Monday, December 19, 2011

On the Sixth Day of Christmas Cookies

Helen's Forgotten Cookies

I know it's a tradition in our family to call cookies by the person's name that gave the recipe to us, but in this case it just doesn't make sense.  Because it's hard to imagine ANYONE ever forgetting about Helen.  I know I sure won't!  She was a BIG lady (or at least she seemed that way when I was small) with a BIG personality and an even BIGGER heart  - and she was one of my mom's dearest friends.  She also had a daughter my age more or less, so our families spent a fair amount of time together when I was growing up and we all just loved her!  Plus, she was from Canada, which made her very exotic in my mind back then!

Without a doubt, Helen was one of the luckiest people I have ever known.  And I'm talkin' winning cars, money, gadgets and boo-coos of movie tickets kind of lucky, most of which she gave away to her friends and family.  And for a single mom raising three kids, even something as small as free movie tickets meant A LOT - to all of us!  She was SO lucky that sometimes I attempt to channel her while entering contests by writing her name in very small print somewhere on the entry form.  It hasn't worked yet, but I'm telling you it will!  That's also why I'm NOT gonna tell you her last name!

Baking these cookies always puts a smile on my face because they remind me of a wonderful lady whose smile and laughter are sorely missed!  It's one of the things I love about collecting recipes - they're a great way to recall fond memories and keep our loved ones in our hearts through the years.  And isn't that what the Christmas season is all about?

So I guess that makes me (and now you) lucky too!

Helen's (Gone But Not) Forgotten Cookies
There.  That's more like it!
2/3 C sugar
2 egg whites
1 C chopped pecans
1 C chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt

They will no longer be shiny and may have slight cracks in the surface when ready.

Preheat oven to 305 degrees while preparing cookies.  Beat sugar and egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil.  Drop by spoonfuls onto trays.  Turn oven OFF!  Place cookies in oven and leave overnight.  When completely cooled, remove from tin foil and store in an airtight container.  Makes 2-3 dozen.

They should peel off easily (as you can see here) when ready!

Baking tip:  These are basically a meringue cookie, so be sure to make these on a dry, sunny day so they will set up properly!

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