Random recipes

This page is for random recipes that people have asked me for at one time or another. (Or it will be, whenever I actually get around to putting more of them in. (Though to be fair, a lot of them are in the limbo of a dead computer's hard disk right now.)

Sam's favorite lemon cake

This is to be put in a greased 11" x 16" pan.

Cream together:

Mix in: Mix in:

Pour into the pan and bake in a 350-degree oven until done. (Let's see, I think I set the timer for 40 minutes but then went through a few cycles of "stick a knife into it, nope, still not cooked in the center, set the timer for five more minutes and try again" before it was actually done.)

While the cake is baking, combine in a bowl:

As soon as the cake comes out, take a long-tined fork and repeatedly stick it into the top until it looks very perforated. Then dump the juice/peel/sugar mixture onto the cake, and spread it around until it's well soaked into the fork holes. This cake is best served hot but of course good cold as well. It's Sam's very favorite cake of all (and he loves to bake) so we have it quite often.

The Urban-Legend Cookie recipe

(Here's a write-up on this I did some years ago.)

Well, that's what I call it, though it has a lot of other names: The $250 cookie recipe. The million-dollar cookie recipe. The chain-letter cookie recipe. The Mrs. Fields' cookie recipe (which it isn't). The Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe (it ain't that, either). Supposedly it's even embedded in the source code of some UNIX program (was it GNU EMACS?).

Usually this particularly rowdy meme gets around by attaching itself to a letter or file claiming that some sweet young or old thing took a break from slaving away in the kitchen to call Mrs. Fields or another such place to ask for their cookie recipe. Said SYOOT is told that the recipe is for sale for a paltry sum, and responds with "charge!". But when the next credit-card statement arrives, it turns out that there's been a big boo-boo -- such as the "two- fifty" quote turns out to have meant $250 rather than $2.50.

Consciousness raised (and an idea for revenge formulated), the SYOOT now dedicates her or his life to giving the recipe to as many people as possible for free, and why don't you be a nice so-and-so and pass it on to as many people as you can, too.

Totally bogus story, but what's that between you and what is definitely a totally awesome cookie recipe?!?!? (Am I really talking like this? Nahh ... it's the sugar talking, not me.) Seriously ... if you make this recipe and take the cookies to any party, you will have everyone's undying gratitude. Not only that, it makes so much batter that you can make a huge stack of cookies and still have a bunch of batter to mainline, raw. Really -- this recipe produces the kind of huge, gooey chocolately cookies that you'd buy in an expensive cookie store. And the batter is great. They're great warm, they're great cold, no one will ever find out if they're great three-days-old, etc.

OK, here we go:

Cream: Then mix in one by one Then mix in And then And then Roll into golf-ball-sized balls, or a little bigger, and bake for around 10 minutes at 375. They will be browned but still soft inside.

Some variations I have come up with:

Bigger cookies

Actually, these days I make the cookies bigger than the "golf balls" described above. I divide the batter so it makes exactly four dozen cookies, and at that size they take more like fifteen minutes to cook.

1-2-3-4-kinds of chocolate cookies

For the chocolate use one bag (all bags 12-oz here) of semi-sweet chips, one bag of milk-chocolate chips, one bag of white-chocolate chips, and one bag of M'n'M's. It's also nice to vary their sizes, for example using some chocolate chunks or otherwise large-size chips, some mini chips and so on.

Apricot (no-chocolate) cookies

Dice a bunch of dried apricots and mix them in instead of the chocolate chips. How many and how small should the pieces be? Well, two pounds is what I would put in, and I was cutting them into sixths and ninths.

Vegan cookies

Use vegan margarine. Substitute a package of firm tofu (12 to 16 oz) for the four eggs. Mash it in with the creamed margarine/sugars. Use three bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips (a nice way to do this is with one normal size, one mini-chips, and one extra-large chips) instead of any milk chocolate.

I've also made a passable low-fat vegan version by substituting mashed white beans for both the butter and eggs. You can see a writeup of it at http://www.rahul.net/fatfree/recipes/cookies/bean-cookies.

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