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  • Amy Sexson

Baked with Love

Happy Holidays, Haven readers! You bring us so much joy throughout the year – you’re the milk to our cookie. So, we thought we’d send some cheer your way…in baked form. Put on your most festive apron and play some seasonal tunes, (grab a cocktail), and start whipping up these favorite cookie recipes from each decade. These recipes are great for keeping on hand as ‘coping cookies’ when the holiday stress sets in, or box them up with a cute bow and give them away as gifts. Wishing you and your family a merry (and tasty) holiday season and a Happy New Year!


Baked with love, Amy Sexson


1910's - Oatmeal

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups butter, softened

¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cups uncooked oats

½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

½ cup dried cranberries (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined dry ingredients; mix well. Add oats; mix well. Add optional nuts or berries. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased sheet pans. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool for 1 minute on sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes 3 dozen.


*Recipe from Quaker Oats. “Oat Cakes” were the first oatmeal cookie to appear on the Quaker Oats package in 1908. The first recorded oatmeal cookie recipe was published in the United States by Fannie Merritt Farmer in her 1896 cookbook, the “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.”


1920's - Molasses

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup butter, softened

1 egg

¼ cup molasses


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a shallow bowl, place ½ cup sugar and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter and the remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in dry ingredients, just until a dough forms. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, into a ball, roll in reserved sugar to coat. Arrange on sheet pans lined with parchment paper, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the edges of the cookies are just firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cool completely. Makes 3 dozen.


*Recipe from Martha Stewart and is a staple at our house every holiday season. They stay soft and chewy and are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea.


1930's - Ice Box Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3 teaspoons vanilla

5 cups all-purpose flour

⅔ cup milk

¼ cup cocoa powder

1 egg white


INSTRUCTIONS: Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Add 2 eggs and salt; mix well. Add milk and vanilla; mix well. Add flour a little at a time and mix until just combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap one of the halves in plastic wrap. Add ¼ cup cocoa powder to the other half and mix until combined. Wrap that half in plastic wrap and refrigerate both for at least one hour. Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Roll out each dough to a ¼ inch thick rectangle, making sure to keep each piece a similar size. Brush one piece of dough with egg white and layer the second piece of dough on top. Brush the top layer with egg white and slowly roll to create a swirl pattern. Wrap this log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookies ¼-inch thick and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until firm but not browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen.


*Recipe from Martha Stewart. Option: leave out the cocoa powder and add food coloring to create a colored swirl. In the early 1930s refrigerators started to make their way into every household. Around the same time, women slowly started entering the workforce and Icebox Cookies became popular.


1940's - Chocolate Chip

INGREDIENTS:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (if omitting, add 1-2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour)


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased sheet pans. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.


*Recipe from Nestlé. In 1939, Ruth Wakefield, who ran the Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts was mixing a batch of cookies when she decided to add broken pieces of Nestlé Semi-Sweet chocolate into the recipe expecting the chocolate to melt. Instead, the semi-sweet bits held their shape and softened to a delicate creamy texture and the chocolate chip cookie was born. Ruth’s ‘Toll House Crunch Cookie’ recipe was published in a Boston newspaper and her invention of the chocolate chip cookie quickly became the most popular cookie of all time. Thank you, Ruth!


1950's - Peanut Butter Blossoms

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

additional sugar for rolling

36 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Slowly add flour, baking soda, and baking powder; mix until dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional sugar. Place on ungreased sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown. Once you take them out of the oven, immediately press 1 Hershey’s Kiss in the center of each cookie. Remove from sheet pan and cool on racks. Makes about 3 dozen.


*Hershey’s Kisses were first produced in 1907. This cookie originated as an entry into the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest. The cookies were originally called Black-eyed Susans but was renamed by Pillsbury to the Peanut Butter Blossom cookie. This is the classic recipe from Betty Crocker.


1960's - Church Windows

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

½ cup butter, cubed

10-ounce package pastel marshmallows

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut


INSTRUCTIONS: In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Let cool for 5 minutes. Place 2 large pieces of parchment or wax paper on work surface. Sprinkle ¼ of the coconut onto each piece. Place the marshmallows and walnuts into a large bowl. Pour cooled chocolate into bowl and stir. Transfer half of the mixture to the parchment paper and shape into log. Sprinkle all sides with half of the remaining coconut. Tightly wrap into logs and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Slice into cookies.


*Recipe from the Spicy Southern Kitchen. These no-bake cookies are really just rocky road but the addition of colored marshmallows is fun for the holidays. This recipe is messy, but worth it.


1970's - Potato Chip Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups ruffled potato chips

¾ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour


INSTRUCTIONS: In a plastic bag, crush potato chips with your hands or gently with a rolling pin. You don’t want them to be powder, they should be recognizable potato chip crumbs. You want to end up with 2 cups of crushed potato chips. Separate the 2 cups into 1-cup measurements. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add egg; mix well. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Stir in 1 cup of crushed potato chips, don’t overmix. Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using a glass or your hands, flatten the cookies and sprinkle with remaining crushed potato chips (press them down lightly). Bake for 11 - 12 minutes or when they just start to brown on the edges. Cool on wire racks.


*This cookie is just as wacky as the 70s were but delicious! Don’t overmix the dough and use a heartier chip like Ruffles so they don’t completely disappear in the dough.


1980's - No Bakes

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup cocoa powder

4 tablespoons butter

pinch of salt

3 cups oats

1 teaspoon vanilla


INSTRUCTIONS: In a large saucepan, melt sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Let it boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir well. Spoon onto parchment lined sheet pan and refrigerate until firm.


*This was my favorite cookie to get at the school cafeteria when I was in first grade. I thought there was nothing more delicious in the entire world. Although I don’t make them very often, they are still a family favorite of ours. Store the cookies in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.


1990's - “Dunkaroos”

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

⅛ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

sprinkles (optional)


FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

3 ½ tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar


INSTRUCTIONS: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat on high speed until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined, the dough will be soft. Split the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick. Cut cookies out and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. If using sprinkles, gently press into cookies. Bake for 11 - 12 minutes or until edges are set. Let cool on a wire rack.


FROSTING DIRECTIONS: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until fluffy.


*Dunkaroos were a favorite of our kids in the 90s. This recipe is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and the cookie tastes like an Oreo when not dipped in frosting.


2000's - Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup dried cranberries

½ cup boiling water

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling

3 eggs plus 1 egg slightly beaten set aside

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped


INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, place cranberries and add boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes or until plump. Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time mixing well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture on low speed until combined. Mix in cranberries and pistachios. Divide the dough in half and shape each one into a 16- x 2-inch log on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan. With the palm of your hand, flatten logs slightly. Brush the beaten egg over the surface and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until logs are slightly firm to the touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer logs on parchment to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Using a serrated knife on a cutting board, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into ½-inch thick pieces. Place a wire rack on a sheet pan and arrange cut slices on it. Bake until firm, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on the rack they were baked on. Makes 4 dozen.


*Recipe from Martha Stewart. These look like the holidays with red cranberries and green pistachios. Along with a bag of locally-roasted coffee, box these up in a pretty container and it’s the perfect gift.


2010's - Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup butter, softened

¼ cup shortening

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

⅔ cup sour cream


FROSTING INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened

3 ½ tablespoons butter, softened

1 tablespoon milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 cups powdered sugar


INSTRUCTIONS: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla, and egg until fluffy. Mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low until just combined. Add sour cream, mix until combined. Remove dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough ¼-inch thick, cut with cookie cutters. Reroll extra dough gently to cut more cookies. Place on parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 8 - 9 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. Makes 3 dozen.


FROSTING DIRECTIONS: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until fluffy.


*I’ve been making these cookies for almost 30 years and I’ve adapted it along the way. These cookies are soft, not very sweet, and a favorite of our family. The frosting recipe I’ve included is optional. Feel free to use a recipe of your own or leave it out entirely.

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