As Halloween approaches, I am thinking about ways to embellish great family recipes for this spooky time of year! Many specifically themed baking ideas require too much sticky store-bought icing or food colouring, in hopes of creating that seasonal thrill. The results aren’t always as tasty as they are cute.
Today, I am sharing a vintage recipe for delicious Yo-Yo Cookies, which has been enjoyed by my family since the early fifties. The jam-filled centres create the perfect contrast for this not-too-sweet cookie.
Over the years, I have formed this recipe into caterpillars, spiders, and assorted other creatures. Honestly, the icing embellished caterpillar made a lovely centrepiece, but my grandchildren preferred the spiders. They pulled out the shoestring liquorice legs and enjoyed the familiar taste of grandma’s Yo-Yo cookies.
I hope this recipe inspires you to recreate some of your favourite dishes, for Halloween or any season. Its never too soon to start putting spooky treats in the crypt…I mean…the freezer.
1 cup of butter and lard/shortening mixed (I use 1/2 cup of each)
1 cup of brown sugar (packed)
⅓ cup of liquid honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 ½ cups of sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of soda
Mix butter, sugar, and eggs, thoroughly, together. Stir in honey and vanilla. Mix the flour with the soda and add it to the butter mixture.
Chill the dough, several hours or overnight, until firm.
Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350° F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until touching the top of a cookie, leaves almost no imprint.
When slightly cooled, sandwich the cookies together with the jam of your choice.
I measure the dough using a one-tablespoon scoop, so I can make cookies that are uniform in size. Use a variety of jams; clean up partial jars from your fridge. The original recipe called for apricot jam, but my husband likes strawberry best.
I tried baking on a Silpat, for the first time, ever, this week. I loved the results. Keep in mind, that these cookies are also excellent when baked on a plain, ungreased cookie sheet.
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