I think my favorite holiday may be the 4th of July. It gives me a chance to not only run around grilling to my hearts content without people thinking I am a mad man playing with fire and knives, but it gives me a chance to delve into what is considered to be true-blue (or true red/white and blue) American cooking. It's fun and that really is what cooking should be all about.
In this series called An All-American 4th of July, we will have some fun with some true American cooking. It will be tasty! It will be easy and it will give you a chance to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation on the face of this earth while filling your stomach with delicious morsels of Americana!
Have you ever noticed that homemade cookies actually make you feel good? Think back on the last time you made cookies, as opposed to committing slow suicide with the store bought poison. Remember how they made the house smell sweet? Remember that first bite and the smile that creased your over-worked and under-appreciated face. There is a magic to homemade cookies and there is also the important element of them being memories enhancers!
Whenever I make certain cookies memories of my mother come back to me. I remember her in some funky apron always forgetting to put on the oven-mitts when she reached inside to get that pan of fresh baked goodness. Oh yeah she would let out a few strings of cuss-words but did I care, nope, I just wanted the cookies. I just wanted to take a handful, grab a glass of milk and head into the living room to watch Donahue (yes, I was a strange child).
Ingredients needed to make Cherry Burst Butter Cookies (makes about 4 dozen, depending on size):
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbs. vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Maraschino cherries, one for each cookie
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
- Into a mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth and light.
- Slowly add the flour and salt and beat to form a light dough.
- Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Squeeze the dough through the tip to form a star about the size of a lemon slice (these will spread).
- Into the middle of each star place a cherry.
- Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan 5 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack until ready to eat.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."