April 2007: Carin's New Mexican Sweet Dream Cookies

Sandy in the kitchen
Sandy, our new food editor, with her daughter and friends

I am excited about the prospect of creating a way for communities to share recipes and ideas for making common meals fun and easy. This column is a starting place. With it I hope to share tried-and-true recipes that work for common meals. In addition to the recipe you see here, we are asking you for your community’s favorite recipes for use in this column and eventually for use in an official Coho/US common meals cookbook. We have also set up a chat group you can join. The chat group is where those interested can discuss kitchen set-up, meal plans or any other aspect of common meal cooking and dining.

With this first recipe I want to give you a little taste of my life. I have three kids. Kids love cookies. They love to bake as well as eat them. I live in a community where contrasts abound. People are different, and the blending of our differences makes something sweet and special. This recipe contains something sweet, something salty and something spicy – like my community. It is from my neighbor across the path, Carin Garcia, who owns Exquisite Catering and is a fabulous cook. I have made these cookies for many common meals and there are never any left over. So if you want to take out a couple for the mail lady, you had better do it beforehand. Try these for your next common meal and watch the smiles appear on young and old alike!

Carin's New Mexican Sweet Dream Cookies
Makes about 5 dozen medium-sized cookies

1 cup butter
1–1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (or 3/4 cup maple syrup)
1 egg
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon New Mexican (or other) red powdered chili
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup pinon nuts (or walnuts) chopped (optional)
1 12-ounce package of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon Mexican (or other) vanilla
Confectioners sugar

Cream the butter, add brown sugar and egg, and beat well. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, spices and chili and blend well. Combine dry ingredients with the butter mixture. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Add vanilla. Chill for 2–3 hours. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in the confectioners sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8–10 minutes.

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