ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What I Love about Baking Cookies

Updated on October 26, 2012

Something The Family Can Agree On...See the cookies on the counter?

Griffin Family
Griffin Family | Source

Family Traditions...

Our first snow of the season brought those wonderful memories flooding back...

There is something very special about getting together for the holidays, or just for dinner. There is something that makes you feel all warm inside, even before the hot cider is poured. Someone starts to tell a joke you've heard them tell a million times, the youngest grandchild starts to cry and his father goes to comfort him, or you just hear that buzz of loved ones trying to catch up with each other's lives after months apart. Does your family buzz?

Though I'll never get used to losing dear ones who go on to live within our cherished memories, family ties do continue and the memories become beloved stories for new generations.

Something I will never regret is rushing with my husband to the Fed-Ex office just before midnight, so that I could ship off my dad's favorite oatmeal, raisin and walnut cookies to him for his last Father's Day. I actually had dozens of friends praying that he would get them in time, because he wasn't expected to live much longer. It was the best batch of cookies I'd ever made, according to him. I got to hear him telling me how much he enjoyed them, and how much he enjoyed sharing them with some of the nurses at the hospital. Making cookies for my dad from the time I was a little girl, was a favorite way to bring a smile to his face.

I started baking cookies on my own when I was just 7 years-old. Before that, I loved helping my grandmother with the task, which was much more fun than any of my other chores.

I loved the whole cookie thing so much that I considered doing it as a career. I enjoyed making up recipes by adding all kinds of fun stuff to the ingredients lists that I found in cookbooks. I once had a goal to make the "chewiest" oatmeal cookies in the world. I succeeded, (as far as I know - I didn't formally check the stats on that) but it was hard to get them to stay together in the cookie jar, so I moved on to other cookie goals.

But this isn't really about recipes, although I will share one at the end of this "Cookie Chat."

"Cookied" after Caroling...

If You See These Carolers at Your Door - They Most Likely Need Cookies
If You See These Carolers at Your Door - They Most Likely Need Cookies | Source

Cookies and Fun Just Go Together...

There's a reason why the idea of cookies stands test of time.

In her article, "History of Cookies," Linda Stradley illuminates us with some fun cookie facts:

"In America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft."

Different countries call "cookies" by different names. But, a cookie by any other name will still taste as sweet, yes?

"What we know as cookies are called biscuits in England and Australia, in Spain they're galletas, Germans call them keks or Plätzchen for Christmas cookies, and in Italy there are several names to identify various forms of cookies including amaretti and biscotti, and so on. The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word koekje, meaning "small or little cake." Biscuit comes from the Latin word bis coctum, which means, “twice baked.”

Who invented cookies?

"7th Century A.D. - The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia A.D."

Seventh Century A.D. to 2012! That's a lotta cookies!!! Imagine! Thank you Linda Stradley and the What's Cooking America website for enlightening me!

But I think to many a child, it is far more magical to imagine that our own dear grandmothers thought up the idea JUST for us.

Baking & Bonding

The warmth coming from the oven, the smell of cinnamon, sugar, flour, eggs and butter all coming together to warm your tummy, are all treasured memories of moments gone by, that I try to recreate with my own kids. I hope to give these sweet moments to the next "batch" of kids too! Oops, did I forget to mention my affinity for "sticky puns?"

Timeless Tales...

Oh the stories! I learned more secrets about my dad's childhood while helping to make those cookies with my grandmother. If you only have time to go to the grocery store and grab a few cartons or boxes filled with the mass-manufactured treats, you could be missing some wonderful story-telling moments!

One of my favorite things about baking cookies was opening the bag of chocolate chips before the recipe called for them. I was sure that after I was done sneaking samples, there would still be plenty for the cookie dough. How lucky I was to have a grandmother who pretended not to notice, if she did see me!

Somewhere in Time...

I love to imagine being back in Grandma's kitchen once again. In a way, every time I get out the mixing bowl, the wooden spoon and the heart-shaped measuring cups, I'm connecting with her again. My aunt even made a present of my grandmother's favorite cookie recipe book a few years ago. It is one of my most precious possessions.

So you see, it's really not so much about the cookies.

My children have both made "I Am From" projects for school at one time or another. This essay takes children through the process of their favorite family traditions, memories that shape them, and gratitude for who they are and where they've come from. I love this idea.

Now that I've explained, you'll have no problem (hopefully) understanding why I am proud to proclaim that "I am from: COOKIES!"

Share some stories, loving moments, and lasting memory-making with a cookie buddy sometime soon! You won't regret it! Here's a recipe to get you started:

Heaven Leigh Oatmeal-Raisin-Walnut Cookies

(yields about 5 dozen)


1 C (2 sticks) butter

1 C firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 C flour

1tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

3 C Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (uncooked)

1 C raisins

1 C chopped walnuts

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy

Add eggs and vanilla; mix well

Add baking soda, cinnamon and cloves; mix well

Add flour; mix well

Stir in oats; mix well again, Baby!

Finally, mix in raisins and chopped walnuts

(I've been known to substitute chocolate, white chocolate or butterscotch chips for the raisins)


Drop by heaping teaspoons onto non-stick cookie sheet

Bake appx. 14 minutes or until slightly browned all over

Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before removing; Remove to wire rack to cool (just enough so that they don't burn your mouth)

Grab a mug of milk and enjoy!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What wonderful memories you have, as I also have! I can still smell the aroma of fresh-baked cookies, with my mother in the kitchen, and me sneaking a taste when I thought she wasn't looking.

      Loved this hub! Well done my friend!

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you so much for stopping by, BillyBuc! I just have a batch of molasses spice cookies coming out of the oven now. ;)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      So nice to see a personal twist in your posts, Heaven. Thank you for bringing us into your family traditions; I know how much your dad meant to you. Don't be surprised if he opens that bag of chocolate chips for you this year!

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      What a wonderful idea!!! Thank you BraveWarrior. xoxoxox

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      It's up to him, Heaven. Keep your eyes open!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love baking cookies, especially choc chips. wonderful recipe and nice intro to yr family. voted interesting.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you PeachPurple! I appreciate you stopping by. :)

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Ahh! I certainly will. Many hearts to you, dear Shauna. :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing this. I no longer bake cookies. The biggest reason is: I made it a big family affair. I used to love baking with my kids.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you for stopping by, Mhatter. Things do change over the years, and I spoke of happier times too. I try to make the best of things now. :) Best Wishes to you!

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev 4 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for sharing your memories... and your recipe! We call them biscuits, except for choc chip, which have always been cookies since they first appeared, I think, in the late 70s in the UK. :)

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you for stopping by, TheRaggedEdge! Ahhh - tea and biscuits sounds good to me. There's a chill in the air here. ;)

      Thank you for sharing that the chocolate chip variety get the "cookie" label, even in "biscuit country!" :)

    • profile image

      huckelbury 4 years ago

      Another gift from a superbly gifted writer! Loved the etymology of "cookie," and I had to nod my head at your description of sneaking those chocolate chips from the bag before they went into the dough. Been there and done that--a few days ago when my wife was baking.:) Yes, there is something delightful and delightfully sensual about chocolate chip cookies, especially just when they come out of the oven. The smell and texture prove irresistible. Thank you for a marvelous read. I can't wait to try the recipe.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you for stopping by, fellow chocolate-chip sneaker. ;) Huckelbury, your comments always make me smile!

      I get a "sneaking suspicion" that if we all got together to make cookies, the chocolate chips wouldn't make it through to the baking process. I guess the really prepared baker has an extra bag of chips on hand...just in case!

      Big hugs to you and your lovely wife!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ....well the only thing I love more than freshly baked cookies is the love and the splendor and the world class writing and passion of life and living in your many fine hubs - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 1:18pm and yes I live roughly about 150 feet away from the lake with a lakeshore road inbetween the lake;/beach and my property so wish me good luck and safety for Colin and his cats

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Wishing you luck, safety, storm abatement and angels all around you, dear Colin and your dear cats!

      Thank you for stopping by for cookies on your way to safety. Thank you for your lovely comments. I truly appreciate them.

      Much love and many hearts! Be safe. ;)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      wow, wow, wow - more please. is there milk?

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you! Yes! You have your choice of whole milk, or 2% - sorry but we don't serve non-fat milk 'round these parts. ;) Many cookie hugs to you Mike!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      big smile!

    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      A wonderful hub dear heart, and you're cookies are wonderful too. Happy Mothers Day, and God Bless You, and You're Loved Ones.

    • heavenleigh707 profile image
      Author

      Heaven L Burkes 4 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Thank you so much for stopping by Stars439! Very special that you dropped by this particular article. I started following you because your profile name is the same as my dad's birthday "439" April, 1939. :) I kept following you because your hubs are so heartfelt and beautiful!

      Did you try the recipe? So happy you like them! Much love & blessings to you and yours! Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms in your life as well! :) Please feel welcome to stop by anytime - you don't even have to "BYOM" (Bring your own milk) LOL :)

    Click to Rate This Article