52 - Eighteen

These cookies have become a favorite at the Diner.  They are delicious and the recipe I have was written out by my dad after buying a few from a neighborhood cookie stand while out yard saling one day. 


These coconut oatmeal cookies are chewy yet crisp, buttery with lots of texture.



Daddy’s Cookies

2 cups butter – bar type (I think this means sticks of butter not a tub)

2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups sugar

2 tps vanilla

4 eggs – Second Natural (Daddy was on a low cholesterol diet)

3 cups sifted flour

2 tps salt

2 tps baking soda

6 cups  quick cooking rolled oats

1 ½ cups flared coconut


Cream together butter, brown sugar, white sugar until fluffy; stir in vanilla, then add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.  Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, add to creamed mixture, stir in rolled oats and coconut.  Drop ty teaspoon about 2” apart.  Bake 350º, 10-15 minutes. Walnuts (options, or pecans).


Makes 14 dozen.


52 - Seventeen

These Simple Sugar Cookies are the best ever.  The unusual ingredients of olive oil and confectioners’ sugar shouldn’t dissuade you from experiencing them.  I found this recipe years ago in Martha Stewart Living.


Simple Sugar Cookies – Martha Stewart Living, December 2003

4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

¾ tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)

1 cup olive oil

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for pressing cookies

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of one orange


1.    Sift together flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda; set aside.  Place butter, olive oil, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium until fluffy.

2.    Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and orange zest until well combined.  Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture slowly, until fully incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

3.    Heat oven to 375º.  Form dough into balls measuring about 1 inch in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Press flat with a glass dipped in sugar.  Place cookies in oven, and bake until very lightly golden, 7 – 10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


52 - Sixteen

What would the holidays be without gingerbread!


Here are two (2) delicious options that have been tested year after year at Holly’s Diner.  I have made these with my friend Laurie and her boys for years and, thankfully, the tradition continued this year.



Gingerbread Cutouts

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 ½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

½ tsp salt

1 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses

2 tbsp vinegar

Creamy Decorative Icing & candies (optional)


Stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  In a large mixer bowl beat shortening for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and beat till fluffy.  Add egg, molasses, and vinegar and beat well.  Beat in flour mixture gradually, stirring in last part with a spoon till well mixed.  Divide dough into thirds (in long rolls).  Cover and chill about 3 hours or till easy to handle.


(Take one roll and split in half.  Leave half in refrigerator and with other half) roll dough 1/8” thick.  Cut with cookie cutters.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375º oven for 5 – 6 minutes or till done.  Cool and decorate.


Creamy Decorative Icing:

In a small mixer bowl beat 1 egg white, 2 tsp lemon juice (from a lemon fresh off of Laurie’s tree) and enough sifted powdered sugar (1 ½ - 2 cups) to make icing of piping consistency.



Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies – Martha Stewart Living 1999

7 oz best-quality semisweet chocolate (we’ve used a bag of chocolate chips and its fine)

1 ½ cups+ all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 ¼ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (Laurie thinks we use a bit more each year, depends on how much you like ginger)

8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed

¼ cup unsulfured molasses

¼ cup granulated sugar, for rolling cookies


1.    Line two baking sheets with Silpats* (French nonstick baking mats), and set aside.  Chop chocolate into ¼” chunks; set aside.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa; set aside.

2.    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the grated ginger and butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the brown sugar’ beat until combined.  Add the molasses; beat until combined.

3.    Add the reserved flour mixture in batches until fully incorporated.  Mix in reserved chocolate, cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

4.    Heat oven to 325º.  Place the granulated sugar in a pie plate.  Using a 1 ¾” gelato scoop, shape the dough into a ball.  Roll each ball of dough in sugar.  Bake until the surface cracks slightly, 13 – 15 minutes; let cool 5 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


*Note:   Silpats – I’ve been using these for a few years, the first time I experienced them was in the industrial kitchen size when SS had a Wetzel’s Pretzels business.  Silpats were the greatest thing to bake the pretzels on!  I finally got some in 2002, moving from parchment paper to Silpats, and now I would not bake without them!





52 - Fifteen

Alabama - my favorite place to bring in the fall; the colors, the change in temperature, the beginning of the holidays and most important the family.

This year SS and I visited Saw’s Juke Joint, the new add-on to Saw’s BBQ.  This was the most delicious lunch I have had in a long time, I had sweet tea, sweet tea chicken sandwich fried and we shared sweet potato fries.   SS had a fried shrimp sandwich and pointed out that there was “sweet” in everything I had for lunch, I think that’s what made it perfect!  The place is rustic and friendly with lots of character and Southern manners.

The next day, SS, Miss Audrey Rose and her grandmother took me to Alabama Biscuit Company.  It was delicious with all hand-crafted biscuits.  We had different combinations of eggs, bacon, pancetta and cheese to top off our biscuits – delish!

There were other fantastic eats from SS’s autumn salad, roasted turkey and smoked Applewood cheddar on brioche bread, Saw’s mac and cheese and her version of Julia Child’s quiche, rich coffee, and brioche French toast.  Everything was so yummy, I can’t wait for next year’s delicious visit.


52 - Fourteen

Today is HH’s first official day of retirement.  In honor of HH, today is all about Man Food. 

Man Food is fried chicken. 

Man Food is a hearty egg and bacon sandwich with a glazed chocolate bar on the side during football season. 

Man Food is chicken fried chicken with mash potatoes and gravy.

Man Food is a tuna melt on a cold evening.

Man Food is meat and potatoes, a fork and a knife, ribs and fingers.

I love my Man Food man.