Old Fashioned Cherry Cookies
You know how everything always tastes better when your Mother makes it? Same exact recipe, same ingredients, same method, but Mom's is still better somehow. Is it a mind over matter thing or does Mom just truly have that special touch? Rich's mother, a beautiful woman named Lois, has always had one up on me when it comes to her cookies. Rich has two favorites that she makes: Snickerdoodles and this current cherry cookie recipe. I have her recipes for these cookies, straight from her recipe files. She kindly handed them over with no thought in her head that I was stealing one of her specialities that her son adores her for! She had no clue that I planned on making those cookies just as good as her and stealing her son's heart through his stomach as she has!
Well, the last laugh is on her because no matter how I make them, for some reason they just are not EXACTLY like his mothers! They're delicious, but just not quite the same. Man, I won't lie, it IRKS ME! I want MINE to be better!!! I anxiously watch his face as he's taking the first bite of the snickerdoodle I just made, trying every trick in the book to get them just right, and every single time he says, "Very good". And I say, "Are they JUST like your Mom's?" and he says, with a quizzical look, "There's something just a little different, but they are really close!" AAAhhhh (insert a mean face here).
Still, my son is following in his father's footsteps. In his eyes, my baking is always the best and he says that all of the time. It delights me...Someday some poor girl is going to be in her kitchen trying to whip up my cookies, never getting it just right. But someday, when I'm old and gray and ready to retire my cookie-making days, I'll pull her aside and show her my "secrets". After all, I don't ever want Sam to miss out on Mom's cookies.
Lois' Cherry Cookies
1/2 c. real butter, soft
1 egg, beaten
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. cherry juice
1 c. powdered sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. cream of tartar
1 t. baking soda
1 jar of maraschino cherries, drained (save juice)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter for a minute until creamy and smooth. Add to that the beaten egg, cherry juice, and vanilla and beat well. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well incorporated:
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, soda, and cream of tartar. Slowly add this to the butter mixture. You'll probably need to do some of it by hand because it will form a stiffer dough. With a small melon-ball scoop, form balls:
Lay the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 2" apart. Flatten with a spoon or your hand:
Next, take the cherries and cut them in halves or quarters, depending on how big of a cherry you like on your cookie. Push a cherry piece into the center of each cookie:
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are very lightly golden. Remove and cool on wire racks. They look so old-fashioned and pretty on a plate. They're just a simple cookie with a mild, pleasant flavor. Delicious!
Last night was my first night at the restaurant. Oh My. I haven't moved like that in a loooong time! We were so busy and there were so many things to remember. The menu, specials, drinks (I don't drink EVER and have no clue!), names, who had what, take away the dirty dishes, bring more water, menus, bills, tips, special requests, man oh man! On top of that, remember to smile and make polite conversation! Still, at the end of the night I felt...satisfaction. I had a pocket filled with cash and a really sore back. I need better shoes for this! I really do think I might be crazy..
This leads me to a question for you all: When you are dining out, what makes a waitress/server great? What things turn you off about their service?