Home cooking: Walnut cookie

February 07, 2012

Brant Ridenour of Hagerstown entered this walnut cookie recipe in The Herald-Mail's 2011 Cookie Exchange contest.

"I retired from the Maryland Correctional Institute 2 1/2 years ago after 33 years. I don't cook a lot," he said. "But since I retired  I've dabbled in it and other things to keep busy.

This recipe has been in Ridenour's family since the late 1800s or early 1900s.

"It's from Edith (Ridenour) Baker, my great-aunt. She and my great-uncle, Ed Baker, raised my dad," he said.

"My mother used to bake a lot, but in 1963 I was diagnosed with diabetes. So a lot of baking stopped in the family," he said.

Ridenour said he usually doesn't use many recipes. "I cook by sight. My mother-in-law, Marge Bodkin, is a great help and inspiration to me."

Rideour decided to enter his walnut cookie recipe he entered during the 2011 cookie exchange. "I got the recipe from my father. My mother is in a nursing home," he said.

"When I dropped off the cookie at The Herald-Mail, I said, 'This is a plain-looking cookie, but it has a pretty good taste.'"

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor

Walnut cookies

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

Cut 1 tablespoon butter off a stick and discard. Melt remaining butter in pan over low heat, or melt in microwave. Let butter cool a little.

Combine melted butter and brown sugar, then add eggs. Mix thoroughly.

In separate bowl, blend baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour.

Blend together flour mixture and sugar mixture. Dough should be stiff. Add walnuts and mix thoroughly. If dough is sticky, add additional flour bit by bit.

Form two rolls 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Cool in refrigerator overnight.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice cookie dough about 1/2-inch thick and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.

— Courtesy of Brant Ridenour of Hagerstown

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