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Cookie Lit 2017


It's that time again! Monday December 4th is National Cookie Day, so it's time for another installment of Cookie Lit

What's better than curling up in bed with a good book on a cold winter's night? Curling up with a good book and matching cookies on a cold winter's night! Happy #NationalCookieDay everybody! 

Lemony Snickerdoodles baked by Arieh Ress, SIBL

“They were almond cookies, although they could have been made of spinach and shoes for all I cared. I ate eleven of them, right in a row. It is rude to take the last cookie.”    ― Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket

Cinnamony sweet snickerdoodles are always a crowd-pleaser, but life is not always sweetness and light. A bit of tartness rounds these treats off; they're best enjoyed when one needs a clear head for inventing ways out of sticky situations. 

Lemony Snicket eating a Lemony Snickerdoodle
Lemony Snicket eating a giant Lemony Snickerdoodle
  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup of cinnamon sugar (¼ cup sugar mixed with 1 tbsp ground cinnamon)

- Glaze (optional): For an extra zing try drizzling with lemon glaze (1 cup confectioners sugar mixed with aproximately 2 tbsp lemon juice)

1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest.
3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the electric mixer bowl until you get a nice smooth dough.
4.Refrigerate dough while the oven preheats to 400 degrees.
5. Roll out cookie balls and toss them in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place them on a well greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
7. Drizzle with lemon glaze while still warm if desired.
8. Let them cool on a baking rack, store in an airtight container.

Butterscotch Drops baked by Susen ShiTeen Zone at Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd St

Butterscotch Drops
Dobby want!
Welcome to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where spells are mastered, love is discovered, and heroes are made. Take a trip to Hogsmeade and partake in some pranks from Zonko's Joke Shop, sweets from Honeyduke, and a bottle of Butterbeer (butterscotch strong) from The Three Broomsticks. Not a third year? Enjoy those Butterscotch Drops while making plans in your dorms to defeat He Who Must Not Be Named!
  • 11 oz butterscotch morsels
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter. 
  • 4 cups cornflakes
1. Place morsels and peanut butter into pan and melt together. 
2. Add cornflakes to the pan and mix together so everything is well coated. 
3. Drop mixture by the spoonful onto a cookie tray (lined with parchment paper comes off easier) 
4. Place in fridge until hardened.

Catch-22 Fruitcake Cookies baked by Elizabeth WatersMid-Manhattan Library at 42nd St

Catch 22“He knew everything there was to know about literature, except how to enjoy it.” -Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

We know you enjoy great literature like Catch-22, and we hope you'll enjoy these gingery fruitcake cookies packed with nuts and dried fruits. The cookies are made with 22 ingredients, but Yossarian's "miracle ingredient Z-147" isn't one of them. We don't know if these cookies would have helped the bombardiers work around the Section 8 Catch-22 by appearing "nutty as a fruitcake," but we're sure they would have liked the brandy in the recipe. 
Thank you to reader and baker Deborah Quinn, who responded to our call for a 22-ingredient recipe last year with a lovely fruitcake cookie recipe she adapted from her granny's kitchen. Elizabeth adapted the recipe to her own taste and the contents of her liquor cabinet, substituting candied ginger for citron, brandy for rum, and changing a few of the fruits and nuts. Catch-22 was originally going to be called Catch-18, and if you chose to leave out a few of the many dried fruits and nuts in the recipe, the cookies would still be delicious. 
Note: These cookies were tested on confirmed fruitcake haters, and they actually liked them. The ingredients are very similar, but the crisper cookie texture is a game changer. 
Yield: 7 to 8 dozen cookies

Start the day before by soaking the dried fruit

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs (from Malta, or wherever is most convenient)
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons real vanilla
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 ½ cups chopped raisins
  • 1 cup chopped golden raisins  
  • 2 cups pitted chopped prunes
  • 1 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger (or a little more if you love ginger!)
  • ½ cup brandy or B & B

1. Soak prunes, raisins, cherries, cranberries, apricots, and ginger in ½ cup brandy at least 24 hours, cover tightly, at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
3. Cover several baking sheets with lightly greased parchment paper.
4. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
5. Beat together the butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
6. Beat in molasses and then eggs, one at a time.
7. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating each addition with about 2 tablespoons of milk until all the milk is incorporated and the dough is soft.
8. Beat in the vanilla.
9. With a spoon, mix in the nuts, raisins, dates, cherries, mango, currants, and citron until thoroughly mixed.
10. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets.
11. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are set and the bottoms are very lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes and cool on wire racks.


Breakfast of Champions Cookies (Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Crumbled Wheaties Icing) baked by Sara Beth Joren, Media Relations

""“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.” -Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut

Loaded with old-fashioned oats and a healthy dose of Wheaties, these literary powerhouse cookies can surely serve as a breakfast of champions. This batch is a variation of these Old Fashioned Iced Brown Butter Oatmeal Cookies which is full of great info and pretty photos at Ambitious Kitchen. For these, Sara added crumbled Wheaties to the icing, and chocolate chips to the dough!!

Goodnight Moonpies baked by Jessica Cline, Picture Collection

Goodnight Moonpies
Goodnight nook, goodnight book.
Goodnight  inability to rhyme. 

While they may not be as nutritious, this midnight snack beats the heck out of mush!

For the Cookies:

  • 8 oz (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 jar of Marshmallow Fluff (I used strawberry flavored)

For the Chocolate Coating:

  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

To Make the Cookies:
1. With a mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the brown sugar and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Reduce the speed to medium, add the egg and the vanilla extract, and beat to combine.
4. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and the salt, and mix just until a soft dough forms.
5.  Divide the dough in two, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
6.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
7. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch diameter round cutter (or whatever size you want your cookies), cut out the rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about ½ an inch apart. Refrigerate the cookies (on the baking sheets) for 10 minutes.
8. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on the pans for a couple of minutes, and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Using spoon, mound about 1½ tablespoons of marshmallow fluff into the center of a cookie. Top with another cookie and press lightly to spread the marshmallow to the edges.

To Make the Chocolate Coating:
10. Using a double boiler or in the microwave on 50% power and in 30 second increments, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil together until completely smooth.
11. Place the assembled cookies on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax paper. Spoon the melted chocolate over each cookie so that it runs down the sides and covers most of the cookie.
12. Allow to set at room temperature for about 2 hours (or refrigerate to speed up the process).
13. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Geek Love Circus Peanut Butter Cookies baked by Lauren LampasoneMid-Manhattan Library at 42nd St

Geek Love“A true freak cannot be made. A true freak must be born.” –Katherine Dunne, Geek Love
A book about a family of freaks calls for a family favorite with a few freaky touches. What if a peanut butter cookie and a circus peanut had a baby? They would put it in the show and charge you a dollar to see it, of course.
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed) (90 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (150 g)
  • 1/2 tsp  baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp  baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • Food coloring 
1. Mix butters, sugars, and egg thoroughly.
2. Add a little yellow and red food coloring to create a sickeningly orange dough.
3. Mix in dry ingredients.
4. Chill. Shape dough into evenly sized small balls (10 g). Roll each ball between two fingers to create a  slightly pinched area in the middle and lay them 12 to a cookie sheet.
5. Flatten both ends with a fork dipped in flour crosswise, then turn the fork lengthwise and flatten again. (You're aiming for a realistically peanutty shape and texture.)
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.
7. While cookies bake, mix some Fluff in a bowl with blue and green food coloring. Spread the aqua Fluff on the flat side of a cooled cookie and sandwich another cookie on top.
8. Serve immediately.

All-Of-A-Kind Buttery Hamantaschen baked by Nancy KandoianLionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division

"It was so cozy in the warm kitchen full of the smell of hot-from-the-oven Haman taschen. ... Mama had baked two platters full and still kept making more."--Sydney TaylorAll-of-a-kind Family

The All-of-a-Kind Family books are set on the Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century. This 1911 map from the Map Division shows the location of the original Hamilton Fish Park Library, which we believe to be the library Ella, Sarah, and their sisters visited in the book. To identify which Lower East Side branch would have been the local library for the "All-of-a-Kind" family, we tracked down the 1910 census record showing the address of the author Sydney Taylor's (nee Sara Brenner) family in Ancestry Library Edtion. The Brenner family lived at the southern end of Avenue D, so we think the All-of-a-Kind family would have used the original Hamilton Fish Park Library.


This recipe is really best with step by step photos, and thankfully those can be found -  along with six different filling recipes - by clicking here!
Nancy's baking doesn't stop at cookies. Check out the delicious pies she paired with vintage agricultural maps for Pi(e) Day in the Map Division last March.

Soft Molasses Drop Cookies baked by Louise LareauChildren's Center at 42nd Street

The Great Molasses Flood“Imagine a city neighborhood awash in molasses.” - The Great Molasses Flood: Boston 1919, by Deborah Kops

While growing up in Quebec, I visited my paternal grandparents almost every weekend. One of the first things I would do after greeting my grandparents, was go over to the cookie jar and check out what surprise was inside. If I was lucky, I would find my grandmother's homemade galettes à la mélasse (molasses cookies). If offered the choice between chocolate cake or my grandmother's galettes, the cookies would win hands down. Reading about Boston's molasses flood is both fascinating and shocking as I have a hard time imagining how something so delicious could be so deadly. 
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening (melted and cooled)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water (hot)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

1. Heat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets, line with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, and ginger; set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar together. Beat in the cooled shortening.
4. Combine the hot water and baking soda in another bowl; stir in molasses.
5. Stir the molasses and water mixture into the egg mixture along with the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed until well blended.
6. Using a small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 to 3 inches between cookies.
7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Take care not to burn.
8. Let the cookies cool completely and store for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Or freeze them for up to 3 months.

Invisible Hand of the Market Butter Cookies baked by Kathleen KalmesSIBL

Invisible Hand Cookies"Every individual... neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it... he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." -The Wealth Of Nations by Adam Smith
Whether for private or shared consumption, these iced butter cookies are delicious!
Yields about 60 cookies
  • ½ pound butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • Preheat oven to 375
1. Cream butter sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. Add flour and blend thoroughly.
2. Arrange by ½ teaspoons on cookie sheet leaving 2 inches of space between cookies…they will spread. Flatten them with a knife dipped in cold water.
3. Bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
- For medium brown cookies add 1 ½ teaspoons of dark cocoa.
- For dark brown cookies add 2 ½ teaspoons of dark cocoa and 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar.
4. For light hands melt white chocolate chip and a small amount of butterscotch chips until color matches cookies.
5. For medium brown hands melt semi sweet chocolate chips and add white chocolate chips to lighten as needed.
6. For dark brown hand melt semi- sweet chocolate chips.

Eat Me Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies baked by Melissa Scheurer, Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd St

Eat Me Cookies
Don't have to ask me twice!

"Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants." -Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Sometimes you just need a cookie, fast and without doing too much.  Luckily, we live in a golden age where cookie mixes yield delicious results when we are in the mood for some instant gratification. 

These Alice in Wonderland inspired cookies are a slightly modified version (suggested by Carol Zakaluk in the comments of last year's Cookie Lit) of these Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookies.

1. Prepare and bake mix as directed.
2. Allow the cookies to cool somewhat, but but not too much: they have to be warm enough to push the chips in a bit but not so warm that the chips melt entirely.
3. Press Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips into letters, and arrange  appropriately.

Practical Magic Lavender Rosemary Shortbreadbaked by Jenny Baum, Jefferson Market Library

Practical Magic Cookies“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” -Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
With no gas in her building, Jenny had to put some practical kitchen magic to use to bake these lovely, buttery, herby shortbread cookies.
She adapted this recipe from The Solitary Cook blog, which includes helpful step-by-step photos and commentary that truly gets you into the magic of baking these unique treats! Jenny baked the shortbread on high for an hour with a tea towel under the lid of her slow cooker, and the results speak for themselves. We think Sally Owens would approve!


Major thanks to all our bakers, and to those who came up with ideas for them to bake! 

Please share your #CookieLit ideas below and you could see them in next year's edition. 

If you bake some of these don't forget snap some pics and use the hashtag #CookieLit when you post!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Everything Looks Scrumptious--and great to see the EAT ME ones!

Melissa, thanks for bringing them to the plate!

You're welcome! They were fun

You're welcome! They were fun to make :)

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