Tag Archives: cookies

Savannah’s Starlight Cookie Bar Recipe


As you may know, I published a collection of short stories earlier this year.  One of the stories in my book makes mention of a cookie bar recipe.  This particular story is set back in the 1800’s in New England.  The story’s main character is Savannah Forrester.  During the course of the story she develops a cookie bar recipe – one that she bakes for runaway slaves as they make their way through a local “station” of the Underground Railroad.  They’re running for their lives, and Savannah decides to sweeten their perilous journey with her baked goods.

The particular story I’m referencing is And Some for the Road, and this month I’m sharing “her” recipe – Savannah’s.  (The story begins on page 130, for those who have a copy of the book and are curious.  The cookie bars are mentioned specifically for the first time on page 137)  Here is the altered photo illustration of “Savannah”, just for fun.  I attached the handwritten cookie bar recipe to the vintage photo with red twine….


And now, on to the recipe!


Savannah’s Starlight Cookie Bars Recipe


1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips OR 1 – 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips (or raisins) and nuts; mix well.  Press dough into the bottom of a greased 13″x9″ pan and bake for approximately 35 – 50 minutes.  Baking time will depend on whether you like your cookies softer or firmer.


I hope you enjoy Savannah’s Starlight Cookie Bars.  Happy baking!

Warm regards,

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Orange Oatmeal Cookie Recipe


Until recently I hadn’t had these cookies in decades, but I was inspired to recreate the recipe and share them with you.  These Orange Oatmeal cookies are one of the sweeter tastes from my childhood.  My mom used to bake them, and I’ve never had anything quite like them in the years since.

These are hearty cookies – filled with oats, raisins, and walnuts – and they seemed perfect to share in this autumn month.  Though the exact recipe my mom used has been lost to me, I’ve done my best to mimic it – and my taste buds and “nostalgia meter” tell me these cookies are an accurate recreation.

These cookies would be a yummy addition to a Thanksgiving gathering, particularly for folks that aren’t big on pumpkin pie.  Though I’m partial to using walnuts, because that’s the way I’ve always had them, I’m sure they’d be delicious with pecans as well…


Orange Oatmeal Cookies



2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups quick-cook oatmeal
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 TBSP orange zest
3/4 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Add oatmeal and mix.  In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest.  Cream mixture, and then add milk.  Add flour mixture and beat until blended.  Add walnuts and raisins, and stir until combined.  Drop by spoonfuls onto non-stick cookie sheets.  Bake for approximately 14 minutes, or until browned.  Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.


I hope you enjoy these Orange Oatmeal Cookies as much as I do.  Happy Baking!

Warm regards,

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Walnut Balls Cookie Recipe


It’s recipe time again!  Before I go on to this month’s recipe, a quick aside: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I was lucky enough to visit Ireland in 2004, and invite you to view some of my travel photos by clicking here.  I hope to return to the Emerald Isle some day.

Okay, on to the baking!  The recipe is one I’ve adopted from my friend, Carie Quigley, and the recipe came from her mom, Byrn Burch.  Carie baked these cookies for a holiday gathering I attended some years back, and I was so happy when she agreed to share the recipe!  This recipe is similar to cookies I’d been buying from bakeries for years, but I never had the “blueprint” to make my own.  I’d like to thank Carie for sharing her beloved mother’s recipe, and for letting me share it with all of you.

Carie’s mom usually baked these cookies in December for the holidays, but they’re dee-lish year-round.  And because they’re dainty and dressed in powdered sugar, they’d be a perfect addition to tea party refreshments or the goodies served at bridal and baby showers.  I knew they’d look darling on the shamrock-speckled saucer I recently acquired, which is why I’m sharing this particular recipe this month.


Walnut Balls Cookie Recipe

1 cup soft margarine
2 cups unsifted flour
1 ½ teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
Additional confectioner’s sugar to roll the cookies in

Yield: approximately 6 dozen cookies
*Note: My cookies were a bit bigger than they should’ve been, so my yield was closer to 3 dozen.

Directions: Cream margarine and ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Roll teaspoonfuls of dough and put on cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  While warm, roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar.  Let cookies cool, then roll them in confectioner’s sugar again.*


I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Warm regards,

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Sugar-Dusted Lemon & Almond Cookies Recipe


At the risk of sounding conceited, I’m a really good baker.  I don’t do anything fancy and mostly stick to cookies and the occasional cake, but I do enjoy the process.  And though I like the baking itself, and love to eat the resulting treats, my favorite part of baking is sharing what I’ve made with those around me: family, friends, and co-workers.  Yep, I’m the gal in the office that periodically brings in homemade treats.  The one who bakes fresh cookies or a cake for family gatherings.  And I savor the enjoyment of those I’ve baked for.

My husband, José, and I often joke that my baked goods are so tasty because they’re made with a not-so-secret ingredient: love.  And though we kid, it’s true.  I believe my love – for baking, for people, and for sharing – is evident in every bite.

All that said I also have an incredibly well developed sweet tooth, so it’s no surprise I gravitated toward baking desserts!  I’ll be posting recipes fairly regularly on this blog, and though many of the recipes will be for sweets, I’ll also include something savory from time to time – so please keep an eye out for the recipes in coming months.

Today’s recipe is for Sugar-Dusted Lemon & Almond Cookies.  I love the bright tang of the lemon combined with the sugar and the almonds.  The recipe’s yield is a bit small if you like to share, as I do, so consider doubling it.

These cookies are delicious with a glass of cold milk, a cup of hot tea, or a bowl of creamy vanilla ice cream.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Warm regards,


Sugar-Dusted Lemon & Almond Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped sliced almonds
Additional sugar, for coating the tops of the cookies before baking
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and lemon juice.  Add egg, beat until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined.  Beat in almonds.

Pour extra sugar into a shallow bowl.  Scoop up dough approximately the size of a ping-pong ball, rolling it into a smooth ball in your hands.  Press the ball slightly flat and, allowing one side of the cookie to stick to your hand, press the top of the cookie into the shallow bowl – coating it with an even layer of sugar.

Place each cookie – sugar side up – on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Let cool on pan for two minutes.  Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire racks.  Enjoy!

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