I have many hobbies. Most are, regrettably, sadly sedentary. Just take a look at the topics in this blog: Art, fashion, needlework. Not terribly high impact and not really compatible with incorporating a treadmill…although wine + treadmill would be amusing if ill-advised. So, I remain almost obscenely unfit. Mind you, I’m not hating on my body. I have a healthy self-outlook; I just wish I was stronger and not so averse to stairs. Ahhhh, stairs…my great nemesis! Anyways, some of these hobbies aren’t simply unhelpful on this front, they’re downright counterproductive. Like baking. And lately I have really been feeling the urge to bake…and, consequently, my waistband has been feeling the pressure. (This is despite the fact that the Greek still eats easily 80% of the resulting goodies and yet remains frustratingly svelte. Surely unreasonable envy and annoyance is cardio…) And recently, the only thing I want to bake are old-fashioned cookies!
Time-tested, delicious little morsels, the perfect combination of sugar and nostalgia that leave your whole house smelling like sweet, sweet butter for hours afterward. Some people thumb through old photo albums or paw through old boxes of baby clothes, but I enjoy baking…and I hate wasting food. So, after an afternoon’s stroll down memory lane, I have 72 little reminders of childhood with a profoundly high calorie count…and a genetically ungifted metabolism that will cause me to gain weight simply from looking at the pictures of these cookies. (Like, a cantaloupe burns more daily calories than I do.)
Fittingly, all my recipes come from my old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook which has basically fallen completely apart (Are there still places where they’ll bind books for you?).
First I began with Peanut Butter Cookies. I even bought processed sugar paste (a.k.a Jif) specifically for this purpose.
Then Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars…because I was essentially raised by Nestle Tollhouse.
Finally, I made Snickerdoodles, which, admittedly, I had never heard of until I moved to Maryland at the age of eighteen and which I actually make with avid regularity…because they’re tasty. But they are unarguably lots of people’s childhood cookies.
According to Wikipedia, The Joy of Cooking claims the name has a German origin, but “It is also possible that the name is simply a nonsense word with no particular meaning, originating from a New England tradition of whimsical cookie names”. I choose to believe the second one. What are the other nonsense cookies names, you may ask? You know I had to know: Graham Jakes, Jolly Boys, Branble, Tangle Breeches, and Kinkawoodles.
Ha, Tangle Breeches.