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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cookbook Wednesday; New Hampshire Bites

There are many reasons why I collect cookbooks. Today’s books bring back memories of wondrous days I spent in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, many years ago with my good friend Walter. I was contemplating moving there at the time and Walter did just about everything in his power to try and convince me to make the move. As a matter of fact, he even proposed:)

A Brief History of Strawbery Bank

And a recipe;

I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Pennsylvania, Strawberry season is but a sweet and fragrant memory. That is why if you read that recipe for Date Strawberries carefully, you will notice it doesn’t include neither fresh or frozen strawberries. Unless there is such a thing as strawberry Rice Krispies that is:)

As you might expect, the Strawbery Banke Cookbook devotes an entire chapter to all things strawberry. Uh oh, what’s a girl to do? Well, it so happens, I preserved some of those sun kissed strawberries for just the right occasion.

And in my book, today is the day for Strawberry filled Thumbprint cookies. (as for those jars of goodness above, that's only three of the 12 varieties of freezer jams I have stuffed in the outside freezer. A couple of them are Peach AND Strawberry! I told you I was a busy beaver, lol…)

You would think I would have chosen the recipe for Thumbprint cookies from the cookbook but, fact is, most of the strawberry recipes included some sort of gelatin concoction and I just wasn’t in a gelatin kinda mood. This recipe for Winter Strawberry Candy is a perfect example.

The inspiration for the Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies that I share with you today comes from John’s recipe for PB&J Thumbprint (Thimble) Cookies.

PB&J Thumbprint (Thimble) Cookies
adapted from Kitchen Riffs
Ingredients
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (I used 1 stick of butter and 4 tablespoons of mashed Avocado)
¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
6 ounces peanut butter (chunky or smooth) (I used 4 ounces of smooth peanut butter)
1 large egg (I used 2 egg whites)
½ teaspoon orange extract
¾ cup jelly or jam for topping cookies (red currant jelly is excellent; or use strawberry, raspberry, or another flavor of your choice)
Procedure
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour and salt). Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add peanut butter and blend well. Beat in the egg and the orange extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
4. Scoop out dollops of dough and form into balls about one inch in diameter. Place cookies 1½ to 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Make indents in the top of each cookie.
5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the cookies are just becoming firm (don’t over bake). Remove from the oven. Using a wide spatula, move the cookies to a wire rack for cooling.
6. Spoon ½ teaspoon of jelly or jam into the top of each cookie. Serve and enjoy.

John’s recipe was just what I was looking for but, as you all know, I have been making modifications to my diet these days and I just had to “play” with this recipe as well. If you’re not watching your diet, I highly recommend you checking out John’s recipe. He always includes helpful notations with his recipes and there is no doubt in my mind that his results are dee…li…cious!

My changes to John’s recipe are noted in red. I’ve been researching butter substitutes and it seems avocados are highly regarded as a good substitute in cookies.

1. I wasn’t willing to change off the entire amount of butter but, I must say, you would have to really analyze my cookie batter to detect the avocado!

2. When I realized my peanut butter was not heart friendly, I decided to use just 4 ounces of what I had on hand. I have since replaced my pantry peanut butter and when I make these cookies again, I will use the 6 ounces as John suggests! Not only will it enhance the flavor of the cookies, it will make them just a bit more healthier too:) (And yes, I totally agree with John and the orange extract; amazing!)

3. I have gotten into the habit of using egg whites in lieu of whole eggs. I was not happy with my one horrid experience with egg substitutes and after reading the labels and doing a bit of research, I’m sticking with regular ol’ eggs. Yes, I am having a problem justifying all those frozen egg yolks in the freezer. I’m thinking I’ll be doing some cookie gift giving for the holidays so they will go to good use then. And yes, some yolks have found their way down the kitchen drain but, I liken it to not always eating the peel on the apple, lol…Sometimes I just crave a peeled apple, lol…

I’m very pleased with the way the cookies turned out. Believe it or not, biting into these cookies was my first encounter coming any where near butter or saturated fat since my “episode.” I’m adjusting quite well except sometimes a girl just needs a cookie or a piece of cake for that matter. To think this was my first cookie in nearly three months seems almost impossible to believe, especially since Marion bought a brand new box of Mallomars, which are gingerly sitting on the “goodie” shelf in the pantry. But, believe it!!! BTW, Mallomars' Day is right around the corner:) Thanks for the inspiration John!

I hadn’t planned on including another cookbook or recipe for today but, when I saw the title of this little booklet, I just had to peek inside.

I’m sooooooo glad I did! Not only did the title of the book entice me but, I found myself drawn to this recipe for Apple Ugly Cake simply because it was made without butter! As I read the recipe, it reminded me of the cake mixes you use to be able to buy in the 70s that were made by Betty Crocker. They were called Snackin’ Cakes.

This recipe was almost as easy.

The only adjustment I made was I replaced one-third of the cup of oil with applesauce which I’ve done many times in cake recipes with much success! I also added 1/4 cup of homemade yogurt which I haven’t had time to “morph” into “greek” yogurt yet:) I’m sure it would have been just as good if I had omitted it but I was attempting to fortify with a bit more protein:) Next time I think I’ll add a sprinkle of flax meal or oat flour. I’m sure it will go undetected and taste just as yummy:) I do wish I would have included the raisins but I surely will remember next time! (I’ve been eating tons of raisins and walnuts as my daily evening snack, I just didn’t feel like having more raisins in this cake but, they would have been just perfect:) The recipe doesn’t tell you to grease the pan but I did use baking spray. Marion insisted on having it hot out of the oven with a dollop of Cool Whip! As for me, I didn’t miss the Cool Whip one bit. (Marion is a devoted Cool Whip fan from way back:)

It was such a warm day yesterday, I decided to take my walk right in my own neighborhood. (I usually go to the baseball field to do my laps:) Yes, dear readers, Fall has arrived in all its Glory!!!

~~Wiggle Those Toes~~

Resources
1. Portsmouth, A Picturesque New England Town (Karen from Back Road Journal shared an intimate post about Portsmouth recently:)
2. Strawbery Banke Museum
3. Strawbery Banke Poppyseed Cake
4. Rosh Hashana, Circa 1919

44 comments:

  1. I couldn't understand why your strawberry cookbook title was misspelled on the cover, until I read further into the post. Reading is always a good thing, right?

    I could make an Apple Ugly Cake, and Mark might even eat it. Re: butter substitutions, have you tried I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? It's a pain to measure, but it works, and has no cholesterol and no trans-fats. That said, I do let my dearly beloved use just a smidge of real butter on his homemade bread, and so he's convinced that he gets real butter in everything, including his veggies. Silly boy ;-)

    It's pouring down rain here, which we desperately need. And then it's supposed to get colder. So if the leaves don't get washed off the trees, maybe they'll turn colors this week! Have a good one.

    Marjie

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    1. That's so funny Marjie. I was so concerned that people would think I spelled strawberry wrong, lol...I think that is why I didn't use it in the title, lol...The Apple Ugly Cake is really, really good. I think Mark would like it for sure. It seems to keep quite well too so you could probably send him some:) I'm going to try freezing a piece or two to see how it fares. There's no way Marion and I can eat all that cake!!!

      Marion does use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. I'm not happy with the ingredient label and the amount of saturated fat so I haven't been using it. I am looking into butter priducts that contains plant stanol ester. The research says they are very effective in lowering chloesterol. I'm actually not having so much trouble adjusting to no butter. I'm enjoying so many new things that I like just as much or more!!! As you say with hubby, it's a mind thing too, a smigen goes a long way:)

      It finally stopped raining here and was a gorgeous night. I wish I would have know I would have planned dinner earlier and went for a stroll:)

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  2. Oh, and I meant to say that I generally use egg whites, sometimes with one yolk for flavor (as in an entire cake, for example). 1/4 cup egg beaters plus some egg whites, with mushrooms and a touch of cheese and, if we have it, ham, makes my dearly beloved believe he's eating real scrambled eggs. It's a chore, making these substitutions, but after doing so haphazardly for a couple of years now, and in earnest for 10 months, I'm finally getting the hang of this low-cholesterol cooking. That said, I'm still unclear as to whether butter and eggs are entirely bad for you. That book (The Big Fat Surprise) was a real eye opener.

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    1. I'm actually liking the texture the egg whites provide to the baked goods. I don't miss the yolks at all. I was not happy with the labels of any of those egg substitutes. I admit to be going a bit over board, but I feel I really need to do this until I at least get my first "new" numbers:) You have been doing an excellent job of getting the hang of it Marjie. I appreciate all of your tips and recipes. I'm not clear about the egg butter question either but for now, I'm just going with the challenge and actually having fun doing it. Of course, I'll feel a lot better after my next appointment. Fingers crossed:) Thank you so much Marjie...

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  3. Some yummy recipes! I think I need to try that cake!

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    1. Thanks Pam,
      The cake is indeed yummy!

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  4. you always introduce me to new old-fashioned things. :)

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    1. That comment makes me so happy Grace, you have no idea!!! Thank YOU!

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  5. Your healthier cookies and apple cake both look marvelous. I'm a sucker for any baked goods with apples (even if someone calls it ugly, it won't stop me from putting my fork in it!). Congrats on maintaining your healthy diet!!!

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    1. Thanks Liz.
      Apples really do have way of lifting ones spirits in more ways than one, the cake is a hit around here! Thank YOU!

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  6. I am LITERALLY drooling!!

    My visiting friend brought me a vintage cookbook too. It deserves its own post, so I need to get on it!

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    1. I can't wait, Channon!!! Please remind me:)

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  7. Hi Louise, Oh I do love reading your posts, they are always so enjoyable. Looks like we both made apple cakes with no butter today, isn';t that something. Also your apple ugly cake looks quite lovely....

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    1. Thanks Cheri...Your Russian Apple Cake looks pretty darn good too!!!
      http://mysavoryspoon.blogspot.com/2014/10/sharlotka-russian-apple-cake.html

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  8. your baking looks lovely and healthy - you must be feeling healthy for all that time without cookies. You asked about flax eggs and I am not sure I have heaps of recipes I have done this successfully in but substituting 1 tbsp ground flax and 3 tbsp water for each egg worked well in my cookies (I also added 1/2 tsp baking soda because eggs also give a lift). I have found a powdered egg substitute that you can make at home and it went very well in some favourite pancakes recently as I noted in this post - http://gggiraffe.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/mr-nice-guy-boxtrolls-and-school-hols.html Though I have done a bit of baking without eggs I feel I am only starting to understand it better. I love your avocado instead of butter substitute - there are some great chocolate avocado cakes out there and I have made an avocado pound cake that was fun. Good luck

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    1. I haven't really missed cookies that much Johanna. I've been eating so many other goodies these days. I must admit though it was easier in the Summer when there was a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies:)

      I am going to try the flax and see how that works out. I'm waiting for the next uncontrollable craving, lol...The Powdered Egg substitute sounds interssting, I'll check that out too. Your blog has some real inspiring vegan recipes, Johanna. I will be back for more...Thanks for the tips...



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  9. I also made freezer jam....
    Also strawberry/peach!
    Delicious.....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. So how are those Sprouts, Linda? Mine? Not so good:)

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    2. Still have lots of leaf action.....no sprouts........incredible!

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  10. Good evening Louise , this post is amazing , I love strawberries and we can get them almost year round . Do I dare show the apple cake to my girls , (yes indeed) . Those thumb print thimble cookies looks so delicious and I will have to let the girls make some , the apple ugly cake is so simple that you can whip it up in a flash . I like the old recipes , they are so simple and taste as good or better .
    I am so glad you are getting the hang of your diet and soon it will just come natural and you won't miss the other stuff at all . Thanks so much for sharing . (((HUGS))) to you and Marion ... don't forget to wiggle those toes ;- D ~Nee~

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    1. If you don't show that Apple Cake to the girls, Nee, I will, lol!!! It really is easy to whip up. I just froze half of it to see how it does in the freezer and also because Marion and I are going a bit over board on Apple Cake, lol...The cookie dough is in the freezer too. I'm not sure how that will do. The Apple Cake I'm sure will be fine.

      Wiggling the toes "as we speak" Nee AND, I added it to the post!!!! Wiggle, wiggle...

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  11. Dear Louise,
    Lovely post and always such great recipes to choose from. I love that Strawberry Bank cookbook as well as the Strawberry Candy. Great idea using Jello..I can see fall is in full swing where you are, not here yet. It has been extremely warm and rainy for the middle of October. I really like the Apple Ugly Cake, it really looks delicious..The PB&J Thumbprint (Thimble) Cookies look scrumptious and I see that you shared the recipe from Kitchen Riffs, John is so nice and he has fabulous posts. Again we are on the same wave length, I also made Thumbprint cookies today...Thanks for sharing your stories and recipes with us. Wonderful! Have a blessed day.
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie,
      Thumbprint cookies are one of those classics you just can't beat! Especially when you can "thumb" them with just about anything, lol...Thanks for visiting, Dottie...

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  12. I wish strawberry season was whole year.. :D

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  13. You are doing such a good job in finding ways to improve your health. I'm sure the doctor will be pleased with the results. I especially like the ugly cake even if I don't understand the name. I guess if a cake doesn't have lots of layers with tons of icing…it is ugly. :) BTW, thank you for the mention…it is very much appreciated.

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    1. Thanks Karen. The results will be in very soon. I've been craving that Ugly Cake for days now I may just need to bake another, lol...Thank YOU for your post!!!

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  14. awe, I love old cookbooks like that. I like to collect them from wherever I go!

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    1. That makes two of us Heather! You should join us on Cookbook Wednesday and share:)

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  15. The strawberry book is gorgeous, and I would love to gobble up a couple of thumbprint cookies right now.

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  16. I love the old recipes you put on your blog. The thumbprint cookies look so good and remind me of childhood treats my mom would make. Yes, being a PA girl myself I remember the strawberry season.
    Fond memories. Love the fall weather, Louise, we are getting some down this way too.

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  17. The peach and strawberry jam sounds amazing! I think my kids would love the winter strawberry candy and I KNOW they would love the thumbprint cookies. I am so glad fall is here - it's my favorite time of the year.

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  18. Strawberry season is over here, too. But we can dream, right? That's a fun book. And thanks for trying our cookie recipe! I love your substitutions, the avocado in particular. Totally agree a lot of the egg substitutes are awful. We've been making a lot of angel food cake lately (it's actually a great low-cal snack), so we've been going through a lot of whites. We've found some of the brands of powdered egg whites work really well for that application (and I've used them instead of an egg white in cocktails that call for it, although there I prefer a real egg white). Honeyville is the best brand we've found (and we've tried most of them). Downside is if it's sold in small containers, we haven't found them (our container is huge--bigger than a can of Crisco!). It might be worth your while playing with powdered egg whites in recipes like this, just to see what happens. Anyway, great post -- thanks.

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  19. Damn delicious classic dihes!
    your photograph is awesome, tickle my taste buds for sure....

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  20. I have got to make those pbj cookies. The apple recipe reminds me of an old family one called Knobby Apple Cake. Great write up as always, Louise.

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  21. OK Louise, I need a piece of that ugly apple cake! It looks absolutely delectable! Actually I love this whole post! The strawberry thumbprint cookies look wonderfully delicious, too! I love all the changes you made, to make them healthier. I really do need to try that cake…I have a bunch of apples sitting in my fridge just waiting to be used!

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  22. I love all these cakes Louise. The ugly cake first. Most ugly cakes taste better than perfect- looking ones! And apples... I have so many right now that I could easily give this a go.
    I love your strawberry cookies and I agree better using normal fresh eggs. Years ago when I was working in a cafe' I never forgot the smell of industrial eggs all stored in a bucket. I felt sick! But you mean powder eggs, don't you? Still better the real thing!
    Your cakes are healthier and I could do with a tip or two as I bake so often! Have a great weekend my friend xx

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  23. i will try your cookes with all jam types :) so mouthwatering :) and you know what this apple ugly cake is not really ugly.. i loved it seriously :D beautiful cake :)

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  24. Those PB&J thumbprint cookies look delicious:)

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  25. I really do love your cookbook collection, Louise. The recipes are always the best. The banke cookbook is adorable. Wonderful story behind it too. Apple Ugly Cake? I'd make that just because of the name. :)
    Yuumy cookies!

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  26. Dear Louise, You know I love old recipes. The cookies look great and it is hard to believe the first in 3 months. I bet it was such a treat to enjoy. I remember those old commercials. I wonder why they don't sell the snackin cake anymore.
    I do like the apple ugly cake though. I have not had cool whip in so very long. I forget about it. I remember loving it frozen!! lol.
    Have a beautiful Sunday and keep well both you and Marion. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

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  27. A friend of mine has used bananas instead of butter in cinnamon rolls. I tried it and they are amazing--I even used whole wheat pizza dough (from Trader Joe's which I think you don't have). If you'd like to take a look, it is at http://thefrostedvegan.com/2013/10/16/brown-sugar-banana-toasted-almond-cinnamon-rolls/

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  28. Hi Louise, it's me.. and I'm still here you know.. just to let you know that I have not forgotten you.. hahaha..You are tempting me with your cookies and brownies and all yr goodies, Louise. I collect cook books too and I am running out of space in my bookshelves! Can't wait to see your Halloween post.. wink!

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  29. Oh you thumbprints are taking me back to my childhood. My grandmother would make these with strawberry jam. =)
    I love your old cookbooks too. I get nostalgic because they remind me of different days altough most probably most of your cookbooks are older then me.
    I hope you enjoyed your weekend Louise! =D

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came too early,
none returned too late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise