Such a sad day when I learned of Sheila Lukins death. Her first cookbook, The Silver Palate Cookbook, became one of the bibles in my kitchen, and I will always be grateful to her, and Julee Rosso, for their inspired cooking.
My children will remember the cookies: the infinitely variable chocolate-chip, the moist and chewy oatmeal-raisin, the meltingly tender Linzer Hearts. But the cookbook was so much more. It brought fresh, herby lushness to even beginner cooks. The recipes always worked, and always tasted delicious. I've given it to everyone from college bound students who have never cooked, to young marrieds, to bewildered suddenly solos. Just read the chapters: finger food, crudites, savoury meats, baking in foil, pasta perfect, sunday night soups, catch of the day, the charcuterie board, cheese & breads, the brunch bunch, significant salads, essentially chocolate, and on and on. The only wish I had for the book was a sturdier spine ; when I bought a new edition in 2007, the pages began falling out almost immediately.
When I briefly ran the kitchen in a Carmelite monastery, what was the only cookbook on the shelf there? Yes, it was Silver Palate . When the new chef took over, I remember several monks cornering me in the kitchen and pleading with me to deliver their beloved oatmeal cookies and lemon cakes on the sly.
Here are those Oatmeal Cookies:
(from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
12 T. unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 extra large egg
2 T. water
1 t. vanilla
2/3 cup King Arthur flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
3 cups rolled oats ( they specified quick cooking oats, but I prefer the rolled oats)
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line two baking sheets with foil.
Cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy.
Add the egg and beat.
Mix in the water and vanilla.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda and mix in.
Add the oats and raisins and mix well.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop cookie batter onto sheets, 6 to a sheet ( this should make between 10-12 giant cookies)
Gently press down on each scoop of batter to slightly flatten.
Bake sheets one at a time, for 17 minutes each.
Remove to cool.
Enjoy - and a final loving wave to Sheila.........