International Cookies


There is a little cookie monster in everyone and a big cookie monster in some of us. I happen to be one of the big monsters. I just love cookies. For me they are the perfect sweet—invented by a genius, no doubt. They are entirely portable, and among other attributes they are tasty from sweet to spicy, are great in lunch boxes, on picnics and are just right for a little something after a heavy or light meal and… well, I could go on and on. The most interesting thing about cookies is that every country has its own special cookies. There are almond cookies and fortune cookies from China, pignolis from Italy, pfefferneusse from Germany, tuilles from France, linzer cookies from Austria and lovely fried cookies from Mexico called bunuelos just to name a few. In America we have the always-wonderful chocolate chip in many mutations and healthy oatmeal cookies plus old-fashioned ginger or molasses cookies, etc. etc. I am sure that cookie recipes in America were brought over with all our migrating families including the pilgrims. After all, even the Native Americans had cookies.
Holiday time is usually the time when people love to show off their homemade cookies as gifts, for dessert or in exchanges. We always have cookies for dessert along with cranberry sherbet at Christmas dinner and though I am not a great cookie baker I do have some wonderful friends who bless me with cookies each holiday season. However, my skills are improving every year and with the following recipes I plan to be a star at this year’s cookie exchanges. I must mention that even my husband gets into the cookie making this time of year and makes great biscotti, which he gives as gifts to friends. I know you all have traditional favorites that you make and some may be the same as the ones on my list, but try the Chinese almond cookies or the Mexican fried cookies for a little change of pace. As always, bon appétit, and as the Pillsbury ads used to say, “Nothing says lovin like something from the oven”.


(The famous Niemen Marcus ‘secret’ recipe)
(Makes approximately 112 cookies)
2 Cups butter
2 Cups white sugar
2 Cups brown sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsps vanilla
4 Cups flour
2 tsps each baking soda and baking powder
1 tsp salt
5 Cups blended oatmeal (Measure oatmeal and blend to a fine powder)
24 Ounces chocolate chips
1 (8oz) Hershey bar, grated
3 Cups chopped nuts
Cream butter and both sugars, add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and oatmeal. Mix well then add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts.
Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Cool before storing.


(Turn an old favorite into a cookie)(Makes about 2 to 21/2 dozen cookies)
1 Cup sugar
3 TBS butter
2 Eggs
2 Squares unsweetened chocolate melted over hot water
31/2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)
Additional granulated sugar for dipping.
Cream butter and sugar well. Add eggs, beat well. Add melted chocolate. Stir in flour, salt and vanilla. Add nuts.
Butter a 9” square pan and smooth in batter. Bake in a 325-degree oven for about 20 minutes till brownies are soft to the touch. Remove and let cool slightly. Cut into squares.
Remove each square and roll in the palm of the hand to make a ball. Coat with granulated sugar and dry on a cake rack.


(Try these instead of the usual
lemon crisps)
(Makes about 3 dozen cookies)
2 sticks sweet butter
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1/2 Cup white sugar
1 Egg
1/4 tsp Baking soda
2 TBS Orange juice
1 TBS grated orange rind
11/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat well. Add all other ingredients and beat well.
Drop by small spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes till just brown at the edges. Cool on a rack before storing.


(An old Chinese restaurant favorite)
(Makes about 3 dozen cookies)
1 Cup lard
1 Cup sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup ground blanched almonds
1 tsp almond extract
21/2 Cups flour
11/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Dozen blanched almond halves
1 Egg yolk mixed with 1 TBS water for glaze
Cream together lard and sugar till smooth. Blend in egg, ground almonds and almond extract.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into egg mixture, dough will be stiff.
Shape into 1-inch balls. Place them 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Press an almond half on each cookie and flatten each cookie to
1/2 inch thickness. Brush with egg yolk glaze and bake in a preheated oven 20 minutes till lightly golden.


(These are even good for breakfast)
(Makes about 4 dozen cookies)
2 Cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Sticks sweet butter
1 Cup light brown sugar
1 Cup white sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 TBS milk
21/2 Cups uncooked oatmeal
1 Cup raisins
1 Cup chopped dates
1 Cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two baking sheets.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Cream butter and sugars together, beat in the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Mix till smooth. Add flour mixture then oatmeal. Mix in raisins, dates and nuts.
Drop batter by tablespoons onto prepared sheets spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies slightly. Bake ten minutes till golden brown. Cool on sheets.


(Mexican fried sweet puffs)
(Makes about 20)
2 Cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS butter
1/2 Cup water
2 TBS packed brown sugar
1 Egg, slightly beaten
Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour and knead between fingers till mixture is like corn meal.
Heat water and brown sugar in a 1-quart saucepan. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool and add egg.
Mix all ingredients together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes. Shape dough into a roll 20 inches long. Cover and let rest for one hour.
Heat oil to 365 degrees. Cut dough into 1-inch rounds. Roll out on a floured surface to 5-inch rounds. Fry in oil turning once till browned. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or honey. ◊
-Barbara Little