Saturday, September 30, 2006

Crazy Water and Cookies

At the top of my holiday wish list this season is Diana Henry's Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons cookbook. The Mediterranean recipes are grouped by theme, so that every chapter has recipes that share common ingredients and have whimsical names like Fruits of Longing, Of Sea and Salt, and Fragrance of the Earth. Some of the mouth-watering recipes include: Duck Breast with Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce Lavender, Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marinated Feta and Black Olives, Roast Lamb stuffed with Figs, and Spiced Quinces with Crema Catalana.
Another cookbook I have enjoyed drooling over is Plenty by Sarah McLachlan's personal chef Jaime Laurita. When you need a little boost to help you write, these scrumptious cookies do the trick.

Writer's Block Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, slightly softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup raisins*
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add eggs, water and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low. Add all remaining ingredients except oats and raisins; beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in oats and raisins by hand.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.* Substitute chocolate chips.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.


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