I’ve made two kinds of cookies for my mother and this year’s Mother’s Day, the first that she can hide in her room because it’s a crispy, buttery bit of goodness which stores a bit longer than the softer cookies. She’s been hiding sweets that she doesn’t want to share for as long as I can remember and she’s not about to stop doing it, so I prepare for it when I bake and mail goodies to her. This year she’ll hide the Fennel Butter Cookies, which are made with granulated sugar infused with fennel seeds, having been tossed about now and then in a jar for about a year. It’s a delicate rather than overwhelming flavor after the seeds have been strained from the sugar rather than left in. It’s bite, crunch, bite, crunch.
The second, Ranch Cookies, are meant for her to share. They’re an old family favorite from the late Evie Vinson, the mother of a bunch of boys (now great-grandfathers, for sure) who lived in Trout Creek, Montana near my stepfather’s family ranch. (I heard that the Vinson boys had to ride a bear the 27 miles to Thompson’s Falls in order to buy the rice cereal for these cookies. It might be a tall tale.) I suspect that Mother hasn’t had these cookies in years, but I don’t know. I personally haven’t made them in over 25 years and I love the combo of Deglet dates, oatmeal and crispy rice which makes a dense and chewy cookie with some health benefits.
As for my Mother’s Day, it will feature a Skype call with my daughter in London and watching the Spanish Formula 1 race DVR’d on the telly. Maybe I’ll have a Ranch Cookie with tea, too.