Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Celebrate Carl Sandburg's Birthday with a Million Dollar Cookie

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door, 
leaving those who look through 
to guess about what is seen during the moment.
by Carl Sandburg

American poet Carl Sandburg was also a folklorist, novelist and historian. Carl Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878, in Galesburg, Illinois. He fought in the Spanish-American War. In 1913, he moved to Chicago to work as a journalist. In 1914, his poetry was published in Poetry magazine. His well-received free verse poetry focused on American workers. 
Through the years Sandburg composed his poetry primarily in free verse. Concerning rhyme versus non-rhyme Sandburg once said airily: "If it jells into free verse, all right. If it jells into rhyme, all right."
His range of interests was enumerated by his close friend, Harry Golden, who, in his study of the poet, called Sandburg "the one American writer who distinguished himself in five fields—poetry, history, biography, fiction, and music."

In the twenties, he started some of his most ambitious projects, including his study of Abraham Lincoln. From childhood, Sandburg loved and admired the legacy of President Lincoln. For thirty years he sought out and collected material, and gradually began the writing of the six-volume definitive biography of the former president. The twenties also saw Sandburg's collections of American folklore, the ballads in "The American Songbag" and "The New American Songbag" (1950), and several books for children. These later volumes contained pieces collected from brief tours across America which Sandburg took each year, playing his banjo or guitar, singing folk-songs, and reciting poems.

He won a Pulitzer Prize for his book "Abraham Lincoln: The War Years" and a second Pulitzer Prize for his "Complete Poems " in 1950. His final volumes of verse were "Harvest Poems,"1910-1960 (1960) and "Honey and Salt" (1963). Carl Sandburg died in 1967.

Urban Legends
An urban myth is a modern folk tale, its origins unknown, its believability enhanced simply by the frequency with which it is repeated. This signature chocolate chip cookie is the subject of one such myth. If you haven't heard the story, we’ll put an end to it here. If you have, the recipe below should serve to refute it. Copy it, print it, or pass it along to friends and family. It's a terrific recipe. And it's absolutely free.
The $250 Cookie Recipe
A woman and her daughter had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas and decided to have a small dessert. Because her family was had such a love for cookies they decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus Cookie." It was so excellent that the customer asked if NM would share the recipe, and the waitress said with a small frown, "I'm afraid not." The customer then asked if she could buy the recipe. With a cute smile, the waitress replied, "yes" and said the recipe would cost "two fifty." The customer requested that it be added to her tab.
Thirty days later, the customer received her credit card statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. She had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf, but noticed that at the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00." The customer was upset and called Neiman's Accounting Department stating that the waitress said the recipe was "two fifty," and not $250.00. She asked them to take back the recipe and reduce the bill. The Accounting Department said they were sorry for the inconvenience but that the customer’s bill would remain as charged because they wanted the recipe to be something that was special and not afforded by all.
The woman decided to share the cookie recipe with the world so that no one would ever have to pay $250.00. 
This recipes makes about 2 dozen cookies.
Cook's notes: Well when I read about this recipe I decided "I was in." for this one. My biggest reservation was cooking cookies at such a low temperature for so long. But I forged ahead and they turned out FANTASTIC but for some will probably never replace their first love traditional Nestles Chocolate Chip Cookies. I would highly recommend trying this recipe. 
  • ½ cup (one stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 TB. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate or bittersweet chunk chips (62% cacao)
  • 1 ½ tsp. instant espresso coffee powder
  • optional chopped walnuts
  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a bowl and beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla for 2 minutes until  well combined.
  • In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer, while beating on slow speed., Beat for about 15 seconds, stir in the chocolate chips and espresso powder, and mix for 15 seconds longer.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare a cookie sheet with about 2 tablespoons of shortening (or use a non-stick spray). Using a 1-ounce scoop, or using a 2 tablespoon measure, drop the cookie dough onto the cookie sheet in dollops about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into 2-inch circles; there should be room on the sheet of six or eight cookies at a time. Transfer to the oven in batches and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until the cookies are nicely browned around the edges. It makes a crispy cookie. YUM!

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