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!
Hungry for more cookie history? You can learn a lot of interesting facts about the origins of cookies at this website.
❤ 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!
to grease cookie sheet | shortening or cooking spray
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 cup | shortening, at room temperature
1 tablespoon | lemon peel, freshly grated
2 | 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.
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.
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.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Here are some vintage Play-Doh commercials from me to you!
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.com. But 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 ~
♥ 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.
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
My cousin Julie revved-up her scanner and shot me some recipes from her San Antonio kitchen last week. This tasty banana nut loaf cake recipe was one of them… and hailed from Delores’ kitchen (her handwriting is shown on the recipe below).
Julie’s mom “Delores” was Mom’s sister… and “magically,” the Kiker family always referred to her as “Sister”… and her husband, “Uncle Bill.”
Julie said: “This is another recipe I thought my Mom got from your Mom. She made it several times and then taught Jeannette how to make it. Jeannette made it probably a zillion times for her! My father just loved that banana bread ~ or at least my Mother thought he did!”
Let’s Go Bananas!
½ cup | butter, softened (use Falfurrias butter per my Grandmother Nanny)
1½ cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs, beaten well
3 | bananas, mashed well
½ cup | nuts, finely ground (I like pecans)
½ teaspoon | baking soda
4 tablespoons | buttermilk
1½ cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking powder
1 teaspoon | vanilla
ii. what to do
0. Soften your butter. See tip below!
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the first five ingredients.
3. Dissolve the soda in the buttermilk; add to the first five ingredients.
4. Mix the flour with the baking powder; add to the ingredients along with the vanilla and mix well.
5. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan (roughly 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.75″) then line the bottom of the pan with wax paper.
6. Pour batter into baking pan and bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Ahhh, softening butter. I’m usually in the heat of the moment before I realize I need room temperature butter but it’s still in the fridge! If you’re short on time and can’t wait the 30-60 minutes for your butter to soften on the countertop, here are some helpful tips for how to accelerate things. I usually cut the butter into 1/2″ slices and set them near my preheating oven and usually in about 15 minutes things are ready to roll.
♥ This recipe was surely a family favorite ~ the measurements for how to make *three loaves* is noted in the original recipe below (see the circles)!
♥ Julie says this recipe is a good use for almost-bad bananas.
♥ You can also split this into two smaller loaves. I used foil pans that were 8″ x 3-7/8″ x 2.5″ and kept one and gave one as a gift.
♥ Who’s Jeanette? Click here and learn more about Jeanette and her famous oatmeal cookies!
In 5th grade, I remember my music class teacher praised me for my rhythm with the wood block. Grabbing that praise, I entered beginning band in 6th grade at Garner Middle School… and my passion for percussion marched on through high school and college. I still love music to this day.
Returning home from summer band practice at Garner, I remember sitting on the floor watching TV (before cable or satellite TV) and Looney Tunes was tops on my list. Bugs Bunny was one of my favorites and we all know Bugs’ love of the carrot. With that in mind…
…I hope you enjoy mom’s tasty carrot cake as much as I do!
for the cake:
2 cups | sugar
1-1/3 cups | cooking oil
4 | cage free eggs
2 cups | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | baking soda
2 teaspoons | cinnamon
3 cups | grated raw carrots
1/2 cup | nuts (texas pecans or walnuts)
for the icing:
1 pound | powdered sugar
8-ounce package | cream cheese
¼ cup | margarine (or unsalted Falfurrias butter, per Nanny)
2 tablespoons | milk
2 teaspoons | vanilla
0. Preheat oven to 300°F.
1. Beat sugar and oil… add the eggs and beat well.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Add to egg mixture and beat well.
3. Fold-in the grated carrots and nuts.
4. Transfer batter to a greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
5. Bake 70 minutes at 300°F.
6. While cake cools, let’s make the icing by beating all of the icing ingredients (above), until creamy.
7. Spread icing on cool cake and serve.
♥ Go nuts… Use tasty Texas pecans!
♥ You can also make individual treats by transforming the cake into 24 cupcakes. Cook for about 50-60 minutes.
♥ OR… you can even transform this recipe into cake balls! To yield about a dozen cakeballs we crumbled 4 cupcakes along with 2 tablespoons of the frosting, chilled a few hours to firm then hand dipped into white chocolate bark. Delicious!