Thursday, December 29, 2016

One of the Reasons I Like Cooking on a Woodburning Cookstove

Last night, Nancy and I had baked potatoes for supper.  We like different things on baked potatoes, so we had a lot of different items to cook for toppings.  Marjorie looked like this:

We were (clockwise from top left) steaming broccoli, sautéing mushrooms in a dash of olive oil, heating water for an evening cup of hot chocolate, scenting the air with some stovetop potpourri, heating pork and beans, frying a ground beef patty to be broken up over my baked potato, and frying bacon for Nancy's potato.  Of course, the potatoes were baking in the oven.

If you didn't have a wood cookstove, you'd have to have an industrial range or some kind of humongous antique gas stove in order to cook this many things simultaneously, and even at that, you couldn't do it over a single fire while also heating water to do the supper dishes and have your evening shower.  Gotta love a woodburning cookstove!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"Prize Egg Yolk Cookies"

When I make from-scratch angel food cakes, I always put at least fourteen egg yolks in some kind of vessel in the refrigerator.  My great-grandmother always made Eleven Egg Yolk Cake, a recipe that I will share here sometime.  Nancy's grandmother always made homemade noodles.  I have done both, but over the summer I found a recipe that I think will become my tradition: Prize Egg Yolk Cookies.

My niece celebrated her 17th birthday on Thanksgiving Day, and she asked for an angel food with caramel frosting (the traditional birthday cake on my mom's side of the family), so I had some egg yolks in the fridge a few weeks ago, and these were soon on the menu.

I found this recipe in the March 1956 edition of the Kitchen Klatter Magazine.  It says there that it was "repeated by request," and I also have this same recipe in a publication put out by Shenandoah, Iowa, radio personality Billie Oakley in the mid-1980s.  Another person put this recipe on from the Billie Oakley publication at this link; however, the flavoring is slightly changed.  No matter where you want to believe that it originated, this is a great way to get rid of extra egg yolks and a delicious cookie recipe.

Here is what you do:

1. Cream one cup of butter and a cup and a half of sugar.

2. Add six egg yolks (or three whole eggs).

3. Beat in one teaspoon soda and one teaspoon cream of tartar.  I love the flavor of cream of tartar in cookies.

4. Add one teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon of lemon flavoring. 

5. Stir in two and a half cups of sifted flour.

6. Roll the dough into small balls, coat with sugar, place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Cookies that have already been flattened with the glass are on the right.
7. Bake in a moderate oven until desired doneness has been achieved, about 8-10 minutes.  If you like a chewy cookie, don't let these begin to brown around the edges.  They will be crunchy if you let them begin to brown.

8. Remove from cookie sheet immediately to cool.  Cooling cookies on paper towels like this helps them remain chewy.  If you want cookies that are more crunchy, use a cooling rack.

Store indefinitely in an airtight container.  From what I've read, these also freeze well, but I've never tried that.

Here is the recipe in a more compact format:

Prize Egg Yolk Cookies

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring
2 1/2 c. sifted flour

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in next five ingredients.  Stir in flour.  Shape into small balls, roll in sugar, place on cookie sheet and flatten with a glass.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

These have that classic sugar cookie flavor that many people love.  Enjoy!