Saturday, October 29, 2011

White Pepper and Ginger Lemon Cake

This recipe is the last in the category "other cakes". I am really down to just a few categories in the book: cakes with fruit, cheesecakes (one more), puddings, chocolate cookies, other cookies, and sauces.

I'm kind of sad about that because I liked the "other cakes" category, which mostly included buttery Bundt-type cakes (often with booze). I have to say I'm a Bundt-cake person because I'm the kind of person who scrapes off her frosting. Give me a nice glaze and I'm happy, though.

All this to say that I really liked this cake. Lots of butter, lots of lemon, and lots of peppery heat from the ginger and the pepper. When I tasted the batter, I thought, "Whoa, this is really spicy!" But once the cake baked and was glazed, the flavors really balanced out.

This cake was Maida's idea of taking an Early American buttermilk cake and updating it to 80s tastes: white pepper and ginger being "hot", as she cleverly puts it. There are indeed lots of recipes with fresh ginger in the book, but to me that's just delicious, not trendy. The white pepper...well, it didn't bother me, but I'm guessing the recipe would also be good with additional ginger and no pepper. If you don't have white pepper and don't feel like buying it, I would suggest that route--black pepper is just going to make the cake look weird.

Here's the recipe. 

White Pepper and Ginger Lemon Cake

1 cup (8 oz.) butter, room temperature
Finely grated rind of 2 (organic) lemons
A 1/2-inch by 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (0.5 oz.), finely grated
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1-2 t. (I used 1-1/2 t.) finely ground white pepper (about 1/2 t. peppercorns--I ground them in a coffee/spice grinder)
1-3/4 c. (12.25 oz.) sugar
3 large eggs
3 c. (12 oz.) sifted flour (I used 1 c. whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 c. (8 oz.) buttermilk--low fat is fine
2 T. (1 oz.) lemon juice

Heat the oven to 325. Butter a Bundt pan and coat it with bread crumbs or wheat germ or ground almonds (I used almonds). Set aside. Beat together the butter, lemon rind, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and white pepper until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat another 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until well incorporated after each addition. On low speed, gradually add the flour in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and lemon juice in two additions. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes (check after an hour) until a cake tester comes out clean and dry.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze:

1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) lemon juice--you'll need at least 3 lemons
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) sugar

Mix well to dissolve. Let stand. 

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. Unmold the cake onto a rack over a piece of foil, waxed paper, or parchment. Give the glaze a good stir and then generously brush all of it over the cake. At first it will seem like it's too much glaze, but the cake will soak it up.
Let stand until cool and then serve in thin slices. Maida says this improves as it ages, but sadly it was all gone within two days.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Raisin Pillows

I quit my editing job the other day.  My teaching and volunteer work were taking so much time that I felt anxious about the thought of having one more thing to do. The French rhythm of "work really hard, then do absolutely nothing" is starting to rub off on me, though I feel it might just take it out of me instead.

So yes, this is another one of those posts in which I bake even though rationally I should be doing something else. Just because I promised to bring cookies to a meeting of parent volunteers didn't necessarily mean I had to choose a recipe that was a giant project. Or even bake at all, for that matter.

But you know me: I have to go by the book. And the book said Raisin Pillows. And lo, I made them, even though I had to finish them at 6 AM. And lo, they were good.

OK, the name "raisin pillows" is not terribly promising. And Maida's claim that this was an Early American treat was also a bit eyebrow-raising. But never fear: these are not the quickest cookies ever to make, but they're really good--if you happen to like butter and vanilla and rum raisins.

Although the process takes a while, it's quite simple: you chop up some raisins and other ingredients and cook it down to a filling and let it sit. Then you make a quick little sweet dough in the food processor and refrigerate that.

Then you go and teach a night class and come home too tired to think about rolling out and baking cookies. So you get up early and roll out dough.

Then, because you don't really have time to cut out rounds and do a bunch of re-rolling, you cut squares and fold little triangles. And when that turns out to be too messy (this dough is quite spongy and crumbly), you cut the squares in half and make little sandwiches.

Then you send your daughter to school with a large ball of raw cookie dough and pack most of the baked cookies in a Tupperware before you run off for the 9AM meeting. And bask in the compliments as the moms who aren't on diets enjoy a cookie or two "and one for the road." Once again, it's all paid off and Maida has proven that humble little raisin-filled sugar cookies can be a real treat.

Here's the recipe. Make these when you have the time...or not.

Raisin Pillows

1/4 c. (1.25 oz.) sugar
1 c. (5 oz.) raisins
Grated zest of 1/2 large (organic) orange
1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) orange juice and/or water (I mostly used water because I don't like the taste of cooked orange juice)
2 t. lemon juice
1 T. rum (Maida says this is optional, but I disagree)
1-1/2 t. (0.25 oz.) butter

(Note: this is half of the recipe in the book. I had way more filling than I needed, and unlike Maida, I don't like raisin filling on toast.)
Put the sugar, raisins, orange zest, and orange juice/water in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5-10 times until the raisins are coarsely chopped. Maida says they should look like "large egg caviar". Put the mixture in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to a low boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice, rum, and butter. Cool to room temperature and chill until ready to use. Now make the dough:

3 c. (12 oz) sifted flour--I used 1 c. whole-wheat pastry flour
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. (7 oz.) sugar
1 c. (8 oz.) butter, room temp is best
2 t. vanilla
1 large egg
1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) milk

In the bowl of the food processor, put the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse until mixed. Add the butter (cut it into pieces first) and pulse that until well incorporated. Throw in the vanilla, egg, and milk and process until it holds together in a smooth dough. Scrape the dough out onto a large piece of waxed or parchment paper and refrigerate at least 3 hours (or freeze for 30-60 minutes).
When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 350. Get out a mat, a rolling pin, and a little custard cup of flour: if you're like me, you'll need to flour rather heavily. Also line some cookie sheets with foil or parchment. Work with the dough one third at a time: roll it out to 1/8 inch, if you can--this dough is rather wet and stubborn. If you're a patient person, use a 2-inch round cookie cutter and cut circles as close together as possible. Refrigerate dough scraps for later. If you're not patient, cut into squares that are as even as possible. I'm just going to assume you're patient: put a teaspoonful of raisin filling on half of the circles and cover each with a "plain" round; crimp the edges with a fork and put on the lined cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool, and serve with pride.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hot Chocolate Mousse

Last weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to make this cake/pudding: we were having Sami's cousin and her son over for Saturday lunch. Sami's cousin is a high school teacher with a lot of personality; her son is her perfect comic foil, with deadpan delivery. We had a lovely long meal with interesting conversations about trade in 19th century Britain and how Tunisians would react to vegetarianism, for example.

I knew this would be a perfect dessert to make for this woman because she loves chocolate. She had hunted down the best chocolatier in Saint-Germain-en-Laye before we moved here, and when we brought her a box of my favorite chocolate, she got excited like a child at Christmas. My kind of dinner guest.

There are a lot of aspects of this recipe that make it great. For one, it's quite simple: once you've separated your eggs, you're home free. You can also make most of the recipe a few hours ahead of time and then finish it and put it in the oven right before you start your dinner. It doesn't fall like a soufflé, so it doesn't matter that you've barely gotten to the cheese course when the cake is ready to come out of the oven.

And let me just say that this is the perfect kind of dessert for a silicon pan like this: I'm not sure whether the cake would have unmolded from a regular Bundt pan.

And the verdict? It was light, fluffy, and very chocolate. It was more a cake than a mousse, really, but with whipped cream, it was a really excellent end to a fun meal.

Here's the recipe. Make it for chocolate-loving friends.

Hot Chocolate Mousse

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped relatively fine
1/2 c. (4 oz.) butter, room temperature
1 c. (8 oz.) boiling water
8 eggs, separated
3/4 c. (5.25 oz.) sugar
(optional: about 1/2 t. vanilla)
Pinch salt

If you're going to bake the cake right away, heat the oven to 350. Get out a Bundt pan and a baking pan (probably a 9x13 pan) that can hold the Bundt pan and some water. Butter the Bundt pan, even if it's nonstick, and sprinkle it with sugar.
In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup put the butter and chocolate. Add the boiling water and let stand for a minute or two. Stir until smooth. If it's not quite smooth, give it 30 seconds or so in the microwave. Let cool and then freeze for 15 minutes until quite thick. Whisk well and set aside.
In another medium-large bowl put the egg yolks and beat then just until mixed. Gradually add 1/2 cup (3.5 oz.) of the sugar (and the vanilla, if you want) and beat at high speed until thick and pale, 10 minutes (mine didn't take quite that long to reach that stage). Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. You can let this sit for a couple of hours now if you need to.
Add the salt to the egg whites in the big bowl of a mixer (with a whisk attachment) and beat until they start holding a soft shape. Turn down the mixer and gradually add the remaining sugar. Turn the speed up and beat until the whites hold a stiff peak. Gradually fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Pour the mousse into the prepared pan--pour into one side and then into the other. Carefully smooth it out. Put the Bundt pan in the larger pan. Put the pan in the oven and then carefully pour hot water into the large pan until it's about 1 inch up the side of the Bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes (check after 30 minutes and cover with foil if the cake seems too dark).
Remove cake from the oven and then the water-filled pan; let stand 5 minutes. Then reverse onto the serving platter but do not remove the cake pan. Let stand for 15 minutes, then remove the pan. While the cake is standing, make some whipped cream:

1 c. whipping cream
2 T. powdered sugar
1 T. each Cognac and rum (or Grand Marnier), or 1/2 t. vanilla

(The quantities given here are half those Maida gives. She probably likes whipped cream more than I do--there's always way too much.)
Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whip until the cream holds a soft shape. I put the cream in the center of the Bundt ring, and it looked pretty. Eat soon and with gusto.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Down East Chocolate Cookies

"Do you have any almond paste that isn't colored?" I asked my fruit and nut (and grain and olive...) seller. "Just for you, sweetie," he leered. This is the guy who, when I protested that I was far too lazy to crack my own walnuts, offered to come over and crack them for me. Smooth. Just to say that in France, almond paste often comes in little packs of pink, green, and natural color. I have no idea what happens with the pink and green--maybe people make little flowers and such?

Almond paste/marzipan is kind of a controversial ingredient in my family: right up with raisins, in fact. And it's the same people who hate marzipan who also hate raisins. Go figure. So I figured that at least 3/4 of the family would enjoy this cookie.

The technique and ingredients are a bit strange: no flour (I guess the almond paste takes that role) and the batter needs time in the freezer. Like the peanut sauce, it's also a "sleeper recipe" that I probably would have ignored. But that would have been a mistake.

Just as Maida promised, these seem crisp until you bite into them, when they become chewy and delightful: kind of like a Tootsie roll, only with more and better chocolate flavor. The almond paste does not shout out its presence, so even Claire loved them. In fact, the only problem with this recipe is that it doesn't make enough: I only got to eat two before they were all gone.

Here's the recipe. Consider doubling it if you want to have enough to share (or to have some for yourself).

Down East Chocolate Cookies

1-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 T. (3 oz.) butter
3/4 c. (5.25 oz.) sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/3 c. (3.5 oz.) almond paste* (in the US, this comes in a tube from Odense. Don't buy marzipan or the almond filling in a can.)
1 large egg
1/2 t. almond extract

Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Mix in the sugar and salt, and then crumble in the almond paste. Give the mixture another 30-second burst, and whisk until smooth. Add the egg and almond extract and whisk until smooth again. Put the mixture in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until quite thick.
When you're ready to bake, heat the oven to 300 and get out a couple of flat cookie sheets and some parchment paper or silicon mats (which seemed to me ideal for this purpose). Scoop out rounded teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the mats/parchment sheets--I found 6 to a sheet was just right because these spread a lot. (Maida wants you to carefully form these into round balls. You can see how well I followed her advice. Don't be like me.) Bake for 21-22 minutes, rotating in the oven unless you're using the convection setting. Let cool completely on the parchment or silicon. Fight for the last cookie.

*If you want to use up your leftover almond paste, this cake is a nice way to do it. Or just make more cookies--you'll want to.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Sauce

I don't really have an angle or story about this recipe. I made peanut butter sauce, and it was good.

This is one of the Maida recipes I would normally have overlooked because it's so simple and comes with so few headnotes.

But I'm really glad I made it: it's easy and delicious. Claire says it tastes like peanut brittle in sauce form. She's right: it's a lot like caramel sauce (especially since I used golden syrup instead of corn syrup) with the extra kick of peanut butter. Two great tastes that taste great together...

Here I'm serving it as Maida suggests: over (homemade) vanilla ice cream with sliced bananas. Yum. But Julia and I found another excellent use for this sauce: as a dip for sliced apples. If you like caramel apples and apples with peanut butter, then look no further.

So here's the recipe. Go get some good apples and/or ice cream and get ready for some simple deliciousness.

Peanut Butter Sauce

3/4 c. (8.25 oz.) corn syrup or golden syrup
1/4 c. (2 oz.) water
Pinch salt (I left this out because I think peanut butter is salty enough)
1/3 c. (3 oz.) smooth peanut butter
1 T. (0.5 oz.) butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. (2.7 oz.) whipping cream

Bring the syrup, water, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat a bit and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peanut butter and whisk until smooth (although Maida says it might look curdled). Remove from the heat and add the butter, whisking until it's melted. Beat the egg in a small bowl to mix, then add a bit of the warm peanut butter mixture, beating constantly. Then whisk the egg mixture into the peanut butter sauce. Put back on the stove over low heat and cook for 1-1/2 minutes, stirring and scraping with a rubber scraper, to cook the egg--the sauce does not thicken noticeably. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla and cream. Chill until very cold and serve over ice cream and/or with sliced apples.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Banana Black Cake

One of my favorite things about baking is using lots of ingredients. This probably goes back to my childhood baking experiences, but there's nothing I love more than putting half my spice drawer and a bunch of other stuff in a cake or a batch of cookies. Therefore, this recipe was right up my alley. See how all the ingredients barely fit into the picture?

I suppose it's also an American trait to have a lot of different flavors going on in one dessert. French desserts tend to go in for one or two dominant flavors, but American desserts tend to either have one over-the-top flavor (chocolate-chocolate-chocolate) or many mixed.

 But for this cake, almost all the flavors totally worked. The banana shone through, but so did all the dried fruits and nuts. The spices and cocoa held their own in the background. The only thing that I wasn't so sure of was the blackberry jam. I didn't really taste it, and the seeds were somewhat annoyingly crunchy (because I had overlooked the "seedless" part in the recipe and bought very seedy jam from a lady at the market). I recommend buying seedless blackberry jam for this. I'm sure it adds a nice moisture and obviously some sweetness.

 Since this is a big, dense cake with a lot going on, I made half the recipe, which filled a loaf pan plus two mini-loaf pans (with no dried fruit or nuts for Claire). The recipe below is the half recipe, which I think is the perfect amount unless you have a ton of people to bake for or want to eat cake for weeks.

Our friend Bob was visiting us when I made this cake. He got to try the lemon cheesecake and this, and he seemed to prefer this cake because of the big flavors and all the fruit and nuts. It's a tough comparison because they're such different dessert items, but this is just to say that this cake is really delicious and worth making.

Here's the recipe. Empty out your cabinets and get to it!

Banana Black Cake

1-1/2 c. (5 oz.) walnuts
1/2 c. (4 oz.) butter, room temperature
2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) sugar
1/2 c. (3.5 oz.) brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 c. (8 oz.) seedless blackberry jam
2-1/2 bananas (8 oz., peeled), mashed with a fork
2-1/2 T. (1.3 oz.) buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 cup +2 T. (4.5 oz.) sifted flour
1/2 c. (2.75 oz.) whole wheat flour
3/4 c. (5 oz.) pitted dates, cut into quarters
1/2 c. (2.5 oz.) raisins

Heat the oven to 300. Butter a large loaf pan (you may need some extra muffin tins or such). You'll also want a shallow pan to put water in (a broiler or 9x13 pan). Grind 1/3 c. (about 1 oz.) of the walnuts in a food processor; use those to coat the pan. If there are extra, let them stay at the bottom of the pan. Chop the remaining walnuts into medium-sized pieces and set aside for later.
Cream the butter with the cocoa, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt, cloves, ginger, baking soda, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat for another minute or two. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Beat in the jam and then the banana. Isn't this fun? Beat in the buttermilk or yogurt, and then on low speed, beat in the flours. Take the bowl off the mixer stand and stir in the dates, raisins, and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Put about an inch of hot water in the shallow pan and put it on the bottom shelf of the oven. Put the covered cake on a rack above the hot water pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Take off the foil (some cake batter may have stuck to it) and bake another 45 minutes or so, or until a toothpick comes out clean (these were the times that worked for me: Maida recommends 1 hour covered and 1-1/2 uncovered). Let cool about 20 minutes and then unmold onto a rack to cool completely. Maida recommends chilling this and serving it cold with ice cream, but I kind of like it at room temperature, just plain--but not really plain.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

This weekend we bought a car. Sami had done all kinds of research and finally chose just the right car: in Germany. So he took the train on Saturday morning, picked up the car, visited friends in a city nearby, and came home Sunday. I stayed home and graded papers--and made cheesecake to celebrate with.

And while this cheesecake is really easy to make, like most cheesecakes, it tastes so good that it seems special. This one has a "light" touch in that it includes some cottage cheese (I used fromage blanc, which is really what the cottage cheese is standing in for)--but then the whipped cream on top negates all that. 
I have a note in my cookbook from when I made this dessert years ago, probably in graduate school: "'Sheer bliss'--Alex and Karen". And as we sat at the dinner table the other night enjoying our cheesecake in silence, Julia asked, "So, is it sheer bliss?" I don't know, but it was pretty darned good and a great way to end a weekend.

Here's the recipe. Make it when you have something to celebrate.

Lemon Cream Cheese Pie

1-1/4 c. (5 oz. or 1 cello pack) graham cracker crumbs (I used digestive biscuits)
1 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon (consider using less)
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. ginger
Pinch allspice
6 T. (3 oz.) butter, melted
(alternatively: 1 pkg. zwieback
1/4 c. (1 oz.) powdered sugar
6 T (3 oz.) butter)

Heat the oven to 375. Line a 9-inch pie plate with foil. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and butter (if you're using a food processor to make the crumbs, just mix it all in the processor). Pat the crumbs in the foil-lined pan to form an even layer on the bottom and as far up the sides as you can go. Bake for 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then freeze at least 1 hour. When the crust is frozen solid, pull it carefully out of the pan by the foil and then carefully peel the foil off. Return the crust to the pan. Keep it at room temperature while you make the filling (especially if you have a glass pan--you don't want it to crack going from frozen to hot!).

3/4 c. (6 oz.) cottage cheese or ricotta
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
Grated rind of 1 (organic) lemon
3/4 c. (5.25 oz.) sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 large eggs
3 T. (1.5 oz.) lemon juice

Heat the oven to 350. Put the cottage cheese or ricotta in the food processor and blend for a full minute or until the cheese is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and process until that's completely smooth. Then add the lemon rind, sugar, and vanilla and pulse until thoroughly incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, pulsing until incorporated after each. Add the lemon juice and pulse until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Let cool, then chill. When you're ready for your blissful cheesecake experience, make the topping: 

1/2 c. (4 oz.) sour cream
1/2 c. (4 oz.) whipping cream
1 T. granulated or powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Note: I have cut the cream in half from the original recipe: I think that more would overwhelm the cheesecake.
Anyway, put all the ingredients in a cold bowl and whip with cold beaters until stiff. Spread this atop the cheesecake. Let chill for a few hours, then devour.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mrs. LBJ's Moonrocks

I can remember a time before First Lady candidates had to produce a cookie recipe for an election-season bake-off. And yet it would seem from this recipe that there were still First Lady cookie recipes back in the day.

I guess this is a good cookie to represent the late 60's: it has some back-to-earth, crunchy-granola elements with all the coconut, dates, raisins, and nuts, and yet it's got that down-home spice cookie feeling. And it's the kind of cookie that would keep in a care package, like the "hermits" my parents used to send me. Very Lady Bird, I'm guessing. I wonder if Maida edited the recipe to substitute butter for "oleo".

This is certainly a love-it-or-hate-it kind of cookie: it's got cinnamon and raisins, which both seem to inspire strong emotions. Oh, and coconut, too. I actually made a few with no "goodies" for Claire, and she loved them. But I happen to love all those divisive ingredients, and so does Julia, so we have been powering through them. Good cookies are good cookies, politics or no.

Here's the recipe.

Mrs. LBJ's Moonrocks

1 cup (8 oz.) butter, room temperature
1 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1 t. cloves (these are strong--I cut this to 1/2 t.)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice (I used 1/2 t.)
1 t. nutmeg
1-1/2 c. (10.5 oz.) sugar (I used about 9 oz.)
3 large eggs
1/2 c. (5.5 oz.) dark corn syrup (I used a German cane syrup called Rübensaft)
4 c. (16 oz.) sifted flour (yep, I used about 5 oz. whole wheat)
1 c. (3.5 oz.) shredded coconut
1 c. (5 oz.) raisins
1 c. (8 oz with pits) dates, pitted and quartered (use scissors)
2 c. (7 oz.) walnuts, in large pieces (I used about 5 oz. and that was plenty)

Heat the oven to 350; have ready some cookie sheets and parchment or foil. In the large bowl of a mixer, beat the butter with the baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until each one is incorporated. Beat in the corn syrup, and then on low speed gradually add the flour. Take the bowl out of the mixer and stir in the coconut, raisins, chopped dates, and walnuts. This is a lot of stiff and chunky dough. Use two spoons to scoop out large dough balls (one spoon to scoop; the other to scrape the dough off the first spoon) onto parchment or foil sheets--Maida says you should get 48 cookies (four sheets of 12), but I barely got 36 (four sheets of 9). You decide how big you want the cookies to be. Bake for 18-20 minutes (the cooking time will vary depending on how big you made your cookies) until the cookies are golden all over. Transfer to racks to cool. Enjoy with a glass of milk or a cup of tea.