The aroma of freshly baked cookies is just as delightful a part of the holiday season as the scent of pine boughs. But even if you don't have a large family to bake for, you don't have to miss out--this column has recipes for cookies and ice cream for two.
The cookies, which supposedly originated years ago in Chicago's Senn High School (but more likely were part of the Board of Education's basic recipe book), are prized by practically everyone who went through that city's school system. The delicious, tender butter cookies with a light sugar coating may be the only thing some Chicagoans remember about their high school years.
Fortunately, the recipe was easy to scale down. Like most cookie recipes, this one is easy to double in case the enticing fragrance brings a crowd to your door.
For a special dessert, serve them with rich homemade Cinnamon-Ginger Ice Cream.
SENN HIGH SCHOOL
1/2 cup butter, softened
Scant 1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together butter and 6 tablespoons sugar until fluffy. Add salt. Gradually add flour, blending in to make stiff, smooth dough. Stir in vanilla.
Form dough into 8 balls and place far apart on ungreased baking sheet. Place some sugar on saucer. Press palm of hand into sugar, then use to flatten each ball of dough to 3-inch circle, 1/4-inch thick.
Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave on baking sheet 5 minutes, then loosen with spatula and remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 8 cookies.
1 pint half and half
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup diced candied ginger
Scald half and half and set aside.
Mix together egg yolks, sugar, salt and cinnamon in top of double boiler and set over simmering water. Slowly pour in half and half, whisking constantly. Whisk over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Process in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions, adding ginger when mixture is slushy. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Note: If desired, add 1/4 cup chopped pecans and/or 1/4 cup golden raisins to ice cream mixture when adding ginger.