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Drop cookies a fast track to smiles

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Having a bad day? Have a cookie. Want to put smiles on your co-workers' faces? Bring in a plate of cookies. You've been asked to donate to the bake sale? Make cookies.


Now we're not making light of the fact most cookies are high in fat and calories --Kitchen Mailbox certainly doesn't want to give the impression that we turn up our noses at the food pyramid. Having said that, we think it's OK to indulge once in a while.

So today we give you two cookie recipes. They're easy, as well as delicious. Great Peanut Butter Cookies and Sesame Cookies are drop cookies. Drop cookies are just about the easiest cookies to make. Drop cookies involve nothing more than dropping dough (usually from a spoon) onto a cookie sheet. Your cookie jar will never be empty once you taste these cookies!

This recipe comes to us from Donna Mattys of McCandless.


1 cup peanut butter (plain or chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Beat together peanut butter and sugar. Add egg and baking soda, mix well.

Roll dough into balls and place one inch apart on cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with a fork using a criss-cross pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

Yields: about 4 dozen cookies depending on size.

Flo Buczkowski of Glenshaw wrote to us seeking a recipe for a cookie that has a slight oval shape. It's similar to a shortbread cookie and has sesame seeds on top.

Amy Klarer of Bethel Park supplied us with this recipe.


3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup shortening
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 cup sesame seeds

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut shortening into dry mixture. Add beaten eggs and milk and mix well. Break off pieces and roll into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll in sesame seeds. Place about 1/2 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes until light brown.

Note: We made our cookies about the size of a walnut. Our yield was about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.


Over the years, Kitchen Mailbox has had numerous requests for recipes from Dudt's Bakery, especially for its icing. We've printed recipes that were similar to Dudt's and always stressed they were facsimiles but not the real thing. In the Aug. 2 Kitchen Mailbox, we had yet another request for a Dudt's recipe. The former bakery owner and son of John Dudt read the request and sent us this e-mail:

"This is in response to Nancy Thompson Handler's request for a recipe for my father's buttercream icing. During my 35-year ownership of the bakery, I made tons of it. While there are several recipes that are floating around that claim to be authentic, they are false. John Dudt's buttercream cannot be duplicated with grocery store ingredients. It cannot even be made commercially as it was originally, due to government-forced changes, suppliers that are no longer in business, cost factors et cetera. There are, however, four bakeries in the Pittsburgh area that produce a similar product."

David H. Dudt

Former owner, John Dudt Bakery

Here are the bakeries that Dudt refers to:

P.J. Dudt Bakery, Duncan Manor, Allison Park, 412-366-1733.

H.D. Dudt Bakery, Viola Shopping Center, Wexford, 724-935-4030.

Bethel Bakery, Brightwood Road, Bethel Park, 412-835-6658.

Just the Best Bakery, Route 80, Robinson, 412-787-1622.

Donna Gazda of New Sewickley requested a recipe for frozen yogurt from the former Yogurt Experience in Oakland. Here's a response from Lenore Light:

"I am the former owner of the Yogurt Experience in Oakland, 1977-89. Of course I was very pleased to see the request for the yogurt recipe after all these years. Our soft-frozen yogurt came packaged in frozen liquid form in five-quart containers from local distributors who carried Columbo Yogurt. It was not made by us, but defrosted, then put into our machines, which mixed it with water and turned it into wonderful-tasting soft frozen yogurt.

"Of course, the sophisticated machines we used (Taylor Machines) are probably still available if Donna is asking for business purposes."

Lenore Light


Joan Williams of Pinehurst, N.C., writes: "I am looking for an appetizer recipe using saltine crackers. It is not a cookie, but has some type of cheese and spices and is crisp. It looks as though the crackers were placed on a cookie sheet and covered with a thin layer of cheese and maybe cayenne pepper, then baked. They were delicious -- help!"

A request from Christina Costain of West View: "I'm searching for a recipe for Italian Onion Soup. Asiago in One Oxford [Downtown] serves it and it tastes unbelievable -- like a pizza in a bowl." Can anyone help?

Len Sciullo of Freedom: "I would like to challenge your department to find a most elusive recipe that I have been searching for, but always come up empty. The recipe is for an old A&P Grocery Store item called Spanish Bar Cake. It was made for A&P by a bakery called Ann Page Bakery. When A&P moved out of the area, the product left with them and other similar cakes on the market just do not come close." How about it, readers?

A.C. Dougherty of Scott: "I am looking for a recipe for sweet and sour beef that my mother-in-law made many years ago."

Helen McKeown would like a recipe for deviled eggs mixed with shredded cucumbers. Helen doesn't recall if the recipe was seen in the Post-Gazette or another paper.

We misinterpreted L.A. Johnson's recipe for Mexican Meat Bean Dip in last's week Kitchen Mailbox. The recipe called for 4 ounces each of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses. The recipes should have read 2 to 4 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese and Cheddar cheese. We followed the recipe as it read in the column and it was a huge success with our guests -- the addition of more cheese will only make this dip better. Oh, and extra sour cream and salsa may be served on the side.

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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