Saturday, February 16, 2013

President Day Cookies

I started this feature post a few years ago to celebrate President's Day:  

"Past Presidents Favorite Cookie!"

I came across a cookbook Presidential Cookies by Bev Young.  The book intrigued me not because listed the favorite cookie of each of our president but it had random trivia about each president and their family.  Many of our past presidents were more flamboyant and have had many stories reveal but the lesser known names have their trivia facts that are just as interesting.  I am sure there is much more to learn about each of the men, but I will simply highlight what this author thought interesting.

This Presidential Day feature: Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Interesting trivia about Coolidge that many may already know...
He is the only president to be sworn into office by his father.  Calvin Coolidge was vacationing at the Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont when he got word that President Warren Harding had died.  Here at his homestead, Calvin's father, a notary public, swore in Calvin as the next president.

Trivia you might not know...
Calvin Coolidge is in  second place winner for having the most pets while in the White House!!  He was the proud owner of 21 pets!!  Pretty crazy.  We have birds, cats, dogs and cows.  I am going nuts with these.  Can't imagine having as many as the Coolidge family let alone keeping them in the White House setting!  The info didn't say where all these critters were kept but many were on the White House premises.  Again, I say CRAZY!!
  • Rob Roy and Prudence Prim – White collies
  • Peter Pan – Terrier
  • Paul Pry – Airedale Terrier
  • Calamity Jane – Shetland Sheepdog
  • Tiny Tim and Blackberry – Chow Chows
  • Ruby Rouch – Collie
  • Boston Beans – Bulldog
  • King Cole – German shepherd
  • Palo Alto – Bird dog
  • Bessie – Collie
  • Rebecca and Horace – Raccoons
  • Ebeneezer – Donkey
  • Nip and Tuck – Canaries
  • Enoch – Goose
  • Smoky – Bobcat
  • Tiger – cat
  • Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau – lion cubs
  • Billy – Pygmy hippo
  • A Wallaby
  • A Duiker (a very small antelope)
  • A black bear
To get to the theme of my blog post (President's Favorite Cookies), let me share with you the cookie designated as the Coolidge the cookie they love.  More cookie trivia will follow!

Aurora Pierce's Famous Filled Cookies

1 1/2 cups seedless raisins, chopped
1/2 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 Tbs flour
1/2 cup water (I used whole wheat flour)
Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
1 egg
3 1/2 cup sifted flour (I used sifted whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 Tbs. baking soda
1/2 cup milk
1 egg white for glaze

Step One:
Make filling in your Bosch Food easy to do.  I love my Bosch Mixer!

Step Two:
Cream butter, vanilla & sugar using your Bosch cookie paddles and Bosch Bowl scraper.  Add the egg & whip.  Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk.  Be prepared for the dough to be really stiff.  Did I tell you I love my Bosch mixer that made this cookie so easy to make?! :)

Step Three:
Roll the dough out 1/8" thin and cut into multiple 2" circles.  Cover the stainless steel cookie sheet with cookie circles and add 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling.  Cover the cookie w/ filling with another round cookie dough.  Seal or press them together with fork tines. 

Step Four:
Brush tops with beaten egg white.

Step Five:  
Bake 375 degrees for about 15 minutes Or until golden brown.

Note from Paula:  These cookies are REALLY good.  I made them more of a novelty but am going to keep it in our cookie list.  You could change the filling to a favorite jam.  I am thinking about tweaking this recipe adding perhaps cream cheese or sour cream to the recipe as well.  It is a fun cookie that would go good for a tea party type side.  It is definitely not a cookie you will sit down and eat several of them.  They are really pun intended..well maybe! 

So if you are still with me and like trivia or the rest of the is the 'rest of the story' about the maker of  President Calvin Coolidge's favorite cookie taken from Presidential Cookies by Bev Young:

"Division for Historic Preservation, Aurora Pierce began her service at Plymouth Notch working for Colonel John Coolidge (the President's father).  Following Colonel Coolidge's death in 1926, she stayed on for another 30 years.  Aurora, a tiny lady of steel will, never accepted the easy life of electricity and 'new fangled' plumbing, and so the house remained much as it was in 1923.  

This raisin filled cookie was taken from Coolidge-Country Cookbook: Early Recipes of the Coolidge Family, Their Plymouth Notch, Vermont Neighbors and Friends.  It is a long titled book but brought to life some of the childhood favorites of the former President Calvin Coolidge.  Another favorite is Grace Coolidge's Ice Box Cookies."   

The Ice Box Cookies are not as unusual as the raisin filled cookies but do bare Calvin Coolidge's wife's name. :)  If you are really wanting to step up the notch on President's Day and make a theme of President Calvin Coolidge, here is their other famous cookie...

Grace Coolidge's Ice Box Cookies
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nut meats
2 eggs, well beaten

Cream butter & sugar.  Sift flour, soda & salt.   Add flour mixture, nuts and eggs.  Mix all thoroughly and pack into mold (long narrow bread pan) and let stand overnight.  Next day, unmold and slice very thin.

Bake 10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Note from Paula:  I haven't personally made the Grain Coolidge Ice Box Cookies.  They sounded okay but not unusual enough for me to try.  I have simply posted the recipe taken from the President's Cookies cookbook to give you a peek into President Calvin Coolidge's sweet tooth.  

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