Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Half hour cookies

Jerry Stratton, January 28, 2003

From start to finish, you can be eating the first batch of these crunchy, sweet cookies in just under half an hour, using ingredients that, if you bake at all, you almost certainly already have on hand.

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tblsp yogurt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Beat the eggs with the vanilla and yogurt.
  3. Mix the flour, spices, and sugar.
  4. Cream the butter with the flour.
  5. Mix the eggs with the flour.
  6. Flatten onto cookie sheet with wet fork.
  7. Bake for six to eight minutes at 400 degrees.

It helps to have a food processor. You can modify the spices however you wish. Any good baking spices should be fine. I’ve used coriander and anise to great effect. You might also try adding pine nuts or chopped nuts on the top before baking.

The dough can be saved in the fridge for a day or two and baked in small batches as needed.

December 20, 2006: Half-hour lemon cookies

Half-hour cookies continue to be versatile. Over this holiday weekend I decided to try some lemon cookies and they went over very well. Replace the vanilla with lemon juice, and replace the allspice with grated lemon zest.

The result is a much subtler cookie, crunchy with a hint of lemon.

You can also flatten the cookies with a sugared glass instead of a wet fork. Put a bunch of granulated sugar in a bowl, and find a tall drinking glass (glass works best) with a flat bottom. Rub the bottom of the glass in the sugar. Flatten the cookie with the glass. Continue re-coating the bottom of the glass with sugar for each cookie.

Be careful flattening the first cookie, because the glass won’t pick up much sugar until it has been dampened. You’re likely to get the cookie stuck to the bottom of the glass if you push too hard.

April 28, 2006: Chocolate half-hour cookies

Last night I had the urge for chocolate, and the only chocolate I had on hand was powdered cocoa. Half-hour cookies are great as chocolate cookies: replace the cinnamon and allspice with four tablespoons of cocoa.

They’d probably be even better if you add the cocoa in addition to the spices.

Despite the significant additional powder, the recipe didn’t seem to require any extra yogurt or butter, but you might add a half-tablespoon extra butter or yogurt if it starts coming out too dry.

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