Fare Exchange: The best cranberry oatmeal cookies and Kentucky Derby Pie

Fare Exchange: The best cranberry oatmeal cookies and Kentucky Derby Pie

May 1st, 2013 by Jane Henegar in Entertainment


Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

E-mail: janehenegar@gmail.com

Fax: 423-668-5092

Good morning, readers. On this May day, the search is on, in particular for the once-upon-a-time Read House cheesecake, for leche quemada candy, for a candy appropriately named Patience and for how to make and where to buy Gaba rice.

Pete Palmer forwarded a request from "a Baylor classmate who boarded in the '60s, asking if I could possibly locate the cheesecake recipe from the Read House of that era, his all-time favorite."

And I am wondering whether this Read House specialty was also called a Bavarian Cheese Pie.

Sylvia Chapoy added the next two requests, "for a Mexican candy that translates to burned milk and a Southern favorite that requires much of the patience for which it is named." Ms. Chapoy is "ready to cook, now that I finally have a candy thermometer, both of these delicious browned sugar candies."

Finally, Val Nelson has been reading of the very healthful GABA rice (a germinated brown rice with a greater amount of a naturally occurring amino acid). She thinks it may be made at home or mail-ordered at some expense and would like help with both, along with nutritional information.

Linda V. Kelly of Hixson minces no praise in writing. "I have the perfect recipe for oatmeal cookies with cranberries. I like cranberries in just about everything and especially cookies. I was looking for a good oatmeal cookie recipe several years ago, and there was one just inside the oatmeal box. Quaker Oats fills the bill. I used the recipe in the lid, omitted the raisins and substituted cranberries and also added one cup of chopped walnuts. These cookies are always the first to go when I make several kinds of cookies."

Cranberry or Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

1 cup dried cranberries or raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat well.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to creamed mixture, and mix well. Stir in oats, cranberries and nuts, and mix very well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool 1 minute on baking sheet and remove to wire rack.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

You asked for a Kentucky Derby Pie without bourbon or nuts, and Gerry Hall produced the desired recipe, one that had another "less than" in its description: less butter than most.

Kentucky Derby Pie

1 stick butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pecans

1 cup chocolate chips

1 (9-inch) frozen deep-dish pie shell

Melt butter, and let cool. Mix together sugars and flour. Stir in eggs, butter and vanilla extract. Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.

Spoon filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely.

We just spent 10 days in the home of two most dear ones, and for all 10 days, as never before in my adult life, I cooked not one thing. Possibly you, too, who love to cook, have found such days to be a refresher course, a reschooling.

From small to large, these things I learned: Cook and serve as a couple or a partnership of friends. Prepare the plates in the kitchen, and make them beautiful, serving each guests with a flourish (serve from the left, pick up from the right).

Here is our hosts' brunch-time example. You will need for each guest two poached eggs, three to five stalks roasted asparagus, a slice of prosciutto ham, a generous dollop of avocado mashed with lime juice and salt, 1/4 cup or so homemade torn croutons and a mere sprinkle of fresh lime juice.

Prepare poached eggs ahead and immerse them gently in a bowl of ice water. They reheat hours later or even the next day by a quick immersion in boiling water, swirled with a spoon as you gently lower, and raise, the cooked egg.

To serve, lay hot roasted asparagus on plate, in a random bunch. Gently and loosely roll prosciutto and feather it out in a part of the plate. Carefully lay eggs on top of prosciutto and asparagus -- runny eggs are best in this presentation. Generously sprinkle top with croutons (recipe follows). Add avocado to one side of the plate, and sprinkle the whole thing with a little lime juice as you head to the table.

For croutons, you will need a loaf of country bread and a big skillet. With a generous amount of oil in the skillet, heat six real garlic cloves, then discard the cloves. Tear the loaf into small pieces, 1 inch or so, and toast them in the oil on medium heat until they are crusty and light brown. No need to drain before serving since the garlic-flavored oil adds to the final flavor of your brunch plate.

And as we wind up for today, here is the soon-to-be-regular addition to Fare Exchange, Just a Dash, a brief idea, method or piece of kitchen wisdom that has been useful to you. Please send your latest bright idea to enlighten the rest of us.

Just a Dash ... Today's bright idea is from renowned chef Thomas Keller in his new book of family-style recipes, "Ad Hoc": "My primary cooking oil is canola oil, the most economical of the best neutral cooking oils. I often deep-fry in peanut oil because of its flavor and high smoke point. But I never cook with olive oil, because high temperatures affect its flavor -- and why use a more expensive oil for a poor result?"