and tend to be a bit less dense. You won't have to dunk these in order to eat them. This recipe makes about 5 dozen little two inch long biscotti, so you may want to wrap and freeze some of the logs to bake at another time. They do make excellent gifts and will keep for several weeks either in a zip lock bag, or air tight glass or plastic containers.Pumpkin CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese pumpkin cookies are spicy, a bit chewy, and just a bit cakey. The sugared pumpkin seeds on the top add an additional texture and crunch. A trick to making these cookies chewy as opposed to cakey is flattening the dough. After you have sprinkled the sugared pumpkin seeds on the top, use the back of a spoon to press the ball of dough into a circle about 1/4" thick. If you prefer a cakey cookie, leave the small mounds of dough as is. Chocolaty Chewy Frosted BrowniesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterI loved my Dad's brownies. They were in the "chewy" category, with just a hint of "fudge", and full of toasted walnut pieces. To add even more chocolate, they were frosted with a rich topping that was somewhere between chocolate fudge and chocolate buttercream. These are great any time of the day. Have one, or two with coffee or tea, a glass of milk, or after dinner with a bit a red wine or Port. Oh...and did I mention they are super easy to make. The batter can be mixed in one bowl, and by hand. Covered with plastic wrap, or in an air tight container stored in the refrigerator, they will last up to 10 days.Bacio – Kissing CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterMy family made these cookies for every season. Shaped as hearts, shamrocks, Easter eggs, turkeys and Christmas trees, and were filled, flavored, and frosted to fit each holiday. The two sides are held together by the filling, thus the name "Bacio" which is "kiss" in Italian. The recipe is really basic, and you can use your creative side to make them your family favorite. Try orange extract and orange zest, or lemon. Top with a drizzle of lemon fondant, or chocolate. Just remember, what makes these cookies so crispy, "melt in your mouth", is the thickness. Keep them no more than 1/4" or less thick. You can also eliminate the filling and serve as a single cookie, either plain, topped with chopped nuts, or a flavored fondant.
Lemony Persimmon BarsBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is the time of year when persimmons are plentiful. There are two main types of persimmons, and it is the Hachiya (acorn shaped) that is used mainly in cooking. They need to ripen to the point that the flesh is very soft and pudding like, otherwise the taste is mouth puckering astringent. You can use it right away, but it also freezes extremely well.
These bars are moist and chewy, with the chopped apricots, the lemon juice and the lemon glaze adding a touch of tart to the sweet. Christmas Fruit & Nut BiscottiBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis Christmas Biscotti makes a great holiday gift. You can make the dough ahead of time, roll into logs, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. They are crunchy with just a bit a chewiness due to the fruit. They are delightful served with coffee, tea, or your favorite dessert wine. Pfeffernüsse – German Peppernut CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis is one cookie that you don't want eat "just out of the oven" After coating the cooled, baked cookies with peppermint syrup and tossing them in powdered sugar, they need to be stored for at least 48 hours. During that time the syrup will harden, forming a crunchy shell and the inside will be spicy, moist and just a bit chewy. Place these in an airtight container and they will last for several months.Mincemeat CookiesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThese mincemeat cookies are just a bit chewy and just a bit cakey, and the maple butter glaze adds another flavor and texture component. They will last up a week, unless they get eaten before that time. Oatmeal JumblesBy Marjorie Perotti-BrewsterThis recipe isn't historical, but does go back to my father's journal of the 1930's. In the journal it's called a "Hokey Pokey". I always thought that having all your favorite cookie ingredients rolled into one cookie was a good thing. So when I was manufacturing cookie mixes, I made this, with some minor adjustments and named it a "Jumble".