Sometimes the memory of a favorite childhood food is better than the reality.
My mom used to make something that I, as a child, dubbed “cookie candy.” It is baked in a square or oblong pan and consists of a cookie layer topped with a meringue and brown sugar mixture and baked all together.
I remember the large oblong pan of this treat, setting on the kitchen counter cooling for dessert. When it was finally served, I relished biting into the two layers and letting the flavor combinations, mostly of sugar, explode in my mouth.
A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out the recipe and baked a small pan. First I forgot to beat the egg whites seaparately from the brown sugar for the topping, so it did not come out as thick as it should have. Second, I did not spread the topping all the way to the edge, which caused the cookie layer to sink in the middle and emerge from the topping around the edge of the pan. And last, my tastes have changed. As a ten year old, sugar was probably my favorite flavor. As an adult who tries to eat healthful food most of the time, “cookie candy” was just too sweet for my taste.
I may try the recipe again, and maybe not. Maybe it is better in my memory, or maybe my mom just knew how to do it better.
Here is the recipe, in case anyone wants to try it:
½ c. shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Mix in order given. Spread ½ in. thick in shallow pan.
1 egg white
1 c. light brown sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
¾ c. walnuts, chopped
Beat egg white. Fold in sugar, add vanilla. Spread over first layer. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake in moderate oven (350˚) about 30 min.