Hello, all. I hope you enjoyed your Kentucky Iced Tea from last week’s post. If you’d like another, I’d be happy to pour.Moving on, we turn our attention back to Great-aunt Helen’s recipe box. But. Instead of the box, we have a new find. As I was undertaking the seemingly overwhelming (but it turns out entirely do-able) task of cleaning my desk, I found this little gem.The inscription on the inside cover rang a sort-of bell. I had heard the name Evangeline before, though I thought it had been in connection with my maternal grandmother, who was Helen’s sister-in-law.
After talking to my mom, I placed Evangeline as the daughter of the across-the-street neighbors of Helen and her brother, Bob, when they were younger. Because Bob stayed in his childhood home to raise his family after marrying, Evangeline eventually became my grandma’s neighbor. My mom remembered Evangeline often giving small but creative and fun gifts, especially when, as an adult, she returned home to visit her parents at Christmastime. This small cookie book was one such gift given to my Great-aunt Helen.
My simple ask about the origin of this book unearthed a whole trunkful of memories for my mom about the families of her childhood. This, my friends, is why I get so excited about recipes.
When Evangeline–who sounds like she was quite the character with her boisterous laugh and sometimes socially awkward ways–gifted my great-Aunt Helen with this lovely little book about cookies, she made it possible for me to one day unwrap a little treasure of my own. It’s a sweet little book even without the personal connection, and I feel like a bit of a time traveler as I flip through the pages, admiring the simple line sketches, then taking it to the kitchen to put it to use.Chocolate Chip Yummies grabbed me as my oldest had been asking that I make chocolate chip cookies. The parenthetical Koko Bits had me wondering, and best as I can tell they are a trademarked chocolate baking ingredient, looking a bit like small pieces of shaved chocolate.
Not having Koko Bits on hand, I went with the standard chocolate chip.The cookies differ from what I’m used to in a cc cookie, but no complaints here. Powdered sugar instead of granulated made them more of a shortbread and the 2 cups butter made them rich and lovely. Quick oats, so important they were underscored and capped, were nowhere to be found in my kitchen; I used regular old-fashioned instead and still loved the results.
The dough didn’t spread overmuch and though the recipe directs the baker to flatten the balls before baking, I found that flattened or no, the final cookies looked much the same.
It’s a keeper of a recipe just as it’s a keeper of a cookbooklet. Helen received this book from a friend, thought it an important enough gift to inscribe the who and when, and 45 (!) years later, I hold the book in my hands and can make the same recipes that she might have. To me, it gets no better, no more special and amazing than this.
We’ll celebrate this find next week with an adult sipper to serve with these tasty cookies, though I’m hankering for a cold glass of milk right now!