I’m not much of a cookie fan. Which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy a nice “freezer cookie” — as we refer to the Girl Scouts’ Thin Mints in my house. Nor did I turn down a box of Ivins’ Famous Spiced Wafers sent special-delivery from Jersey via Nicole Brodeur’s sister Susie. Nic and I grew up eating those mass-produced molasses cookies, beloved for their crunch and their Halloween-colored box.
Recipe for success: Spiced Wafers and Thin Mints
But my lack of excitement where cookies are concerned has long been tempered by this fact: I share my home with a couple of cookie monsters.
My husband, Mac, is “famous” for his Towboat Cookies, a recipe passed down through the rank-and-file of the maritime industry from a certain Captain Bob Shrewsbury, Sr. (Have you noticed how all my husband’s best recipes come from sea captains?) The captain had an explanation for their popularity among his crewman: “They’re good: they taste just like diesel oil!” When Mac makes them, however, they taste like butterscotch morsels, raisins and walnuts, and while he gives the nod to Captain Shrewsbury, he notes they’re a variation on the Oatmeal Scotchies recipe printed on packages of Nestle’s Butterscotch Morsels.
Recently, my take ’em-or leave-’em attitude toward cookies has changed, and for that I fault my friend Raquel Comerford — for introducing me to these:
Raquel, a native of Brazil and a baker extraordinaire, is a copy editor and production specialist who sits right in the center of the Seattle Times newsroom. Only feet from her workspace is The Cookie Corner — an oasis of help-yourself-happiness where (Raquel rightfully points out) for only 75-cents, her sweet treats are an inexpensive way to “cure a craving and give yourself a reward.”
Raquel, seen doing what she does (second) best. Get baking, sister! The cupboard is bare!
Raquel did not grow up baking cookies at her grandmother’s elbow, as I suspected. Instead, she started baking them when her college-age kids were small, and perfected her craft over the years by making batches to give away at Christmas. Her cookies were such a hit on the news desk, she’s now making a (minuscule) profit, baking over the weekend and impressing her professional colleagues with childhood favorites like Snickerdoodles, Toll House Chocolate Chips, Oatmeal Raisin and the one she calls her “runaway hit” — Chocolate Malt Sandwiches (love those!). Show up at the Cookie Corner at the right time and you might just luck into a stash that looks like this:
The key(board) to keeping Seattle Times employees happy
Since I love Raquel’s cookies almost as much as I love you, I asked if she’d share one of her recipes. Ever the generous soul, she offered up something you won’t find on the back of a package of Toll House morsels: her recipe for Orange Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies. In exchange, I thought maybe you’d consider sharing your favorite cookie recipe by publishing it right here in my comments box.
If you do so, please check your ingredients and directions twice before hitting the send button, and note that fractional measurements like 1/4 and 3/4 or degrees-symbols come across as gibberish when you cut-and-paste (and I can’t fix them on this end) so please type those in.
Or if, like me, you’re not big on baking cookies, tell me this: what’s your favorite cookie recipe and where did it come from?
Raquel’s Orange Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange oil (see note)
2 eggs, room temperature
4 ounces candied orange peel, diced (see note)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup almonds, chopped
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and orange oil in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in candied orange peel, almonds and chocolate. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
Note: Pure orange oil and candied orange peel are available at specialty food stores and via online retailers. Raquel buys both at DeLaurenti in Pike Place Market, and you can also purchase them via Chefshop and King Arthur Flour Company, among others.