The joy of discovery has no rivals except the joy of being thankful. Imagine yourself as a desert prospector and you find a gold nugget after many a month with little hope—a moment of blessed joy. With the current economic climate, I have like millions, tightened the belt to save a buck. My gold nuggets now come from the thrift shop instead of Barnes and Nobel. The Amana Recipes cook book is one such nugget. A search on the internet indicated that many book sellers have this title for sale, for cheap, so if you desire a copy it is yours for what I paid the thrift shop. But, no matter, this is a delightful volume that has won my imagination. The history of the Amana settlers began in this country in 1842, German immigrants here for reasons of religious freedom. This utopian history alone is intriguing and there is much on the internet to read. But only the cookbook will let you smell and taste what the Amana community kitchens were serving up. My joy prompts me to share a recipe, and I am thankful that I can do that much.
Prune Drop Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar (I used dark)
1 cup white sugar
2 well beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour milk (I used buttermilk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 cup chopped cooked prunes
3 1/2 cups flour (I used “WhiteLily” all purpose)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nutmeats (I used pecans)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 heaping teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add the beaten eggs. Mix well. Dissolve soda in milk and add with the remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoons on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes in moderate oven, 350 degrees.
Cook a heaping cup of whole prunes in a 1/4 cup water, bring to a simmer and stir until the liquid is cooked off, cool then chop.
The recipe did not call for any salt. Salt is probably not necessary but, as a flavor enhancer I decided to add a small amount.
Why the baking soda was added to the buttermilk is beyond me. My process is: Have all ingredients at room temperature. Cream the butter with the sugar then add eggs and vanilla. In another bowl combine all dry ingredients, flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In additions of thirds add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter-sugar-egg mixture.Then add the prunes and nut meats, do not over mix.
The results are a moist cake like cookie, not super sweet, a spice cookie presence, you could easily mistake the prunes for raisins, good with an afternoon tea or coffee.