exploring, preserving: past, present

Baking is Good Therapy – 14 Dozen Chocolate Lady Fingers

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Baking is definitely therapeutic for me. It’s something I’ve been doing for three decades, and there is a familiar pattern of preparing ingredients, contemplating adjustments to tried-and-true recipes, waiting and watching for baking to complete, smelling familiar smells in the house…. Smells, motions, recipes all have so many memories tied to them.

On Friday I baked 14 dozen chocolate lady fingers. This is one of those “tried and true” recipes handed down from my mother who got it from her family, but origin is long forgotten. The original recipe is one of those “bake in a moderate oven until done” oldies-but-goodies. I’ve baked it often enough that I’ve finally written down the best temperature and time for baking (provided in brackets in the recipe below). It’s also one of those “makes anywhere from 12 dozen to 20 dozen cookies” recipes (depending on the size of the cookie cutter used). Though it’s quite possible/easy to cut the recipe in half, I never have. It’s tradition, tied to memories with my mother. Baking with mom always came with wonderful conversations filled with her own childhood memories. Memories of memories.

I provide the lady finger recipe with original measurements of ingredients and instructions. You will also note that the recipe is brief in its description (no details on what to add, whether to whip eggs or not). Really, it’s also tradition just to “dump” all the ingredients into one big bowl and mix. Works well every time. The first instruction, “make a soft dough”, refers to some flexibility with the amount of flour depending on humidity. In dry, cold Canadian winters, the 6 1/2 cups of flour is the perfect amount as long as you’re sprinkling flour on your countertop during rolling. Too much flour and the cookies become tough and dry.

lady fingers

These cookies are good iced with a very simple icing (icing sugar and water), or you can mix up icing sugar, a bit of milk, and a little vanilla for flavour. I would encourage you to simply taste the cookie without any icing as the cocoa and cinnamon in this recipe are distinct in both the smell and flavour of it, enjoyable without any embellishment.

Chocolate Lady Fingers
2/3 cup honey
3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup cocoa
1 cup cream
1 cup margarine
2/3 cup milk
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
6 1/2 cups flour

Make a soft dough. Roll out – not too thin – and cut in fingers. Bake in moderate oven (350) until done (8-10 minutes, make sure cookie is still soft to touch). Ice.


Author: tjthiessen

explorer, administrator, consultant, student, leader

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