The Art of Scrap Cookies

Whew, I’ve been a busy girl.  Not busy enough that I’m not making new things each week, but just busy enough to let updates and posts slip off the to-do list.  I’ll be better about it.

This time, I have a cookie to write about and a lovely, little cookie to boot.  It’s a mix of period recipe and my own little tweaking and I’m quite proud of the result.  It tastes like a little vanilla wafer, smooth and not overly sweet, so that means you can eat a couple without sugar overload.  At least in taste.

These little wafers are so light and sharp that they'll probably be my go-to 'sugar' cookie

These little wafers are so light and sharp that they’ll probably be my go-to ‘sugar’ cookie

Technically, they are called “Scrap-Art” Cookies but I played around and added lemon juice and a very good drop of honey into the mix since the note in the recipe said that it could be dry, the dough.  My solution was to add a hint more liquid and it worked beautifully.  They rolled out nicely and baked up beautifully.

So here’s the recipe:  (note: with period recipes, standardization of measuring is a later invention, so pick a cup that’s going to represent your cup and use that as a base… something on the smaller size because I guarantee these recipes make A LOT)

1 cup butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2.5 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Large drop of honey.

You’ll cream the butter, egg, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and honey together.  Then add your dry ingredients.  Chill in the frig like you would for sugar cookies.  I chilled them for about an hour.  Roll thin and cut into shapes or circles with a cup.  For fun, I added one chocolate chip to the middle.

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A Trip to King’s Landing

Yes, I am a Game of Thrones fan and really?  Who isn’t?  If you haven’t seen it or read the books, I highly recommend.  I also highly recommend the official cookbook even if you aren’t inclined to take my previous advice.  It isn’t just for fans but fans of period cooking in general.  The writers of the book have painstakingly searched for period recipes matched in the book’s feasts and translated them for us, even made up modern equivalent for those less inclined to try an ancient roman recipe.

They're petite and just ready for some tea

They’re petite and just ready for some tea

This recipe comes from 1690 for little lemon cake style cookies that are mentioned in the book.  I do like the fact that they provide the original text of the recipe, a translated version (for our modern cooking measurements) and instructions, that way you know for sure you are doing something quite old world.  It’s a pretty straight forward recipe but what I noticed as I made it up was how dry it became.  Maybe it’s a user error but I didn’t form a dough following the exact instructions and measurements, therefore, I added a bit of buttermilk, barely even 1/8 cup to help bring it all together.  Next time I might just cut down the flour and a bit of the sugar.

The end result?  Oh, these are sweet little things, almost candy like in their sweetness so I didn’t add the glaze to it but very lemony.  It’s the zest that does it and bonus?  The house smells deliciously like lemon as you make these up and you really will want to consume vast amounts of them.

While I can’t share the recipe with you, since it’s a book and all that jazz, I will suggest you pick it up.  There’s all sorts of recipes from duck, to salads, to drink recipes (not all alcoholic) to breads.  All meals are represented and almost all seasons so grab it up.  I think it’s a must have for those ‘rustic’ type days.

Never Going Back Vanilla Pudding Cookies

My family has gotten quite used to having a dessert around since I started this project.  I’m happy to give it to them since I have a rather big sweet tooth myself, however, desserts use up resources like none other.  Cups of flour, sugar and butter go into even some of the simpler recipes.  It’s not easy when you are basically unemployed and on a strict budget.

Delicious, little Vanilla Pudding Cookies

Delicious, little Vanilla Pudding Cookies

This all leads me to the glory that is vanilla pudding cookies.  You see, going through the cupboards, I found a package of instant vanilla pudding that really ought to be used before it went bad and so the Pinterest search began.  I find that searching Pinterest for recipes works for me better than google or any other search engine.  I’m a very visual person and often make decisions based on that, so to have the image right there is handy.  Plus, it leads you to all sorts of blogs.  Hours of wasted and ideas are born.

Anywho…  I found a great cookie recipe that used vanilla pudding (here) and comparatively low amounts of the usual resources.  This is because of what the package of instant pudding mix contains.  It has most of the ingredients built in, which is handy for the budget minded person.  If I had only known about these when I was in college, I would have cried.  I was always buying pudding mixes for desserts because they were cheap, who knew I could have made cookies?  What you learn as you grow older.

Such fluffy, yummy things

Such fluffy, yummy things

They made up fairly easy, though my butter was a touch too cold but I was impatient.  User fail rather than the recipe.  The end result was a very fluffy, very delicious vanilla flavored sugar cookie.  I told the family that we would not make any other sugar cookie recipe ever again after tasting these.  Second day tasting and they were still rather soft (which is extremely important to me and my sugar cookies).

Judging all this, I want to try pudding cookies in a variety of flavors that instant offers.  Even the sugar-free and fat-free style to see if there’s a significant difference.  So look out for those remarks further down the line.  I’m thinking these would be great during the summer with some ice cream sandwiched between them.  I can’t wait.

Bite Sized Peanut Butter Yummies

More sweet tooth moments abound!  This time in a healthy way.  With all the new year resolutions to eat better, lose weight and more, why not look for a healthy-ish cookie?  My mother has this low-cal dessert book she picked up somewhere, so when I was craving something and didn’t want to go for something super-bad for me, I dug around in there.  Then I remembered the peanut butter cookie recipe that tasted like fudge.  I should really try to turn it into a cookie/brownie combo or a truffle…mmmm…

Little bite sized goodies

Little bite sized goodies

The trick is making a smaller batch and making smaller cookies.  Yes, having cookies the sizes of our hands are fun but really bad for you.  Portion control is where it is at when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, at least in my book.  These, I made bite-sized (which doesn’t work when your father and brother clearly don’t care about sharing and eat five in one sitting).

Perfect little cookies for snack time!

Perfect little cookies for snack time!

I almost want to try them with ice cream but I’m a strictly chocolate and ice cream type of person.  Don’t ask why, I have no answer for it. Personally, these would be good for parties because they are small, tasty and just enough to deal with that need for something sweet.

Cover of the low cal cook book.  I didn't see any authors to post a link

Cover of the low cal cook book. I didn’t see any authors to post a link

Since I don’t want to mess with copyright, I will say that there’s no brown sugar, minimal butter and only a light half cup peanut butter.  Personally, I like it like that.  I think if you half your own recipe  or make an even ratio of peanut butter to sugar you should be good.  Or just make them tiny, cute and bite sized!