Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lost in the Woods

Happy Father's Day! I started thinking about memories with my father and my father-in-law. Some of the best memories with my father seem to center around being outside or helping with fixing or building things: trips to the hardware store (where I slammed my finger in the truck door), changing tires on the van before I could go on my trip to Vermont, and helping take down the wall connecting the guest room and living room (we were listening to records as we hammered through). He is definitely the reason for my coffee addiction (Dad, do you remember the awful coffee at TruValue and the crappy powdered creamer?). One of my favorite memories is when my Dad took me fishing (I must have been about 9 or 10 years old). We walked through the woods to a pond (it seemed like miles away). The best part wasn't even the fishing. The best part was on the walk back, when my dad got us lost! He denies it to this day (admit it, everything in the woods looked the same). I don't remember what we talked about as we walked around for hours, but it was an adventure I'll never forget.
     One of my favorite memories of my father-in-law is when he made me scrape gum off the back of a dresser in my husband's college dorm room. An odd memory, however, I realized then that I was officially part of the family. I was no longer a "guest". You'd only ask a true family member to scrape gum!
Of course there are so many more memories and so many more memories to be made. Happy Father's Day to both of you!  Here's two cookie recipes in honor of you both, Sables and Rolo Cookies.

Sables (French Butter Cookies)
by Pierre Herme,

2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) salted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large egg whites
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until combined.

Beat in the egg whites, 1 at a time, then beat in the flour. Refrigerate the dough until firm.

Divide the dough in half and transfer to 2 large sheets of plastic wrap. Shape the dough into 2-inch-thick logs, and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice 1 log of dough 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on 2 large cookie sheets. Bake the cookies on the middle and lower racks of the oven for about 17 minutes, or until golden at the edges, shifting the pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely. Wipe the cookie sheets clean and let cool completely, then repeat with the second log of dough.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.
Rolo Cookies
adapted from
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bag of Rolo candies, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended.Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well.

Take a spoonful of chocolate cookie dough and wrap around one Rolo candy. Make sure Rolo is completely covered with cookie dough and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until you run out of cookie dough.(about 36 cookies)

Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

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