lemon light drop cookies

Lemon Light Drop Cookies From Betty's Cook Nookthe power of lemon

Those who know me well know my love for lemons.

I’ve grown a few lemon trees from seed, I make my own limoncello, and anytime I incorporate the bright, citrusy flavor into food or drink, I’m reminded of its amazing power.

puttin’ on the spritz

After mastering the simple art of the drop cookie, I was ready to raise the bar by trying my hand with my cookie press, which I recently discovered due to this cheese straws recipe.

My Mom “Betty” had a metal cookie press that I remember well, but where do pressed cookies come from? I wasn’t too surprised to learn they originate from Germany… all the way back to the 16th century. Spritzgebäck or “Spritz” cookies are pressed butter cookies that are made by squirting dough through disks that make a variety of cool-shaped cookies. The cookie press is like a baker’s version of everyone’s favorite childhood toy – Play-Doh!

Lemon Light Drop Cookie RecipeHungry for more cookie history? You can learn a lot of interesting facts about the origins of cookies at this website.

foodie tips

  If using self-rising flour, decrease the soda to ¼ teaspoon and omit the baking powder and salt.

  The original recipe (below) makes about 70 2 ½” cookies. That’s right, 70! Since we weren’t having a party I decided to cut the recipe in half, which still yielded over 30 cookies.

  For the second half of my dough I experimented with my cookie press and was able to churn out some fun-shaped cookies*. Whether you try this or go the simple “drop” route, I wouldn’t suggest hand-rolling the dough into balls; these lost some of their charm and looked more like mini biscuits than cookies. So drop or cookie press all the way!

* Note: To get my cookie press to best form the dough, I chilled the dough-filled press in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen the dough. I clicked the cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet and voilà!

i. ingredients

to grease cookie sheet | shortening or cooking spray
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 cup | shortening, at room temperature
1 tablespoon | lemon peel, freshly grated
| cage free eggs
1 cup | sour cream or lemon yogurt (I used sour cream, my childhood BFF)
1 teaspoon | lemon extract
3 ½ cups | Pillsbury brand all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons | baking powder
½ teaspoon | baking soda
½ teaspoon | salt
to sprinkle | sugar

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lemon Light Cookie Dough

1. Let’s make the dough! In a large bowl, cream the sugar, shortening, and lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the sour cream (or yogurt) and lemon extract mix well. Lightly spoon the flour into a measuring cup; level off. To the batter add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend well.

Lemon Light Cookies Going Into The Oven

2. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with sugar before placing them into the oven.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a light golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

Lemon Light Drop Cookie Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe Clipping

Here are some vintage Play-Doh commercials from me to you!

Advertisements

cheese straws

A Cheese Straws Recipe From Betty's Cook NookCheese? Yes, Please!

Candy cigarettes aside, the first straw-like food object I can remember from my childhood are Pixy Stix.

The brightly colored straws have origins to the 1940s and were filled with a sweet n’ sour powdery candy that jettisoned my energy levels into outer orbit! #OffDaCharts! If I cough-choked while inhaling the sugary straws, I knew I was having a good time.

A Vintage Pixy Stix Print AdFlash forward quite a few years: These cheese straws are a savory treat that were surprisingly delicious to me – they have a nice buttery-cheesy taste and a few seconds later I enjoyed the warm – not spicy – flavor dismount, compliments of the cayenne pepper.

Younger foodies will enjoy helping you make these straws – they’re perfect for your game day lineup or any day you’d like an extra-special pick-me-up beyond the usual potato or tortilla chips.

foodie tips

  Per the recipe card below… “Cookie press?” “Star plate?” Yeah, this is why this recipe wasn’t one of the early chosen ones I’ve made here at Betty’s Cook Nook – I had no clue what these items were! After some online research I realized a cookie press is a quite popular semi-automatic weapon for cooks! I ran to my nearest store and scored this new kitchen gadget which is a foodie essential for making these cheese straws.

Driving home I remembered that Mom had a cookie press, too! It was an all-metal version and it had lots of extra parts that were kept by its side. Funny how certain things can conjure up *almost* forgotten memories!

  These straws are delicate so handle with TLC. No worries – even if they break they still taste the same: AWESOME!

i. ingredients

1 teaspoon | red pepper (a.k.a. cayenne pepper)
1 cup | sifted flour
½ teaspoon | baking powder
1 cup | cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup | butter (go big with unsalted Falfurrias Brand)
3 tablespoons | cold water
special kitchen utensil | a cookie press (see tip above)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Sift together the red pepper, flour, and baking powder.

2. Cut in the cheese, butter and then add the water. Mix well.

3. Insert the cheesy dough into your cookie press and squeeze it into your desired length, then cut to free it from your foodie gun. Note: If you find that the dough is too thick to easily come out of the press you can remove it, add a little bit more water and reload.

4. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Yield: About 2 dozen straws

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

 

A Cheese Straws Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Cheese Straws Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

cheese-straws-recipe

Here’s A Scan Of Mom’s Original Cheese Straws Recipe.
I’m not certain who penned this recipe, but the handwriting looks like that of Betty’s Sister, “Delores.” :)


marion’s brownies

Marion's Brownie Recipe from Betty's Cook NookThe Real Deal

Back in a time before baking on the quick, folks made things from scratch.

Sure, it takes a little more time but you might just find that the food tastes better – especially since you’re in full control of what goes into your creation. And more importantly, what goes into your belly!

All Aboard The Chocolate Choo Choo

As one who loves chocolatey greatness, my earliest creations used Hershey chocolate powder mixed into a cold glass of milk. But it wasn’t until the likes of Messy Marvin kicked his way into my life when my sights on chocolate really took off. Before we dive into Marion’s recipe let’s have a peek at some of my favorite vintage chocolate TV spots from the 50s – 80s:

So what’s makes these brownies so good? Real chocolate made with TLC. Thanks for the tasty treat, Marion! If you make a batch of these, let me know how you liked them. :)

foodie tips ~

  Don’t forget to let the chocolate cool after melting.

  I like my brownies soft and chewy. So if you’re making me a batch, you know what to do!

  A cold glass of milk or some ice cream is brownie’s BFF. Just sayin’.

i. ingredients

¾ cup | flour, sifted
½ teaspoon | baking powder
½ teaspoon | salt
1 cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
| cage free eggs, unbeaten
1 teaspoon | vanilla
2 squares (2 ounces) | unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup | nuts. And in Texas “nuts” = pecans.

Marion's Brownie Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. In a large bowl sift together the first 4 ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and sugar).

2. Add the next 3 ingredients (the shortening, eggs, and vanilla). Beat for 1 minute, making sure to scrape the bowl to ensure a smooth blend.

3. Add the cooled and melted chocolate and the pecans. Beat for 30 seconds longer.

4. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased pan (about 8″ x 8″) and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

Cut brownies into squares while they are still warm. 

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Marion's Brownie Recipe

Who is “Marion” 

After checking-in with my brothers, Tim and Roger, Tim knew who Marion was. Her name was Marion Praino Sands and she was married to Bob Sands.

I did some Googling and found recent obituaries for both. After reading a bit more into their lives I learned that they lived a few minutes from me where I lived in Dallas for 20 years! My heart sunk knowing that Marion’s brownie recipe was sitting in Mom’s cookbook within reach. And if I had researched this post a little sooner our paths may very well have crossed.

My hunch is that Marion and Bob met my Mom and Dad when they lived in San Antonio. The connection didn’t end there – I learned that Marion was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Dallas for over 50 years. And if memory serves correctly my Mom was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, where I was born… and I believe how I came into my name.

 

 


chocolate pecan ritz pie

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Sweet Formations

In honor of my brother’s birthday today (Betty’s son Tim), I’m making pie.

I broke away from my recent sequence of making recipes in the order I find them in Mom’s two cookbooks by skipping right to the dessert section of the green index card file that has about 100 recipes in it. A funny little recipe (see below) caught my eye because it had no name. So I chose it without doubt.

I almost named this “no name pie,” but I thought I could do better than that so “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie” seemed suitable enough.

Tim is the oldest of 3 of Louis and Betty’s kids. I’ve known him to be a fan of hunting and fishing, sports and good Tex Mex. Shown here is a picture of Tim as a yell leader at MacArthur High School from the 1970s – a time when our family was eating many of the recipes here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I did. Hats off to you on your sweet day, big bro!

MarArthur Cheerleaders & Yell Leaders, 1975

Here’s a pic of my brother Tim when he was a Yell Leader at MacArthur High School. He’s the 3rd Yell Leader from left to right. #PerfectPosture

 

foodie tips ~

  Whipping cream or whipped cream? So whipped cream is whipping cream after it has been whipped. I’m not sure if this recipe really called for whipping cream to be poured on top, so I whipped mine. I prefer my whipped cream with tall, thick peaks – not flimsy and runny rivers which is what I associate with canned whipped cream.

I suppose I’m a bit of a whipped cream snob as I have a gourmet whipper that I, ahem, whip out when it’s time for the best. It only takes a few moments to make fresh whipped cream and I can sweeten and flavor the cream to my liking. Chocolate whipped cream? I’ve done it, and so can you!

  Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for “Texas Pecans.” Giddy up!

  If you also top the pie with more chopped pecans, I’m likely to high five you. #ThisIsTexas!

i. ingredients

| egg whites
1 cup | sugar
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 cup | nuts, chopped (see above for cooking tip)
21 | Ritz brand crackers, crushed
to line pie plate | butter – better make it Falfurrias (my Grandmother’s favorite)
1 cup | whipped cream
to top | hershey chocolate bar, shaved

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

2. Stir together the sugar and baking powder and add to the egg whites and gently fold in.

3. Add the pecans and the Ritz crackers and fold in.

4. Pour your mix into a buttered pie plate and bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Nobody likes charred pie so please watch carefully so that you don’t overcook this sweet dish!

5. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool thoroughly. Use a cooling rack if you’re in somewhat of a hurry.

6. Top the pie with some fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Serve chilled.

Yields about 6 – 8 servings

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe

A scan of Mom’s pie recipe. It was penned without a name so I coined it “Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie.”

 

Chocolate Pecan Ritz Pie Recipe From Bettys Cook Nook

Flashback 1970s

I thought it would be fun to have a look at some vintage 60s and 70s whipped cream advertising.

While we often had Reddi-wip at the ready in our fridge, it looks like they didn’t run commercials in the good ol’ days (just print). Here’s one of the most peculiar print ads I found which seems to promise that serving Reddi-Wip will get you a man or sex. Or both. (Sous Chef‘s Note: We all know sex is really guaranteed after serving the Pineapple Cheese Salad recipe cleverly included in the ad. Um, NO thank you!

Reddi Wip Mate Bait

Since my family also enjoyed the fresh non-dairyness of Cool Whip Whipped Topping, here are some of their funny commercials:

I don’t have the heart to tell Little Susie that with Cool Whip “Swiggle” she really CAN keep her cake forever – that stuff surely lasts the test of time! #cardboard. Enjoy this 1970s spot:

Gomer Pyle and Cool Whip make for the perfect promotion for all Americans*. *Except those in Wisconsin.


texas praline cake

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook

Texas Praline Cake (before it’s frosted)


Texas : It’s A State Of Mind

Growing up in Texas I had no clue the true passion folks have for our country state. Nowadays it seems like most everything comes in the shape of Texas these days.

Blocks of cheese. Stepping stones. Sunglasses. Pencils. Coasters. Coffee Tables. Swimming pools. In the kitchen some of my most prized possessions include a Texas-shaped cutting board, ice cube trays, pasta, cookie cutters, a hamburger press and my very, very special Texas waffle maker. I’m not kidding!

A Texas Shaped Waffle

My Very Own Chocolate Chip Pecan Waffle. Mine! Mine! Mine!
PS ~ I just ate the Texas Panhandle!

For this recipe, when I saw “Texas” in the name I instinctively knew what I had to do – cut the cake into my favorite shape.

But sadly, when I realized this cake is actually made from a bundt pan (not a sheet cake), I decided to spare you all my creative talents attempting to “Tex-afy” this dish.

foodie tips ~

  If this were “fight club” turned “cooking club” the 1st rule of cooking club would be to clearly list all ingredients in your ingredients list! This is not the first time I skimmed a recipe (below), rushed to the store to fill-in my ingredient holes then when making the dish I discover that there were more ingredients buried deep, deep down in the recipe’s body copy. [ insert angry face here ]. This is my own fault of course and I hopefully will remember to read recipes from A-to-Z next time. Just note that I included all ingredients below – including those for the Whipped Cream Imperial – to make it easy for you to have the ingredient essentials at the ready. [ insert happy face here ].

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe from Betty's Cook Nook  Instant coffee granules? Me, either. But surprisingly they worked magic in this dish. What else am I missing here? Coffee granule brownies? Instant coffee toffee (if only)? Chili con carne con coffee? That’s just wrong.

i. ingredients

for the cake

2 sticks (1 cup) | butter, softened (my Grandmother Nanny insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
1 cup | Imperial brand brown sugar
½ cup | Imperial brand granulated sugar
| cage free eggs
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla
1 ½ cups | water
1 tablespoon | instant coffee granules (this is not a typo)
4 cups | all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon | cocoa powder
5 teaspoons | baking powder
1 teaspoon | salt
1 cup | pecans, coarsely chopped

for the cream topping

1 cup | heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | vanilla
½ cup | Imperial brand brown sugar, sieved (sifted or strained)

ii. what to do

0. Heat It Up: Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Make Dough: In a large mixing bowl using low speed, cream butter with the brown and white sugars until well combined. On high speed, add the eggs and cream them about five minutes. Add the vanilla, water and coffee granules and mix on low speed just to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mix to the wet mix on low speed just until all ingredients are well combined. Stir in the pecans by hand.

3. To Bake: Pour the dough into a 10″ tube pan that’s been greased on the bottom only. Bake in preheated oven about 55 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool your cake in the pan on a metal/wood cooling rack.

4. To Frost: To make the “Whipped Cream Imperial” topping combine by hand the four topping ingredients above (heavy cream, salt, vanilla and brown sugar). Chill the frosting mixture for 1 hour in the fridge. Beat with a chilled beater until stiff.

Serves: 12 or more slices of Texas Praline Cake

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

PS ~ If you’re still reading this recipe you may be wondering why I didn’t include a picture of the cake frosted. Well, me and my gas oven are at odds these days and I think the thermostat is shot and my cake was over-cooked. It still had a good flavor but it was dry so I didn’t frost the cake. This is my second fail proving to me that creating kitchen masterpieces is not as easy as it sounds – especially when your oven hates you. My first fail? These red candy apples. Just looking at a picture of them makes my stomach sad.

A Texas Praline Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Original Recipe

 


holiday cake

A Holiday Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook NookA Christmas Spectacular
(Part III)

This holiday recipe is a continuation of the ultimate holiday meal which begins with this tomato bisque recipe, which you’ve gotta check out if you want your holiday meal to be complete. ;)

You’ll also be able to read a little more about how this recipe was selected for Betty’s Cook Nook plus learn about the photographer who took the picture of the 1970s Christmas family below.

foodie tips ~

  Butter instead of margarine? Call me hard-headed, but yes. Plus, I don’t like to anger Mother Nature.

  Green maraschino cherries? I had trouble finding them at my local HEB so I went red all the way. Below, when it calls for well-drained cherries, after draining them in a colander transfer them to a paper towel then blot them with a paper towel.

  I had lots more glaze leftover. You could easily cut the powdered sugar and milk quantities below in half unless you want more glaze than what’s pictured above.

i. ingredients

1 cup | falfurrias butter, softened (falfurrias is from Texas, y’all)
1 package (8 ounce) | philadelphia cream cheese, softened ahead of time
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 ½ teaspoons | vanilla extract
| cage free eggs
2 ¼ cups | cake flour, sifted and divided into 2 cups in one bowl and ¼ cup in another
1 ½ teaspoons | baking powder
¾ cup | red and or green maraschino cherries, well drained
1 cup | pecans, chopped and divided into halves (½ cup each)
1 ½ cups | powdered sugar, sifted
¼ cup | milk
to top | more maraschino cherries

ii. what to do

1. Make sure your butter is softened then preheat your oven to 325°F. Things are about to heat up!

2. Combine butter, cream cheese and sugar then cream together until light and fluffy. We used our tried and true KitchenAid mixer for the ultimate fluffy. 

3. Stir in the vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with every addition.

4. In a medium bowl gently hand mix 2 cups flour and baking powder then gradually add to the creamed mixture.

5. Combine the remaining flour, cherries and ½ cup of the pecans and fold into the cake batter.

6. Sprinkle the remaining pecans into a greased 10-inch Bundt or tube pan; pour in the cake batter.

7. Bake for 1 hour or until cake tests done. Cool 5 minutes then remove from pan.

8. Combine powdered sugar and milk. Pour this glaze over the cake and garnish with cherries.

Here’s a scan of the original recipe! Note the missing Apple Cider recipe (how could they?!). No worries – I have a substitute recipe coming soon. 

Southern Living Magazine December 1978

 


pineapple cookies

A Pineapple Cookie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
Fabulously Fruity

I had never heard of a pineapple cookie before but when Joe found this recipe in Mom’s cookbook I was excited; we had all the ingredients in our kitchen meaning treat consumption was near. We just needed to get the featured ingredient – the pineapple.

A quick trip to the store and back we started cookie production … Lah de dah … I was following the recipe and noticed that it ended at the bottom of the page Mom tore out of a magazine and there was no continuation of the recipe – no extra page! Click here to hear the sound in my head when I realized the recipe was incomplete!

I scoured the front and back of the page (below) containing the recipe and noticed a small callout for folks to send their old-fashioned family recipes to “Southern Living” – and if their recipe was used they would receive $5/each. Note to self: Southern Living. I also noticed a Lemon Jell-O Peachy Cream Salad recipe with a copyright of 1979. Note to self: 1979. With these two data nuggets I should have been lucky enough to find the recipe but the interwebs did not produce; I couldn’t find any record of the recipe – not even on SouthernLiving.comBut I found this one, which helped me interpret and fill-in the gaps.

Pineapple is one of my most favorite fruits of all. I hope you give this recipe a whirl!

foodie tips ~

Morton Iodized Salt ~ When It Rains It Pours

 I added the nuts. “Nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans, y’all.

I read several online complaints about cookies like these being soggy and wet. Follow these instructions! Make sure and DRAIN the pineapple. I had no problems with soggy cookies!

 I recently purchased a cookie scoop which makes forming cookies a snap. Give it a squeeze and see!

 I’m confident iodized salt was used back in the day. Today I’m a salt lover and have five salt varieties in my kitchen. I used a kosher salt for these cookies and was treated to a little kick of salt in-between the pineapple nuggets. I liked.

i. ingredients

1 ¾ cups | all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon | soda
¼ teaspoon | baking powder
¼ teaspoon | salt
½ cup | brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup | sugar
½ cup | shortening
1 | cage free egg
1 teaspoon | vanilla extract
½ cup | crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup | chopped nuts (these are not optional says me)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 375°F.

1. Combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Combine sugars and shortening in a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid); cream until light and … [ here’s where I pick up with the rest of the instructions ] … chunky.

3. Beat egg and vanilla into creamed mixture.

4. By hand stir-in the pineapple and nuts.

5. Fold-in half of the dry ingredients from step 1 above into the creamy mixture. Hand mix until well blended. Add/mix/blend the last half of dry ingredients.

6. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet.

7. Bake until light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. If the first tray turns out a bit crispy, reduce the baking time on the next go.

Yields: About 24 cookies

A Scan Of Mom's Pineapple Cookies Recipe From A 1979 Issue Of Southern Living