Cookie Lit 2020: Cookie Recipes for a New Decade!

By Arieh Ress, Adult Librarian
December 4, 2020

2021 is nearly upon us Cookie Lit fans! Friday, December 4th is National Cookie Day and the New York Public Library staff has been hard at work baking more literary-themed cookies to help you celebrate. For more scrumptious cookies check out our 20152016 20172018 and 2019 Cookie Lit blog posts as well!

This year's cookies include (click to jump to one): 

NYC-Street Style Mini Pretzels; Rumble Fish Rum BallsThe Ineffable Doomsday Cookie Black & White CookiesTristram Shandy CookiesGeorge & Oatmeal LizziesApple Butter of Discord RugelachHogwarts Sugar CookiesThis Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing so let's eat some Cranberry & Stem Ginger Florentines!;  Goblin Market Fruitcake CookiesChildren of the (Candy) Corn CookiesPleasureful Mocha Truffle CookiesLemon Ricotta Mini Tarts

NYC-Street Style Mini Pretzels

by Jenny Baum of Jefferson Market Library

black and white graphic of a park bench under the shade of a tree

 Inspired by Park Bench by Christophe Chabouté

French phenom Christophe Chabouté focuses the lens of this graphic novel, told entirely in pictures, on the simple park bench. The bench turns out to be a character in and of itself, shaping the interactions of passersby. This recipe for pretzel bites comes from King Arthur Flour and recalls the beloved street snack that is nearly as ubiquitous as the park bench. I used the optional cinnamon-sugar mixture to top them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups (298g) unbleached all-purpose flour
Pretzel bites on a park bench with miniature chairs around them and
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7g) instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 cup (198g to 227g) warm water*
  • *Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.

    Topping:

    • 1 cup (227g) boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons (28g) baking soda
    • coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt; or coarse or Swedish pearl sugar, optional
    • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
    • cinnamon-sugar, optional

    Instructions:

    1. To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
    2. To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise), then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and give it a rest in a plastic bag, as instructed above.
    3. While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).
    4. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper. If you're not using King Arthur Flour's brand, grease the parchment with vegetable oil spray to make double-sure the bites won't stick.
    5. Transfer the dough to a lightly-greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces.
    6. Roll the six pieces of dough into 12" to 15" ropes. Cut each rope crosswise into about 12 pieces.
    7. Pour the cooled baking soda solution into a pan large enough to hold the bites. Place the bites into the solution, gently swish them around, and leave them there for a couple of minutes. Transfer them to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and top with pretzel salt or sea salt; or with pearl sugar, for sweet pretzel bites.
    8. Bake the bites for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and roll them in the melted butter.
    9. For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, toss with cinnamon-sugar once you've rolled the bites in the butter.
    10. Place on a rack. In you're not going to enjoy them immediately, store the bites, well-wrapped, at room temperature. Reheat briefly before serving.

    Rumble Fish Rum Balls

    by Jen Brinley of Parkchester Library

    "I could never understand people being scared of things they didn't know nothing about." —Rumble Fish

    Inspired by Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton

    The publisher summarizes Rumble Fish this way: "A junior high school boy idolizes his older brother, the coolest, toughest guy in the neighborhood, and wants to be just like him." Diane Dollak says her recipe for rum balls is "a very sophisticated addition to a plate of cookies." I am unabashedly taking liberties with my puns and my analogies in declaring that older brothers are to younger brothers as rum balls are to ordinary cookies— the former aspires to the cool sophistication of the latter. I'm angling for a rumble.

    Ingredients:

    A model pool table with small rumballs as balls and toothpicks as cues with Rumble Fish by S.E Hinton behind it.
    • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (like Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers or similar)
    • 1 cup chopped pecans (plus more for optional decorating)
    • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for optional decorating)
    • 1 ½ tablespoons honey or white syrup
    • ¼ cup rum or bourbon

    Instructions:

    1. Mix all ingredients
    2. Form into small balls and roll in more chopped nuts or powdered sugar, as desired

     

    Makes about 6 dozen small balls.

    The Ineffable Doomsday Cookie Black & White Cookies

    by Mariel Elia of Todt-Hill Westerleigh Library

     "Sister Mary chose that moment to come in with the tea. Satanist or not, she'd also found a plate and arranged some iced biscuits on it." —Good Omens

    Inspired by Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

    Create this delicious representation of Crowley and Aziraphale in your kitchen! Joining the forces of Good and Evil cannot guarantee the end of the world, but can make it a little bit sweeter!  

    This recipe is from Epicurious:

    A pile of black & white cookies in front of

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ⅓ cup well-shaken buttermilk
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • ⅓ cup (5 ⅓ tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg

    Icings:

    • 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons water
    • ¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

    Pro tips: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can create a substitute using other items such as milk, vinegar, yogurt, and more! Instead of using corn syrup, I used a tablespoon of honey.*

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.
    3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.
    4. Spoon ¼ cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until the tops are puffed and pale golden, and the cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.
    5. While cookies chill stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. 
    6. Transfer half of the icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, ½ teaspoon at a time, to thin to the same consistency as white icing.
    7. Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over the other half.

    Tristram Shandy Cookies

    by Arieh Ress of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

    "The desire of knowledge, like the thirst of riches, increases ever with the acquisition of it." —The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman 

    Inspired by The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

    So too, these cookies. I'll admit it: these were a lot of work. The results are delicious though, and the cooked down beer and honey mix is a delight in and of itself. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy was deeply influential in literature and even philosophy, and pairs nicely with these cookies and a leftover witbier. 

    Ingredients:

    • 2 bottles (12 oz. each) Belgian-style witbier
    An illustration from Tristram Shandy with cookies from the blog Photoshopped into it.
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Orange Icing:

    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice
    • 1 tablespoon whole milk
    • 1 orange, zested

    Instructions:

    1. Combine witbier and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat and reduce until ⅓ cup of liquid remains. It takes about 40 minutes for 24 oz. of beer to reduce down to ⅓ cup. Patience and skimming foam off the top are required for this. Discard the foam, or eat it along the way. 
    2. Towards the end the liquid will aggressively foam because of the high sugar concentration when there is around ⅓ cup remaining.
    3. While your reduction is cooling, preheat oven to 350°F, cream the butter and sugar together.
    4. Add the egg and blend the mixture together.
    5. Then add vanilla, orange zest, coriander and the beer reduction. Blend together.
    6. Whisk the flour and baking soda together in a separate bowl and slowly add it to the batter. Mix until just blended.
    7. Scoop mounds of cookie dough onto an aluminum cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
    8. Bake at 350°F for 16-20 minutes.
    9. Let the cookies cool for about 10 minutes.
    10. Then move them to wire racks to finish cooling.
    11. Begin by whisking the vanilla into the powdered sugar.
    12. In a separate bowl, mix the orange juice and milk together. (Yes... I know that sounds like an unholy combination.)
    13. Then pour the  orange juice/milk mixture into the sugar, until you reach your desired consistency of a thick paste. Probably only 1 tablespoon of the orange juice/milk.
    14. Make sure your cookies are completely cooled! Using a butter knife, put a dollop of icing on each cookie and spread it a bit over the top. Then place a small piece of orange zest on top of the cookie as garnish.
    15. Let the icing harden a bit and enjoy!

    George & Oatmeal Lizzies

    by Jen Brinley of Parkchester Library

    Inspired by George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl

    This is a story about a complicated woman named Lizzie and her extremely complicated relationships with herself, her parents, her peers, and her lovers. I have paired this recipe for Oatmeal Lizzies with George & Lizzie, because there are a lot of ingredients and flavors going into these cookies just like there are many traumas haunting Lizzie and her ability to be content in her marriage to George. It's a busy cookie to go with a busy book written by one of America's busiest readers, Nancy Pearl. Can your Oatmeal Lizzies hold all these different ingredients (chocolate chips, oatmeal, pecans, and toffee) without breaking apart? Try the recipe and see.

    Ingredients:

    A plate full of cookies next to the book George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 3/4 cup brickle chips or English toffee bits
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 cups quick oats
    • ½ cup pecans
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    ​Instructions:

    1. Combine sugars and shortening.
    2. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
    3. Add flour and soda gradually, mixing well.
    4. Stir in oats, chips, and pecans until well blended.
    5. Shape dough into 1 ¼" balls and place 2" apart on greased baking sheet.
    6. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

    Makes 4 ½ dozen.

     

    Apple Butter of Discord Rugelach

    by Sasha Jones of Roosevelt Island Library

    “Ares, god of war, was tall and handsome but vain and as cruel as his brother Hephaestus was kind. Eris, the spirit of strife, was his constant companion. Eris was sinister and mean, and her greatest joy was to make trouble. She had a golden apple that was so bright and shiny everybody wanted to have it. When she threw it among friends, their friendships came to a rapid end. When she threw it among enemies, war broke out, for the golden apple of Eris was an apple of discord.” —D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

    Inspired by D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

    Luckily, these rugelach are so delicious that they are sure to strengthen the friendships of all who share them. Make your own apple butter or use a store-bought version for a more hands-off bake. Adapted with the assistance of Gabe Isman from Samantha Seneviratne’s Apple Butter Rugelach

    Dough Ingredients:

    • ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
    • ⅛ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ cup all purpose flour, plus more for rolling

    Filling Ingredients: 

    • ¼ cup unsweetened apple butter
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

    To finish: 

    • 1 egg, beaten
    • Raw sugar for dusting

    Instructions:

    1. Prepare the dough: In a stand mixer or in a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, on medium, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and beat until just combined. Don’t overwork it. Tip the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together into a ball, using the wrap to help. Shape into a 6-inch circle and wrap each with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
    2. In a small bowl, mix together the apple butter, honey, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
    3. On a floured surface, roll the slab of dough out to a 11-inch circle with neat edges. (If, at any point, the dough becomes too soft, you can transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it in the fridge for a few minutes.) Spread the apple butter mixture on the top of the dough, leaving a ¼ inch border. Sprinkle with the walnuts. With a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 equal triangles. Starting from the wide end, gently roll each triangle up and tuck the end under. Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
    4. Heat oven to 375°. Brush each cookie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until they are puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheet once. Transfer the sheet to a rack to cool."

    Hogwarts Sugar Cookies

    by Victoria James of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

    "When in doubt, go to the library." —Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

    A plate full of sugar cookies with the imprint of the different Houses in Harry Potter on them and a white candle that says

    Inspired by the Harry Potter series by R.K. Rowling

    Witches and Wizards, spend some time baking your favorite magical creatures and objects! All you need is your own sugar cookie recipe and the patience to bring to life your creative magical cookies! Need some recipe inspiration? The library is bursting with recipe books waiting to be checked out. These cookies are inspired by those who love the world of magic. 

    Ingredients:

    • 4 cups all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 ½ cups salted butter* (room temperature)
    • 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla

    Instructions:

    1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk.
    2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
    3. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until
    Sugar cookies in the shapes of Harry Potter items on a silver platter.

    mixed well.

  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour mixture.
  • Mix just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
  • Divide the dough in half, gently flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour. This is crucial for them to turn out well!
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 3/8" thick. Use cookie cutters and cut as many shapes as possible, re-rolling the dough scraps and cutting again. You can also hand cut if you are feeling creative!
  • Place the shapes on a non-stick baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough for another hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°.
  • Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes, pulling the cookies out just before they start to brown.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to a flat surface to cool.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, decorate as desired.
  • This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing so let's eat some Cranberry & Stem Ginger Florentines!

    by Anne Rouyer of Mulberry Street Library

     

    This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing is author Jacqueline Winspear's (author of the Maisie Dobbs series) memoir of her childhood in post-WW2 England. Growing up in rural Kent, the family made their living off the land after being evacuated from London. This is a story of a family's hardships and secrets but ultimately it's a story of a family's indomitable spirit, persistence, and joys and one little girl's dream of being a writer.

     

    It is heartfelt, poignant, rich in character and detail, and undoubtedly has the best book title of 2020. Doesn't it perfectly describe all of our wishes for 2021? For this very British memoir of keeping calm and carrying on, here's a very British holiday cookie filled with decadent dried fruit, candied ginger and painted with a layer of melted chocolate. The perfect cookie to remind us all of the better days ahead. 

    Cookies in the foreground, an eBook version of This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing About This behind it, and clocks in the background.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 5 tablespoons sour cream
    • 4 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
    • 2 tablespoons finely diced assorted dried fruit (apricot, papaya, pineapple etc…)
    • 2 tablespoons finely diced candied ginger
    • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
    • ⅓ cup/ 5 oz good quality semi sweet chocolate broken into pieces (or you can use chips)

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°
    2. Heat the butter, sugar and flour in a pan over a medium heat, stirring continuously, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. It should be a caramel color.
    3. Gradually add in the sour cream, stirring continuously until well combined.
    4. Add in the almonds, dried fruit, candied ginger, and cranberries and mix well until combined and then take off the heat.
    5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (or a silicone mat) and place teaspoonfuls of the florentine mixture onto it. Space the teaspoonfuls out at 1" intervals so they don't merge together when heated.
    6. Transfer the florentines to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden-brown. You may need to slightly flatten them halfway through baking. 
    7. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool on the tray, then transfer the florentines to a cooling rack. (I put mine in front of an open window). The cookies won’t be hard but slightly pliable.
    8. Bring a little water to a simmer in a pan. Suspend a heatproof bowl over the water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water). Add the chocolate pieces and stir until smooth and melted.
    9. Gently turn over the florentines so that their flat side is facing upwards. Spread the melted chocolate over the florentine bases and set aside to cool and set.
    10. Cookies will be chewy and chocolatey. 

    Adapted from The Hairy Bikers recipe on BBC.co.UK

     

    Goblin Market Fruitcake Cookies

    by Jenny Baum of Jefferson Market Library

     

    "Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat,

    Cakes for dainty mouths to eat," —"Goblin Market" by Rossetti

     

    Inspired by the poem "Goblin Market" by Christina Rossetti

     

    Pre-Raphaelite Christina Rossetti's narrative poem tells of goblins selling tempting fruits. These fruitcake cookies entice with their abundance of candied fruits while playing on the contradictory nature of fruitcake. Is it universally loved or universally reviled?

     

    I made my own candied orange peel for the 1 lb mixed candied fruit and peel and instead of 3 cups all purpose flour I used almond flour, which made for a very soft, nutty cookie but probably changed the nutritional profile of the recipe a bit. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so it would be well suited for a holiday celebration.

    A glowing mound of fruitcake cookies with a treasure chest in the distance.

     

    Ingredients:

    • 1 ½ cups sugar
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 pound mixed candied fruit and peel
    • 3 cups chopped toasted walnuts
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
    An illustration from Goblin Market with the author photoshopped into it

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 300°.
    2. Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy.
    3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition then stir in vanilla. 
    4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to sugar mixture, beating until blended.
    5. Stir in candied fruit and peel, pecans, raisins, and cherries.
    6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 1 inch apart onto lightly greased baking sheets.
    7. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks (about 20 minutes).

    Children of the (Candy) Corn Cookies

    by Arieh Ress of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

    "Dusk deepened into night. Around Gatlin the corn rustled and whispered secretly. It was well pleased." —Children of the Corn

    Inspired by Children of the Corn by Stephen King

    I grew up on Stephen King's short stories, but my girlfriend hates horror. The movies, the books—all of it. But you know what she does like? Candy corn! It was at her suggestion that I attempted these tricky treats. The first batch exploded, and I ended up making my first cady glass, entirely by accident, and the resulting cookies were filling-yankingly sticky unless dunked in milk. I removed a lot of candy corn (originally I used 1½ cups) and made sure to take them out of the oven right at 9 minutes and they worked perfectly.

    Ingredients:

    Candycorn cookies with red icing in front of a field of corn with two scythes.
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup room temperature butter
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoon corn starch
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring
    • 1 cup candy corn

    Red Icing:

    • powdered sugar
    • milk
    • a few drops of corn syrup
    • 3 drops of red food dye

    Instructions:

    1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and brown sugar with a hand mixer until mixture is light and fluffy
    2. Add in vanilla and egg and blend
    3. Slowly add in flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt and mix until a soft, thick dough forms
    4. Add in candy corn and stir gently
    5. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer (prevents cookies from spreading when baking)
    6. Preheat oven to 350° F and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray
    7. Using your hands, roll a heaping tablespoon of the dough into small balls and place about an inch or more apart from each other
    8. VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure when forming each ball that there is not a piece of candy corn visible on the underside or the side of each ball (Candy corn showing on the top is fine). Any contact the candy corn has with the baking sheet will result in a puddle of baked liquid candy corn under each cookie. Covering any visible candy corn with a pinch of dough should help. My first batch was a terrible mess because a few candy corn were too close to the surface. 
    9. Bake for 8-10 minutes
    10. *Note: cookies may appear under-cooked when first removed from oven. Do NOT cook any longer—the cookies will continue to set while left to cool on the cookie sheet
    11. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving

    For the icing I mixed powdered sugar and milk with a little corn syrup to make it shinier and added a few drops of red food coloring to make it gory.

     

    Pleasureful Mocha Truffle Cookies

    by Jen Brinley of Parkchester Library

     

    Inspired by Mocha Pleasures by Pamela Yaye

    Is there any romance more perfect or delicious than that between chocolate and coffee? No, there really is not; however, Jackson Drayson and Grace Nicholas would make a delicious couple if they could just figure out how to overcome the personal and professional obstacles obstructing their mutual attraction. This sixth volume in The Draysons: Sprinkled With Love series delivers the character development, conflict resolution, steamy couplings, and tasty pastries you would expect between two heartbroken bakers who own and operate rival bakeries in Seattle.

    Ingredients:

    A plate of cookies in front of the book Mocha Pleasures by Pamela Yaye.
    • ½ cup margarine or butter
    • 1 ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces, separated into ½ cup and 1 cup
    • 1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    Instructions:

    1. In a large saucepan, melt margarine or butter and the ½ cup chocolate pieces over low heat.
    2. Remove from heat. Stir in coffee crystals until dissolved.
    3. Cool for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
    5. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
    6. Stir into coffee mixture.
    7. Stir in the 1 cup chocolate pieces.
    8. Drop by the tablespoonful onto greased baking sheets.
    9. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

       

    Lemon Ricotta Tart

    by Jenny Baum of Jefferson Market Library

    In Murder in Chianti: A Tuscan Mystery by Camilla Trinchieri, detective Nico Doyle attempts this tart, decides it is too bland and feeds it to his dog, OneWag. Hopefully citrus will elevate it. There are many whole wheat cornetti consumed in this book, set in Tuscan wine country.

    Camilla Trinchieri used to work dubbing films in Rome with directors including Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. She also writes mysteries under the pseudonym Camilla Crespi.

     

    Some commenters suggested that it needed more sugar, but I thought it was delicious as is.

    Ingredients:

     A Tuscan Mystery by Camilla Trinchieri
    • 72 vanilla wafers (from a 12-ounce box)
    • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted 
    • 2 cups ricotta cheese
    • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
    • 2 large eggs
    • ⅓ cup granulated sugar or ½ if you like it sweeter
    • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
    • Confectioners sugar, for dusting (optional)

    ​Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven 375°.
    2. In a food processor, pulse vanilla wafers until finely ground (to yield 2 cups).
    3. Add butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened.
    4. Transfer crumb mixture to a 3.5-inch tart pans with a removable bottom.
    5. Press firmly into the bottom and up the sides.
    6. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake crust until lightly browned and set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven.
    7. In clean food processor, blend ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, granulated sugar, and lemon zest and juice until smooth.
    8. Pour into hot crust in pan; bake until filling is set and browned in spots, 20 to 24 minutes.
    9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    10. Just before serving, dust top of tart with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

    Store leftover mini lemon tarts in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend freezing them and the crust will get soggy as they thaw. 

     

    Thank you to all our bakers and brainstormers! 

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

    If you bake some of these recipes, don't forget to snap some photos and use the hashtag #CookieLit when you post.

    See you next year with more recipes!