Excellent Cookies: Are they, in fact, excellent?

This is a guest post to Illuminations for the Great Rare Books Bake Off by Sofia Varela, Digital Library Center Assistant.

I don’t bake frequently but, when I do, I stick to the same cookie recipe which is fine by me but my family has grown a bit tired of it. When I was looking for recipes for the Rare Books Bake Off, I stumbled upon a recipe for ‘Excellent Cookies‘ in the cookbook The Country Kitchen which seemed like the perfect opportunity to expand my cookie recipe repertoire. The recipe was fairly simple but, what I failed to realize before I started baking was that there were no instructions regarding the cooking time or oven temperature.

After I got my ingredients together, I started making the cookie dough. The first step was simple enough but, when the recipe asked me to “rub in the butter the same as piecrust,” I kind of just rubbed in the butter as I saw fit and hoped for the best. The dough was pretty lumpy but, after I added the soda, water, and eggs, it was really smooth and easy to work with.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and started forming the dough into individual balls. This recipe makes a lot of dough which should not have been surprising considering I used 5 cups of flour and 2 cups of sugar. I ended up using about 1/3 of the dough which made 15 cookies (I placed the rest of the dough in the freezer for later use).

I took the cookies out of the oven after 15 minutes and left them out to cool for 10 minutes before trying one. Honestly, the cookies were really delicious. They were super buttery and had just the right amount of sweetness. My parents and my brother also tried the cookies and agreed that, despite their simplicity, they were really delicious. My mom even asked me to use some of the leftover dough to make cookies for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner which proves the success of this recipe. These cookies definitely live up to their “excellent” name and are definitely going to be my new go-to cookie recipe.

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