It’s Time for ….

Cookies !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a bit of an …obstacle with a sudden onset, arthritic …issue in my right thumb. srsly?!!?? Six weeks from normal to *ow*Yipe!* who knew that was even possible?!??

I startled the dog one too many times [*Yipe!*] and The Mister sent me off to The Doc. A phat shot [*shudder*] and a truly ugly thumb brace later and … I’m learning to be left handed. Yay, me!
Hilarity ensues…
[apparently I’m severely right-handed. trying to put on mascara with the worng hand almost left me a pirate — one hand / one eye …haha… nvrmind]

Some of the work-arounds developed for me by The Mister are brilliant. Can opener + paper towel roll actually works! He’s still working on one for The Dishes…

Butt now is the time for coooookies!!!

I figure I can [with gloves and my new cookie scoop] surely make Jack Balls [ aka Rum Balls but I prefer Jack Daniels]

“Recipe” »


3 cups (300 grams) toasted pecans, finely chopped

2 1/2 cups (250 grams) finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies

1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar

4 tablespoons (30 grams) cocoa powder (ScharffenBerger)

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 cup (120 ml) Jack Daniels [or to taste]

To toast pecans: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Put the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.

Let cool completely and then chop the nuts finely with a knife or place the nuts in your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.

Process the vanilla wafer cookies in the food processor until finely ground. Add the crumbs to the finely chopped pecans.

Add the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder and stir until combined.

Add the corn syrup and rum and mix well. Add more rum if necessary.

Chill the batter and then shape into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls.

Then roll the rum balls in confectioners sugar, finely chopped nuts, or cocoa powder.
Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Makes about 40 rum balls. Preparation time 30 minutes.

NB I *knooow* I hardly never*evar* use prepared foods to make actual food, but after much research a coupla years ago, I finally gave in and realized that this is the best recipe. Make ahead, they mellow nicely in an air-tight container over a week or two. if ya hide the container… from yourself…

French Macaroons are right out. I *want* to make spritz cookies, but… Rolled cookies and rugelach are a no-go… dammit!

Brown Butter Cookies are easy — *and* delicious!

“Recipe” »


8 dozen [or so...]

325° F

1 cup butter


2/3 cup sugar
1t vanilla


2 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a heavy saucepan melt 1 cup butter over low heat until it browns. [good and brown — smells wonderful!]

Add 2/3 cup sugar and 1t vanilla [or vanilla paste / essence whatever u like] and cool the mixture.

Beat in 2 1/3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder to make a smooth dough.

Roll spoonfuls of the dough into marble sized balls and put them 1 inch apart on a buttered baking sheet.

Press each ball down slightly with the tines of a fork, and top with half a blanched almond. [I skip the nut. pecans would be good, tho…]

Bake the cookies in a moderately slow oven (325° F.) for 20 minutes. Remove them from the baking sheet and cool.

Serve half of the cookies. Freeze the remainder in a freezer container.

To serve the frozen cookies, defrost them at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.

NB the secret is in the brown butter — brown butter is Magical! These are the crumbly, melt in your mouth kind of cookie.n I might top them with a bit of ganache this year.

And I gotta make these — they were my Papa’s faves and now The Mister’s. Even tho it says “knead” and that’s right out, I think I can encourage this dough together with a dough hook on the mixer… maybe I’ll use a lower gluten [cake] flour, too…

“Recipe” »


about 5 dozen, depending on size
1 cookie box

325° F

1 cup butter — 8oz — 226gr

2 cup blanched and finely ground Pecans — 226gr

2 1/2 cups sifted flour — 10 5/8 oz
1/2 cup sifted powered sugar — 2 oz
1/2 T salt [which is less than 1.5t]

Sift together flour and powered sugar, and add pecans

Cream butter,

add the dry ingredients.

Knead the dough until it is well blended.

Shape into crescents, place the crescents on a parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Bake them in a moderately slow oven (325° F.)

for 10 minutes, or until they are done. The crescents should not brown.

IMMEDIATELY sift powdered sugar over hot cookies. Be generous.

Anybody wishing to pass on your fave recipes, please do so. I love adding good new cookies to my collection!


  1. Nomen Nescio
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 9:59 am |

    Rum balls: take a half cup of rum. Squeeze hands into balls. Repeat as necessary.

  2. DougM (stand down the SMOD watch)
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 10:44 am |

    Sorry, can’t help ya, Claire.
    All’s I can legitimately cook cook is no-knead bread
    and omelets and fried potatoes/hashbrowns in a cast-iron skillet.
    The rest is all assemble, broil, or nuke.

    Good to hear you’re expanding your horizons and self-identifying as a lefty.

  3. Paladin
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 11:35 am |

    Homemade Kahlua

    8c Sugar
    10 c Coffee (Strong)
    ½ gallon Triple distilled vodka (potters)
    1/5 Brandy
    2Tbsp Vanilla

    Combine sugar and coffee until sugar is dissolved. Add alcohol.

  4. Paladin
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 11:38 am |

    Jack Daniels Fudge
    (Passed on by one Mrs. Dare Kibbel, who has since passed on.)

    4 ½ c sugar
    1 tall can of evaporated milk
    Boil to a soft ball stage

    In a large pan combine:
    1 lb marshmallow crème
    3 large bags of chocolate chips
    2 ½ lb Hershey bars
    1 lb chopped walnuts
    1 lb melted butter

    Pour boiling sugar mixture over the above and stir until all chocolate is melted and well blended. (It doesn’t seem like it will, but it will.)

    Add 1 ½ cup Jack Daniels and mix well.

    Pour into large flat pan and chill.

  5. Paladin
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 11:40 am |

    Egg Nog

    6 eggs, separated*
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 cups heavy cream
    8 cups milk
    1 cup Rum
    1 tablespoon vanilla

    In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the 1/2 cup of sugar until thick.

    In another bowl beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick

    In a third bowl beat the cream until thick.

    Add the cream to the yolks, fold in.

    Add the egg whites, fold in.

    Add the milk, rum, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired. Chill in freezer before serving.

  6. bocopro
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 12:14 pm |

    If it’s osteo and not rheuma, try this:….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.8.910.vdXQsnzhun4

    I’ve always been skeptical the benefits of ointments and salves and other externally applied stuff, but I got noticeable relief from the gel. The patches might be better on a thumb. Haven’t tried that. I’ve just learned to live with the OA in both my thumbs. Gets so bad at times that I’ll try to grab somethin, involuntarily yelp in pain, and then check to see if I’ve peed down my leg.

    It doesn’t fix anything, just reduces the discomfort for a few hours. I’ve had chronic frozen shoulder (impingement type) for about 15 years and got no satisfaction from any of the standard stuff (BenGay, IcyHot, Flex-All) and barely noticeable improvement with Absorbine (basically horse liniment). The Voltaren took it down from J.H.F.C.!! to a simple lower-case “argh.”

    It DOES have some interaction with other medications, so if you’re on anything strong, check with your doc if you intend to use it on a reg’lar basis.

    FWIW, large doses of aspirin (as in Bayer Back & Body) seem to help some, too, but over time that stuff’ll rot your liver.

  7. mech
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 12:15 pm |

    Yay, Cookies!

    Claire, I remember in high school playing half a season of volleyball with both thumbs in splints. I became a good fingertip setter but never cooked much then. They all sound good — email me some to taste, after the candied orange peel. ;-)

    Paladin, those all sound great, too. I will be shopping and preparing some this afternoon. . .

    This is almost as good as a Maxim post.
    (hmm. combinations?)

  8. SondraK, Queen of SondraKistan
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm |

    Cutting waaaay back on coffee and sugar has really helped my arthritis a bunch…

  9. SondraK, Queen of SondraKistan
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 2:06 pm |

    So who here weighs their flour like the Euros? I have wanted to start ( baking is science afterall ) but think the potential inaccuracy of a normal kitchen scale wouldn’t make much of a diff.

  10. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm |

    ^^^bocopro – but over time that stuff’ll rot your liver.
    or eat a hole in your stomach. BTDT after five years of daily OA meds.
    After that, Doc said I’m off NSAIDs forever. Now I just endure it.

    I come by my OA honestly, I know of it in four generations of family. My g-grandmother knitted continuously to ease her hand pain and keep her fingers mobile. Taking a cue from her, I found it helps to avoid impact, and gently use the affected joint as often and as much as possible. Stasis really brings the pain when I start moving again.

  11. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm |

    DM – I’m gonna try that!
    Paladin — yummmm, Yummmmm, and Oh Yummmm!
    bocopro — I’ll give that a try… Thanks.

    Mech — Next Year on that orange peel. fer sure!

    SK — always weigh my ingredients. It’s much less fussy than the volume methods. [and gets better results.] A simple digital scale for about $20 has done me well for …gee… a decade now. It gets kinda wonky lately [turn off-turn back on] [might need to invest another $20..] but otoh, it’s only had a change of batteries once. [make sure to get one with a "tare" or reset to zero!]

    Try measuring out 3 cups of flour into 3 separate bowls, then weigh each. That’s what convinced me to start weighing! ; >
    Dick — good to know… I was mourning the loss of hand sewing / embroidery but maybeee, just maybeee, after this acute phase *crosses fingers* *ow*
    and yeah — I can’t handle the Advil stuffs anymore without 3-5 Prelief*. Bufferin is still good!

  12. Paladin
    Posted December 15, 2016 at 7:47 am |

    I’ve never tried weighing ingredients while baking. Measuring cups have always worked well for me. With breads especially, I go for consistency of the mix.

    And then I have some recipes like the JD fudge. “1 tall can”? “2 large bags”?? Meh, it works.

  13. DougM (stand down the SMOD watch)
    Posted December 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm |