Posts Tagged ‘May Baskets’

Cookie Emergency

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Uh oh!
I realized a couple of days ago that the month was fast a-waning and I hadn’t yet published a “Twelve Cookies of Christmas” recipe for April.
So I had to make cookies. Naturally, my family was devastated. Nevertheless, we valiantly forced ourselves to eat them.
I recently ordered some cinnamon mini-chips from King Arthur Flour for making scones (that recipe will be posted next week). I threw some into a basic cookie recipe.
The resulting treats were lovely. The chips are so tiny that the cinnamon flavor is a bit subtle—but I love subtle! Next time I may try them in oatmeal cookies.
This version would make a tasty addition to any May Basket you might be planning to deliver to a special someone on Saturday!
Cinnamon Chip Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (I used half all-purpose and half white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cinnamon mini-chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cream together the butter and the sugars. Beat in the egg and mix thoroughly.
Beat in the baking soda and salt; then stir in the flour, followed by the vanilla and the chips.
Drop teaspoons of dough onto an ungreased (or parchment covered) cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies brown around the edges.
Makes about 20 cookies. This recipe may be doubled.

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Now Is the Month of Maying

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
A May Basket

A May Basket

May is getting ready to show off its lawns strewn with daffodils and its doorways decked with lilac blossoms. Of course, we can’t be 100 percent sure we’re through with snow in western Massachusetts; a couple of years ago we saw the white stuff on Memorial Day weekend. Nevertheless, there’s a general consensus among the robins, gardeners, and ladybugs that spring has arrived at last.


The first holiday we celebrate is of course May Day, May 1. When I was in graduate school (where I had Marxist leanings) May Day was a serious time devoted to discussions of flaws in the capitalist system. Back home in Hawley it’s a more cheerful day on which older residents recall the delightful tradition of delivering May baskets to neighbors.


Hawleyites over 60 have told me that they used to hang May baskets on friends’ doorways not only on May Day but throughout the month of May. They sought out early flowers and baked special treats to deliver in their small, hand-decorated baskets. Each evening the May basket deliveries were a source of play, creativity, and fellowship.

To them, the May basket tradition evokes a time when schools were located in neighborhoods around town and when Hawley seemed to enjoy more community spirit in town as a result. They know they can’t go back to that educational system (as the current headlines attest, schools are becoming more rather than less consolidated). Nevertheless, they recall the tradition with fondness.


I like to deliver May baskets myself, at least on a minor scale. I’m hopeless at decorating the baskets, but I can pick flowers and make treats like a pro. My recipe for this special day is for tiny lime cookies that burst with spring flavor. It comes from King Arthur Flour. (So do some of its signature ingredients.)


Even if readers don’t have enough days left to order the ingredients for this May Day, I hope they’ll take a little time to gather a bouquet or make something tasty for a special neighbor. This tradition can still build community in the 21st century.

My neighbor Alice samples a cookie.

My neighbor Alice samples a cookie.

Little Lime Cookies


If you’d like to order the lime powder and oil required for this recipe, give KAF a call at 1-800- 827-6836. You can probably do without the lime powder (although your cookies will have less lime kick!), but the oil is strong and useful.




for the cookies:


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) sweet butter at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons lime powder (available from King Arthur Flour)

1/2 teaspoon lime oil (available from King Arthur Flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour


for the topping:


3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons lime powder



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, waxed paper, or a silicone mat.


First, make the cookies. In a bowl, combine the butter, confectioner’s sugar, lime powder, lime oil, and salt. They need not be beaten heavily; just mix them together with a spoon. Stir in the flour.


Form the cookies into 20 small balls using a cookie scoop or the palms of your hands. Shaping the rounds is a little tricky as the dough can be crumbly, but perseverance pays off!


Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet and pop them into the oven. Bake the cookies for 17 to 18 minutes, until they are set and lightly brown around the edges. While they are in the oven mix together the sugar and lime powder for the topping.


After a minute or two remove the cookies from the sheets. King Arthur Flour provides two different methods for the topping. The method I used was to roll the cookies in the topping while still warm, then roll them again after they had cooled.  You may also roll them only once about 10 minutes after they come out of the oven.


Serve when cool. Makes 20 cookies (more if you’re good at shaping them into really tiny balls!)

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This little May Basket was made by the late Judith Russell.

This little May Basket was made by the late Judith Russell.