Familiar Memory in Honor of Mother’s Day

This recipe begins with an updated version of my grandma’s sugar cookie dough. I love the recipe and the original recipe card in her handwriting. My mom, grandma, and aunt Shirley taught me to bake as a child. My aunt Carol continues the tradition today.

white plate with familiar memory cookies

Familiar Memory: Banana and Brown Sugar, Lemon and Sugar, and Pecan

These cookies are a lot of fun to make. With the dough rolled into a tube shape and partially frozen; you slice the dough. On the bottom slide you lightly place a quick-fried/caramelized banana. On top of the banana you lightly place a second slice of dough and (optional) stick in a pecan or walnut piece. The butter from the caramelization lightly browns and crisps the bottom slice. The top slice bakes over the banana and stays soft. The two texture and slight flavor differences add depth to the taste and the banana is a comfort addition. This is a must-bake cookie :) And thank you once again to the women bakers in my life.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 bananas
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan quarters

1- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together 1 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Blend until well blended.
2- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and add to the butter mixture. Beat until just incorporated.
3- Form dough into 4 logs (3/4 inch in diameter) and wrap each in parchment paper. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
While the dough chills, peel and slice 1 banana for each log crossways into 1/2-inch-thick slices. For each banana, place 1-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar on a small plate. Lightly press banana slices in brown sugar, so there is a light amount of sugar on each side. For each banana, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium pan over low heat. Quick-fry banana slices for 30 seconds on each side. Remove bananas from the pan, place on a plate and set aside. When all bananas are quick-fried, drizzle the caramelized butter-sugar mixture left in the pan over the top. The bananas don’t need to be dried or cooled to proceed.
5- Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice logs into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Place half of the slices 1-1/2 inches apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place 1 banana slice on each cookie. Then top each with 1 remaining dough slice, sandwiching the banana between the two slices. Do not press the dough over the banana. During baking, the top slice will drape over banana to just meet with the bottom. Place 1 pecan quarter on each cookie top (optional), piercing the top slice rather than just laying the pecan on top. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. The bottom will be lightly crisp, while the top will be sift. Let sit for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Let set at least 5 minutes before eating.

Yields about 4 dozen

Eye Candy – Easter Flavor and No Leavening Agent

no leavening, easter cookie, coconut macaroon, grown up cookie


Eye Candy                                                                           Yield about 2 dozen

Coconut, White Chocolate, and Pistachio
Crunches of coconut and pistachios come together with a hint of white chocolate in this not-too-sweet coconut macaroon – perfect for Easter, simple and fun to make. For best results, use a bar of high-quality white chocolate, not chips.

3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups coconut, sweetened
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1/2 cup grated white chocolate (not chips, real chocolate)
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted pistachio meats, chopped

Baking Instructions

Preheat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, gently mix together all of the ingredients.

Scoop mixture by 1 tablespoon portions, pat together with hands, and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until just golden. Let sit for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Continue to cool for 10 minutes before serving.