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November/December 2010 BCTM: Maida Heatter's COOKIES- Drop & Icebox

Our baking cookbook for November/December 2010 is Maider Heatter's COOKIES, anyhwhere you can find them.

Please use this thread to discuss Maider Heatter Dropped and Icebox Cookie recipes. When posting your review, include the source. If the source is a book, include the book name and page number; and if it you found your recipe online, post a link.

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  1. Has anyone had success with the Vanilla Butter Wafers? My mom and I have both tried this recipe with disastrous results? It's the only Maida Heatter recipe I'd call an utter failure. From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies p. 70.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Velda Mae

      I just looked at the recipe and they sure seem like delicate, barely-there little things!

      1 stick of butter, 1 egg, 1/3 cup of flour. 1/3 cup of sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla -- can that be right?

      Can you describe your results?

      1. re: blue room

        Well, the first failed attempt was in the mid-1980s and all I remember was a lot of cursing. I tried again a few years ago and, if I recall, the result was a buttery mess with cookies that didn't hold together during baking. Other than writing "never again" in the book, I didn't capture more details.

      2. re: Velda Mae

        I've made these a few times (family member adores them)-- I find them to be a delicate cookie. I have to let them cool on the baking sheet and then use a thin spatula to remove them. But they are delicious, a plain vanilla butter cookie.

        1. re: redwood2bay

          Interesting...I made the "Tuiles" from the Medrich book (Pure Dessert) a year or so ago and had similar results...the cookies were lacy and exuded butter. The directions said to lay them over a wooden spoon handle (or something similar - too lazy to get up and look) until they cooled. Handling them was almost impossible because they'd fall apart.

          I just left them on the tray and, after they cooled, they were ugly and not molded correctly, but they were deliciously rich.

      3. Santa Fe Chocolate Wafers are really chocolatey and crispy. Using a small cookie scoop, I got closer to 50 cookies from a single batch rather than the 36 stated in the recipe. From Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies p. 20.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Velda Mae

          These were my mother's signature cookie that she brought to all potlucks etc. Great crunch and a strong chocolate hit.

        2. It's been a while but I've baked both Pennies from Heaven (very easy and very rich) and Chocolate on Peanut Butter Sandwiches (also very good and very easy)
          From Maida Heatter’s Brand-new Book of Great Cookies p.155 and 160.

          p148 the $250.00 Cookie Recipie - thought these were just so so, wouldn't make them again.

          p.145 Black Walnut Pearls - same, didn't love them and not sweet enough for me...

          p.141 Chocolate Lulus - same, didn't love, and I have a note they don't spread, in case you try them.

          p.136 - loved the Chocoalte Chunk Coconut Peanut Butter Cookies

          p.119 Light as Air Cookies - really liked, interesting

          p.105 Mint Chocolate Cookies - I really like these, they are similar to the Chocolati (p.97) and they spread alot - bake just until cracked on the top, do not overbake! The Chocoalti are also very good and simple.

          2 Replies
          1. re: geminigirl

            Oh, geminigirl, you've said the magic words. "Very easy!" These sounds like good places to start to me.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I'll be interested to know what you think. To me biscotti and sandwich cookies, well, anything that wasn't a drop cookie was intimidating, but once you dig in, they really look much more intimidating then they really are. Good luck!

          2. David's Cookies pg.24 MH Cookies

            This was the recipe selected by the fourteen year old who helped me in making them. I handed her the book and said, 'pick one' and this was it.
            Not super exciting, but good enough.
            It's basically a soft chocolate chip cookie, made using 1 c brown sugar, no white sugar and one egg to 2 cups apf and a half-pound of butter.
            Aside from salt and vanilla, that's it.Oh, and chips, we used chopped up, 66% Valrhona feves. The egg is the only leavening.
            We baked them mostly soft, not crispy (as I would have preferred, but these were more for the teenager with the fast metabolism, not for me).
            A good chocolate chip cookie, not mind-blowing, not bad. I did like that it's such a small recipe, with few ingredients. Something you could whip up if you were snowed in somewhere, without baking powder or soda.

            1. 24-Karat Cookies (Book of Great Cookies, p.50)

              These are soft drop cookies that are mostly added "stuff." They are sweetened with honey, and have shredded carrots, oatmeal, raisins (I used golden), and walnuts (I used pecans*). The recipe doesn't call or any spices, but I added a bit of vvanilla and a heaping 1/4 tsp. of ground cardamom. They are pleasant in an oatmeal cookie-ish way, though they have but 1/2 cup of oats. They don't taste strongly of carrot, and she says in the headnote that the carrot keeps them moist, but isn't readily apparent. Cardamom was a good addition.

              *Last week, I used walnuts in the hermit bars because I didn't have the called-for pecans; I bought pecans, but now have no walnuts.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I sent most of these off to a choir rehearsal with someone for their tea break, and they went over very well. Everyone agreed that the cardamom was a nice touch.

              2. Tijuana Fiesta Cookies (Book of Great Cookies, p. 68)

                These have a bunch of flavors going on: molasses, coffee, lots of spices (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, crushed coriander seeds, anise seeds). I made the dough on Thursday, chucked it in the fridge, and baked on Friday. Had I baked on Thursday, the dough still would have needed a couple of hours in the fridge, as it was much too soft to bake right after mixing up. These are a soft, somewhat cakey cookie that bake up around 2 1/2 inches across. They're topped with a smear of vanilla icing (confectioners' sugar, vanilla, milk) and a pecan half. I made half the amount of icing indicated, and it was plenty; I can't imagine why she calls for so much. I toasted the pecans.

                I liked the gingerbread-y flavor of these cookies a lot, and the little bit of sweet icing plus the pecan really works well with it.

                1. Poppy Seed Wafers (Mohn Cookies) Maida Heatter's Cookies pg. 95
                  Well these are unusual, and sort of a deep blue! They contain as much poppy seed as flour, which now seems like too much poppy seed. The crisp rounds are just sweet enough, almond and nutmeg flavored, buttery. Some chopped golden raisins. But too much poppy seed for me, I'd do them again but use half of the seeds.
                  I looked at other "Mohn Cookie" recipes on the 'net, and many of them use lemon zest, but these didn't. This is a Hungarian cookie, may have gone through many changes since the original.
                  If you put them on a blue dish it enhances the color!

                  1. Cheese Pennies
                    This is the last recipe in Maida Heater's Book of Great Cookies. It is more of a cracker than a cookie, and I made them to go with cocktails. I used a very good Irish cheddar and a full compliment of cayenne, and they are really delicious. I didn't have sesame seeds, which these were supposed to be topped with before baking, but I can't say that I missed them. A very tasty cocktail snack, indeed.

                    1. Pecan Butterscotch Icebox Cookies (Book of Great Cookies, p. 139)

                      Heatter says this is a recipe that predates commercial baking powder - so it calls for baking soda and cream of tartar. It is a simple butter cookie made with brown sugar (she calls for light brown, but I used dark brown because that's what I had), with pecan pieces. I could not incorporate all the flour called for, and in fact had to add a bit of milk to make the dough come together once I had added the three-fourths or so I did put in. The dough sliced well after being out of the freezer for 45 minutes or so, though I did not slice it as thinly as she asks (mine were around 1/4-inch thick), so the cookies took longer to bake. Still crisp, and these are not especially sweet. That's not a quality I mind at all in general, in fact it's my personal preference, but in this case I could see adding another quarter cup sugar so the butterscotch flavor is more pronounced.

                      Wienerstube Cookies (Book of Great Cookies, p. 128)

                      Another icebox cookie, these are flavored with cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Mindful of the problem I had with the flour in the pecan butterscotch cookies and another, non-MH icebox cookie I made, I only sifted one cup of the flour called for with the cocoa and spices, and ended up adding half the remaining amount. These also sliced well, though for an unknown reason they took much, much longer to be done than she indicates. I like these a lot. The first sense is of chocolate and cinnamon (very pleasant), then at the end a bit of warm pepper heat kicks in - but just a bit, so they don't scream "spicy!" I'd definitely make them again, and recipients seem to like them.

                      1. Date-Nut Wafers, Maida Heatter's Cookies (new), p. 75

                        I've made these a few times and they are very satisfying. Bought some medjool dates, pitted and cut up; toasted the walnuts. I added salt because there was none called for in the recipe and I always put vanilla and salt in my cookies.

                        The only downside of this cookie, though it's slight, is that because they spread a lot -- and are meant to -- you can only put so many on one baking sheet so it takes a fair amount of time to bake them on two sheets. But they are satisfying, and crispy on the edges.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: NYchowcook

                          Those sound delicious NYc, thanks for reporting!