Monday, September 17, 2007

Mondays with Maida - Connecticut Strippers

Connecticut Strippers
Page 252 in the old book / page 272 in the new book

I'd love to know why these (and last week's) cookies are attributed to the state of Connecticut, but searching on-line for information on cookies called "Connecticut Strippers" is futile at best. Clicking on a link in your search results is far more likely to take you to someplace you don't want to be than to enlighten you on the naming of these cookies. Oh well.

Anyhoo, while the Connecticut part of the name still puzzles me, the stripper part obviously comes from the way in which the cookies are made. As with last week's Connecticut Date Slices, these cookies are formed into long, flattened logs, baked and then sliced.

The cookies are flavored with cinnamon and brown sugar, and have currants and walnuts in them. I ran short of currants and so used a mixture of currants and raisins. They are also topped with a mixture of chopped walnuts, cinnamon and sugar before baking. I'd recommend that when shaping the logs you not just flatten them, but make a very slight depression down the middle. This will help keep the topping in place, which otherwise tends to bounce and roll off.

The cookies were very good, but I think I may have left them in the oven a minute or two too long - I thought they were a little on the dry side. They were still well received by all in the office, even Suzanne (!). Here's the panel...

Suzanne: "Actually, I liked the 'Strippers', even though they had raisins. I really didn’t taste the raisins and enjoyed the cinnamon, currants and nuts. This would be great with coffee. Rating - 4.5"

Denny: "Very good. Tasty and crunchy. I give them a 3.0 after -1 no chocolate penalty. Rating - 3.0"

Laura: "These are delish! Wonderful and spicy with the hint of walnuts. Nice and chewy with a sprinkling of sugar on top. Rating - 4.5"

Terri: "These 'strippers' are delicious, but not as chewy as the last cookies from Connecticut. I prefer the spicier and chewier ones from last week to these. But the currants /raisins and walnuts were delicious. Both of these types are great fall cookies with coffee, tea, or hot apple cider! Rating - 4.0"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.0

Next week - French Sugar Fans

Nutrition Facts


Anonymous said...

Tasters who dock points off a cookie if it contains raisins or if it lacks chocolate? How about if your tasters judge a cookie for what it is, not what they wish it were? They should answer the answer the question, "Is this the best version of [this specific type of cookie] I have ever tasted? Otherwise, their evaluations are not very helpful to others, except maybe those who dislike raisins in cookies or lack of chocolate in cookies.

Otherwise this is a terrific website. I could never bake all these cookies to try them out, so I am happy you give us the wisdom of your experience.

Cerebrum said...

Heh! I really like the names of the cookies in this chapter. Strippers? Fans? Why not?!

Nupur said...

Truly an enigmatic name for a American version of pasta "puttanesca" perhaps?! It does look delicious...almost a cakey version of biscotti. With all those goodies, it looks like a real treat.

Anonymous said...

Connecticut is known as the "Nutmeg State". It may have something to do with that.

Cathy said...

Hi Anon - much as certain members of the cookie panel frustrate me at times, they are volunteers and they get paid only in cookies, so I guess I can't really complain. I'm glad you're otherwise enjoying my blog though - thanks for the complement!

Hi Mari! I really am curious whether she has some ties to Connecticut, I realized after writing this post there's a third Connecticut cookie in the book - Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits from way back in the dropped cookies chapter. Oh dear, big bash... better start planning! Actually, I have had something in mind, I think it will be fun, but hardly qualifies as a big bash I'm afraid!

Hi Zarah - yes, this chapter certainly has been an interesting mix! Coming up very soon is the deep fried cookie that I've been dreading, though believe I recall it's one of your holiday regualars!

Hi Nupur! I have a feeling (though I could be completely wrong) that the more colorful side of the name never occurred to Maida... The recipe note doesn't acknowledge in any way that there's anything amusing about the name.

Hi Anon - though these do have a little nutmeg in them, it's hardly noticeable. On the other hand the Connecticut Nutmeg Hermits must certainly have been so-named for the very reason you suggest. Which led me to wonder why is the state called that... click here to see a couple of possible explanations.

Anonymous said...

They look delicious!