When I watched my Grandma Edith make cookies for the first time, I knew I was hooked.
We are Swedes, ok Grandma was a full-blooded Swede, and myself a mere .25. Our family tree on my Mom’s side kind looks like it was doing great, chugging along back a few generations, then on one side (my Maternal Grandfather) it just sort of….stops.
The story was (in 1917) that all of his birth records were destroyed in a Courthouse fire before his adoption when he was five years old. So he remembers being in and out of foster homes, and ultimately being adopted by a couple at the tender age of five.
And while his adoptive Father suffered a stroke, his Mother loved him dearly, and their business success provided a lavish lifestyle for a little boy who must have pinched himself every once in a while to make sure it was all real.
But the hard knocks of his first five years were tough to undo, and the sweet little boy who surely would marry the Doctor’s daughter had a different idea for his future. Her name was Edith and he wouldn’t meet her for a few years. He had to run off at 17, work his way on the trains to Colorado, and learn how to break wild horses first. Then join the Marine Corps, and say yes to a buddy’s offer of a blind double date in Seattle.
And the rest, as they say, was history. Six weeks later he was a husband, and had chosen a beautiful Swedish girl whose parents had both immigrated to the US from Sweden before they met and she was born. But under that excellent posture, and heart that had no end, was one smart lady. He finally was where he was supposed to be.
Don’t worry, the story doesn’t end there, there’s a whole lot more and 59 years of marriage that happened after that. Duke and Edith are who this blog of mine is named after. You can read more about that here. But in their first few years of marriage, one thing became very apparent.
Duke had a sweet tooth, and Grandma could pinch a nickel, so she watched her budget and they always had enough change (even during the Great Depression) for a hot cup of coffee and a fresh doughnut. Probably from their favorite doughnut shop in Seattle by Pike Place Market. I hope they are still open.
Well over the years, they moved to a small town to build a home and start a family. And while Grandpa’s sweet tooth endured, he found creative ways to satisfy it. Like his very toasted toast with a huge scoop of strawberry jam on top.
Not too far from a jelly filled doughnut in a pinch. I call these Duke’s Jam Cookies, I hope you like them as much as we do…
Duke’s Jam Cookies
makes 1 to 1.5 dozen cookies
- 12 T. of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 2 cups of flour or gluten free flour blend
- dash of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups of flaked, sweetened coconut
- 2/3 cup jam (not jelly) I like to use Strawberry
Preheat oven to 350* and blend softened butter with sugar in a medium mixing bowl, add vanilla salt, and flour, until mixture resembles large crumbs. Use about 2 T. of dough, and roll into a ball. Lightly dip and roll in egg, and roll in coconut until coated well. Place each cookie on your ungreased cookie sheet, and make a small well in the top of each. Fill each indentation with about 1/2 t. of jam, and bake for about 15-20 minutes until coconut is golden and toasted in some areas.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten via the Food Network
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to waxed paper to cool completely.
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