My grown son is now in his own condo and this collection of recipes I called, Dearest Michael were written when he was younger as you will see by my references, as a gift to him for this very moment.
Whether you read them for the story or the recipe, know that they were written as a tribute to the many people who have influenced my kitchen, my cooking and my notion of family.
I share this recipe in the hope that you will make these for Valentine's Day or any special occassion when more glamorous cookies are called for.
I was fortunate to have two very loving and involved Grandmothers in my life college educated in the late 1930s and two of my favorite humans in the entire world. They were avid readers, musicians, culture seekers, writers and they both loved to cook and bake. Perhaps this is where I got my curiosity for all of these wonderful topics.
I was also fortunate to have two ethnic backgrounds. On my Father’s side, my Grandmother Isabelle was born and raised Jewish, both of her parents came from Russia in the early 1900s. On my Mother's side, my Grandmother, Kitsie’s side, her Grandparents made their way from Germany and possibly France, and landed in the Midwest. South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. I love that I have this unique mix in my soul.
My brother and I would get to go to our Grandparent’s house in Boston every Christmas and we would also get to have Hanukkah with our other set of Grandparents.
My mother converted and was really the main reason why my brother and I were raised Jewish. She loved Judaism and still does. Her influence on me was integral in the way my former husband and I collaboratively chose to raise our son.
My son, in turn had this happen in his world too as Dave, his dad was mostly Portuguese Catholic and it was very easy for me to navigate the varying homes as this was how I was raised.
So it was Latkes and Kugel for Hanukkah and some type of seafood, Au Gratin potatoes and Lime jello mold for Christmas among many many other delicious dishes.
We loved going to Boston for Christmas. My Grandmother, Kitsie was famous for her Christmas cookies. She would bake them way ahead of time and freeze them. They were as delicious straight from the freezer as they were thawed too and we grew to rely on the tins making their way to us every holiday season.
My aunt and I started the ritual of replicating the recipes the Friday after Thanksgiving and did this pretty consistently for about 7 or 8 years.
We lost the momentum probably because of Covid, and these days baking in this abundance just doesn’t capture my interest like it used to.
Recipes tell stories through their ingredients. In this one, Gold Medal Flour is named specifically, making me think that it likely came from a recipe pamphlet at some point put out by the Gold Medal Flour Company.
The note on the card in italics stating the origin of this recipe is so telling of the times especially where it ended up. And next to the name Cream Wafer has the supposed Swedish name in italics, Pariserwafier. I looked it up on Google and it did show as Swedish Cookies but maybe it is years of baking folklore.
Mrs. G.C. Olson, of Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota brought this recipe with her from Sweden when she came to this country as a bride. Minnesota was a landing place for the Netherlands, Sweden and Germans and its food and light hair and skinned people when my grandmother was growing up were dominant.
I have 2 neighbors from Sweden and was very excited to bring them these cookies one year along with the notation and was disappointed to learn that they had never seen or heard of them. So maybe Gold Medal made it up to give it more of an exotic flavor.
The recipes though, are tried and true and one in particular is delicious and looks so pretty that it is hard to skip. They are called Cream Wafers and are bite size like all good Christmas cookies. There is no way you can eat just one. I worship a recipe that looks like you spent hours with elaborate ingredients and process, but really under it all, it is a really easy one.
Cream Wafers fall into this category. They have 3 ingredients for the wafers and only 4 for the filling. The only time consuming part is spreading the filling and making the little sandwiches out of them, but when they are finished, they are a big hit with any recipient lucky to get them.
There are some old standbys for cookies this time of year. Russian tea cakes, peanut butter with the Hershey kiss firmly planted in the center, French lace cookies to name a few, but I have never seen these cream wafers show up in any tins besides my Grandmothers and now mine and my aunts.
I Love You. Love Mom
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Cream Wafers Cookies
These cookies are part of a collection of cookies my Grandmother Ktisie would make every holiday. I think they are great year round and are unusual, easy and elegant.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
My aunt and I usually double this recipe because it is so good!
- 1 C softened butter
- 1/3 C whipping cream
- 2 cups Gold Medal Flour ( I am writing the recipe exactly as it appeared on the card, I imagine any flour similar to Gold Medal will work.
- Some granulated sugar for rolling the dough in.
CREAMY BUTTER FILLING
My Aunt and I usually double this recipe for one batch for a more filled cookie.
BLEND THE FOLLOWING using a mixer:
- 1/4 C of soft salted butter
- 3/4 C sifted confectionery sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 t vanilla
The recipe gives the option of adding a couple drops of pink or green food coloring. We have never done this.
WHAT TO COOK WITH
There is nothing like bringing joy into your kitchen with some great baking items. I have been loving Great Jones products lately. They are a really fun company and have some excellent products.
Just the Holy Sheet name alone made me want to replace my old baking sheets and I ordered one promptly. My only question is why did it take so long for someone to come up with this fun name? Leave it to Great Jones! I love the idea of multi colored baking sheets and I use baking sheets for way more than baking.
I was looking at my oven mitts the other day, thinking that it was time to purchase some new ones and came upon these delights from Kitchen Aid. Happy colors too. Love these vintage pink helpers in the kitchen.
If you love this blog, please share it with someone you love too, recipes like a good meal are meant to be shared.