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For the love of cookies

Are you cookie crazy? You'll love the offerings in Calgary author Julie Van Rosendaal's new book, Cookies I Have Loved.

In her new book, Cookies I Have Loved, Calgary author Julie Van Rosendaal shares a collection of cookie favourites from her bakery shop of old, relatives and friends. She's shared a few favourites with Alberta Prime Times readers.

Chocolava Cookies

The brownie-like cookies became the biggest sellers at my bakery in the late nineties, named by my then 6-year-old nephew, who thought they looked like molten lava. 

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 

1 cup sugar 

1/3 cup packed brown sugar 

1/2 cup cocoa 

1 tsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp fine salt 

1/3 cup butter, softened 

2 large eggs 

2 tsp vanilla 

icing sugar, for rolling 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the butter and stir until the mixture is well blended, with a texture like damp soil. 

In a small bowl, stir the eggs together with a fork and add to the cocoa mixture along with the vanilla. Stir until you have a sticky dough.

Put some icing sugar in a shallow dish, roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in icing sugar to coat. Place them a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet and bake for 12–14 minutes, until crackled and just set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  

Makes about 20 cookies. 

Creamy Lime Pie Bars with Biscoff Crust 

Regular grocery store limes will work fine here. If you like, top these with a dollop of whipped cream. They’re also fantastic straight from the freezer, FYI.

Base: 

1 1/3 cups (about 3/4 package) Biscoff, gingersnap, digestive or graham cracker crumbs 

1/4 cup butter, melted 

Filling: 

4 large egg yolks 

1 300 mL can sweetened condensed milk 

finely grated zest of a lime 

1/2 cup lime juice 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 

If you’re starting with cookies, blitz them into crumbs in a food processor, or put them into a heavy duty ziplock bag and bash them with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Put the crumbs in a bowl and blend in the melted butter, then press into the bottom of a parchment-lined 9x9-inch pan and bake for 12-14 minutes, until firmer and perhaps slightly more golden.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and juice. Pour over the base and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack, then chill for an hour or so to firm up before slicing.

Makes 9-16 squares or bars.  

My Dad’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 

I often boost fibre and protein by adding cooked red lentils, which blend right in, mimicking oats in taste and texture: simmer dry split red lentils for about 10 minutes, drain well and stir up to 1/3 cup in along with the oats.  

1/3 cup butter, softened 

1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil 

3/4 cup packed brown sugar 

1 large egg 

1 tsp vanilla 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp fine salt 

a shake of cinnamon (optional) 

1/2 cup raisins (or other chopped dried fruit or chocolate or chocolate-covered raisins!) 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  

In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and brown sugar until creamy; beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir until almost combined, then add the raisins (or chocolate), and stir just until blended.  

Drop large spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, until set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.