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Ah, There's Good News Tonight (cont.)

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"That often happens with cookies; the giver gets as much,
or more than, the receiver."

~ Maida Heatter

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Maida Heatter's
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Ah, There’s Good News Tonight

Maida Heatter, © 1988

Christmas Memories
with Recipes
1994, Wings Books, a division of Random House
Value Publishing, Inc.


[from the Editors] “Maida Heatter’s name has been synonymous with dessert since the publication of… The Book of Great Desserts in 1974. But she was baking long before that, making rich and chewy cookies for her holiday gift-giving. For ten
years, she made all the desserts for her husband’s two restaurants.”

And, might I add, since I discovered

Maida Heatter's Brand-New
Book of Great Cookies


and “Book of Great Chocolate Desserts”, I have considered Maida Heatter the ultimate authority on cookies. Yes, I know these recipes will look long to you.
That is because they are "teaching" recipes. Mrs. Heatter is kind enough to
share with us many valuable tips derived from her years of experience. Just
trust me, okay? This lady definitely knows whereof she speaks. [MG]

 Maida Heatter's introduction to these recipes (well worth the read!)



“This non-chocolate brownie (a.k.a. Butterscotch Brownie) is made with
an unusual technique – the eggs and sugar are cooked together before
the other ingredients are added. The cookies are deliciously chewy.”

24 bars

Butter for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecan halves
4 eggs graded “large”
1 pound lump-free light brown sugar
(strain if necessary)
2 cups triple-sifted unbleached flour
(sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan as follows: Place the pan upside down on the work surface. Center a 17-inch length of aluminum foil shiny side down over the pan. Fold down the sides and corners of the foil to shape it. Remove the shaped foil. Pour a little cold water into the pan and
then pour it out; do not dry the pan. Place the pan right side up and place
the shaped foil in the pan; press it into place gently and carefully. To butter the foil. Place a piece of butter in the pan, place the pan in the oven to melt the butter, and then carefully brush the butter all over the foil or spread it
with crumpled wax paper or plastic wrap. Set the pan aside.
To toast the nuts, place them in any shallow pan in the oven for about 10 minutes until very hot. Cool, then break into coarse pieces and set aside.
In the top of a large double boiler, whisk or beat the eggs to mix them.
Add the sugar. Place over warm water on moderate heat. Stir with a
rubber spatula until the ingredients are mixed. Then let cook over hot
water for 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides occasionally.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
After cooking the egg mixture for 20 minutes, transfer the mixture to the
large bowl of an electric mixer. Without cooling the mixture, add the vanilla
extract and then, on low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl and beating only until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Stir in the nuts. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top has a hard golden-colored crust and
a toothpick gently inserted in the middle comes out only slightly sticky.
Let stand at room temperature until cool. Then cover with a cookie sheet
and turn the pan and the sheet upside down. Remove the pan and gently
peel off the foil. Cover the cake with a length of wax paper and another
cookie sheet. Carefully turn both cookie sheets and the cake upside
down again, leaving the cake right side up.
These will cut much better if the cake is chilled. Place it in the refrigerator
for at least an hour or in the freezer for a shorter time.
Mark the cake into quarters. With a serrated bread knife cut it into quarters and then cut each piece into 6 bars. Wrap individually in clear cellophane
or wax paper. Or pack in an airtight container with wax paper between
the layers.


Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies

About 15 huge cookies or 36 medium-size

“Plain, very dark, and intensely chocolate wafers. This is one of only
very few chocolate recipes that are traditional Christmas recipes. It is
customary to serve these after dark on Christmas Eve.”

1 cup sifted whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsifted unsweetened cocoa powder
(preferably Dutch process)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar, plus additional
for sprinkling cookies
1 egg graded “large”

Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or with aluminum foil, shiny side up; or if you wish these can be baked on unlined sheets – they
will not stick. Set aside.
Sift together both flours, the baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa, and
set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Beat in the vanilla and the 2 cups of sugar. Then beat in the egg and 1 tablespoon of water. On low speed gradually add the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl as often as necessary and beating until incorporated. Turn the mixture out onto a large board or a countertop and knead it until it is perfectly
smooth. Then work with half of the dough at a time.
On a lightly floured pastry cloth, with a floured rolling pin, roll out the
dough just a bit. Then, to flour both sides, turn the dough upside down
and roll the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick (no thinner).
Traditionally, these are cut with a very large plain round cutter about 5
inches in diameter. These are gorgeous when large, but make them any
size or shape you want.
Cut out the cookies right up against the edge of the rolled dough and cut
them just touching each other. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer them
to the cookie sheets. Place them about 1 inch apart. If the cookies are 5
inches wide, place only 3 or 4 on each sheet.
Reflour the cloth only slightly before rolling the second half of the dough. Reserve the scraps from both halves of the dough, knead them together,
and reroll. Do not incorporate any more flour than is necessary.
Sprinkle the tops of the cookies generously with additional sugar.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to
back once during baking to ensure even baking. Do not overbake; these
are so dark that they can burn and you wouldn’t know by looking. These
will not be firm to the touch when they are done, but they will become
firm when they cool.
With a wide metal spatula transfer the cookies to
racks to cool. Store airtight.

Back to page 1
Maida Heatter's Mother's
Espresso Brownies

Featured Archive Recipes:
Cardamom Cookies (Craig Claiborne)
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(Maida Heatter)

Christmas Cookie Collection
Christmas Cookies, Big Boy (Emeril)
Christmas Cookies (Frank Brigtsen)
Souvaroffs (Jam-Filled Butter Cookies)
Spice Balls (Ruth Moulton)
Spice Cookies, Dutch (Speculaas)

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