Monday, January 22, 2007
Mondays with Maida - Cornell Sugar Cookies
Page 192 in the old book / page 220 in the new book
I completely forgot to take a picture - hence the funny looking blob above. Actually, the cookies didn't look that much different. They were very plain, soft, and were hardly my idea of a sugar cookie. They had an interesting flavor and an even more interesting back story.
In the late forties Dr. Clive McCay**, a professor at Cornell University, was asked to help improve the diet of patients in New York state mental institutions. Dr. McCay decided the best place to start was the bread and he developed a recipe for what came to be known as Cornell Bread. The key ingredients in the recipe, which were chosen to enhance the protein and vitamin content of the bread, were soy flour, wheat germ, and dry milk. Maida Heatter has taken these signature Cornell ingredients and applied them to the sugar cookie, producing something quite different from your typical sugar cookie. There are a few other ingredients worth noting in this recipe: raw sugar, nutmeg and allspice. The spices are hardly recognizable (though Laura caught it and came and asked if there was nutmeg in the cookies), but definitely contribute to the flavor, and the raw sugar adds a little crunch here and there.
I decided to forgo the pastry cloth this week and had no trouble rolling these out on a floured counter top. I cut them a little smaller than recommended and ended up with 29 rather than 18 cookies, but I thought the size was still generous. The cookies were good, but not good enough to make up for their plain-Jane appearance. Perhaps I could do a little nutritional/visual enhancement of my own... say, a little chocolate icing?
** sorry, the article I've linked to was only available through the Google cache, but it is by far the most informative I found
The panel was a little short-handed this week with Suzanne on vacation and Denny out sick...
Laura: "These are good. Moist and chewy with just a hint of spices (nutmeg and allspice). Very yummy. Rating - 4.0"
Terri: "These are very tasty and not as sweet as most sugar cookies. I'm not sure how many calories though. Not dry, but quite plain. Rating - 3.5"
Overall rating by the panel - 3.8
Next Week - Plain Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies