Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Naomi Strauss & chocolate chip cookies

As if I can't say it enough, my grandmother, Naomi Strauss, meant the world to me. This, of course, is why when filling out the question-and-answer from City Paper's Meal Ticket for their weekly feature, The Good Word, it was inevitable that I'd take the first opportunity I could to blab 'bout my lovely heroine.

As published a fews weeks back, I wrote:

If ever there was a baker’s hall of fame, my grandmother, Naomi Strauss, would be the star. As a Mennonite and a Pennsylvania Dutchwoman (same as myself), she crafted killer traditional sweet treats that were mixed, mashed and pinched to perfection, and I am forever grateful to her for passing on to me all that she could. With a childhood flooded with rounds of funny, shoo-fly and apeas cakes, mountains of fluffy Dutch doughnuts and delectable sweet buns and rolls, I never questioned whether I should skip a night’s dessert.

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There was something comforting and exceptionally special about visiting my dear grandmother regularly, and without question, having fresh baked cookies always available to nibble on. It is of the norm, that a gigantic Tupperware container would be filled with her recipe of chocolate chip cookies, usually also pumped with oatmeal.

No one has ever made cookies like her, and this is not a bias opinion. However, I recommend you all, see for yourself.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen

1 1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour (I use whole grain/wheat.)
1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 cup nuts, oatmeal, etc. (I use toasted almonds.)

Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift flour, soda and salt. Add to wet mixture. Fold in chips and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.