MLK: We're so delighted to welcome Cate Price back to our kitchen. She has a brand new book out this month, and she's brought us cookies! Take it away Cate...
Cate: We all probably have certain dishes that friends and family beg us to make again and again. These are my “special request” treats. Once you see the list of ingredients, you’ll know why I call them Kitchen Sink Cookies!
In LIE OF THE NEEDLE, my main character, Daisy Buchanan, owns a vintage sewing notions shop, where the ladies of the village congregate for coffee in the mornings. Daisy’s best friend, Martha, a fabulous baker, usually brings in delicious home-made goodies , but due to certain recent events, like a brutal murder and the disappearance of the love of her life, Martha is too distraught to cook. Daisy and another friend, Eleanor, decide to take a crack at it. I mean, how hard can it be? I'll show you in this excerpt:
“Wait—there’s no coconut in this recipe,” I demurred as Eleanor dumped in half a bag of shredded coconut.
“I know. I like it, though.” She followed up with a mountain of chocolate chips, popping a handful into her mouth.
I peered at the paper again. “And no chocolate chips, either.”
“Details, details.” Eleanor waved a hand in the air. “Everyone knows that chocolate makes everything better.”
The batter was so heavy by this point that we had to take turns mixing it by hand because it was too dense for the beaters.
Eleanor consulted the recipe and shrugged. “Ah, rats! I knew I’d forget something. The vanilla! Never mind, I have bourbon. Should work just as well.” She pulled a flask out of the back pocket of her jeans and sloshed a glug into the bowl.
We dropped it by clumps onto baking sheets and slid them into the oven. Soon a wonderful aroma wafted through the old Victorian building that housed my store.
“This should entice the customers,” I said, breathing in deeply. “Even if they don’t taste good, they smell great.”
I was just taking the first batch out of the oven when the doorbell jangled and Martha swept in.
“Uh-oh, caught in the act,” Eleanor muttered.
“What on earth are you two doing?” Martha took a small piece off one cookie and bit into it gingerly. “Amazingly good. I think you two should make all the treats from now on.”
“Now look what you’ve done,” I said to Eleanor.
Kitchen Sink Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
½ cup margarine (1 stick)
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tablespoon dark rum (or whiskey or bourbon) *
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In one bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat butter and margarine until smooth with mixer at medium speed. Gradually beat in both sugars until well blended. Add eggs, vanilla, and rum and beat.
Stir in flour mixture. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut.
For each cookie, drop a large spoonful of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing a couple of inches apart (maximum of a dozen to one sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to rack to cool. Yield: 3 dozen large cookies, or more.
* The rum or bourbon is optional, but it does add that secret “je ne sais quoi” touch.
Note: These are kitchen sink cookies, so have some fun! Once when I made them, I didn’t have enough chocolate chips, so I made up the difference with dried cranberries.
You’ll find this recipe, as well as a recipe for a terrific turkey chili, in the Millbury Ladies’ Home Companion in LIE OF THE NEEDLE, together with some helpful household hints.
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Cate Price is the author of the Deadly Notions mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime, featuring the proprietor of a vintage sewing notions store situated in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS and A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR are the first and second books in the series, and the third, LIE OF THE NEEDLE, was published January 6, 2015.
Please visit Cate at her website, or on Facebook.