Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Ready (a baking spree)

Last Saturday was the inaugural concert of the Barrett Choir, my new group at ASU.  So how did I prepare the day of the concert?  I baked.

See, the program was fairly short, and I thought that people should have a good reason to hang around for a while.  I had suggested that the students might want to organize a reception, but this is tricky for undergraduates who live in dorms and don't have ready access to a kitchen, ingredients, etc.

So I sallied into the breach.  The fruits of my labors are in the photo.  I baked two batches of pumpkin bars (I found several recipes for these online--all alike.  I chose to top them with a dusting of powdered sugar rather than ice them with cream cheese frosting.), a batch of my peanut butter cookies, two big batches of Toll House cookies--nothing fancy here, just the recipe on the 24-oz. bag of chocolate chips--and a batch of spice cookies.  I'll give that recipe below.

Sue was understandably worried:  we don't like to have a bunch of this stuff around the house, because we're always watching our weight.  She need not have been concerned.  There was a good-sized audience, and they scooped everything up in a heartbeat!  There wasn't a crumb left.  (The concert was pretty good, too.)

Now, the spice cookie recipe.  I'm a little apprehensive about posting this, because I honestly don't remember where I got it!  So if this is your recipe, I heartily apologize if I've stolen it.  It's really good, and it's quick and easy.

(click on the title to open a printer-friendly version of the recipe in a new window)


2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
2-1/2 cups of white sugar
1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, and ginger
1/2 teaspoon each of ground cardamom and nutmeg
1 beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking soda (yes, a TABLESPOON) dissolved in ¼ cup of warm water
¼ cup molasses (warm it briefly in the microwave for easy pouring)
4 cups flour


1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, spices, eggs, and salt.

2.  Mix up the baking soda-water mixture and pour it into the batter; stir to combine.

3.  Stir in the molasses.

4.  Stir in the flour; the dough will be quite stiff.  Keep working it with a wooden spoon until it is well combined.

5.  Drop the dough in walnut-sized lumps onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 - 12 minutes, until brown and crackled.

Makes about 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

There are lots of ways to make people happy.  One is to sing beautifully to them.  Another is to give them a tasty homemade cookie.  And sometimes it's nice to do both.

We're coming to the season of tasty treats.  I hope yours are delicious and gratifying as a song.


  1. I know where you got this recipe! It's the one I made for old-fashioned Christmas the year you were in NC. I think it comes from the Joy of Cooking? I can't remember exactly where I found it...

  2. Almost, Elizabeth. I remember that you wanted the recipe, and I had this one around. So I think YOU got it from ME, but I don't know where it originated.

    It's a recipe I had in the notorious notebook that I hand-wrote from some other source. I gave it to you when you found you didn't have time for Aunt 'Nita's molasses cookies.