I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Afternoon Dunks With Peepa

My grandfather (Peepa) was a “Dunker” he loved dunking everything in his cup of coffee, he’d even dunk his morning toast. When I was little I would sit with him while he had his afternoon coffee and cookie and want very much to imitate him. My grandmother (Meema) would bring me a cup of milk with 2 or 3 teaspoons of coffee in it, this way I could be all grown up and have coffee and cookies with my grandfather. Peepa’s favorite cookies to dunk were Meema’s “Italian Sesame Cookies”; he liked them because they were hard and stood up well to being submerged in his hot coffee. Needless to say the seeds would be floating on the top when he was done dunking but that did not stop him from drinking every last drop. I on the other hand developed early on the inability to drink any liquid with “Things” floating in it, to this day I still cannot drink my cereal milk and everyone says that’s the best part. My grandfather would always try to get me to drink what was in my cup telling me how good it is and it would be a shame to waste it. Then my grandfather would completely gross me out by drinking what was left of mine but that never kept me from my afternoon dunks with Peepa.

Meema’s Italian Sesame Seed Cookies

2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
Into bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add egg yolks, milk and vanilla; with fork, mix until dough holds together. Knead several times, or until smooth.
For each cookie, shape rounded tablespoonful of dough into an oval, to resemble little loaf of bread. Roll in sesame seeds, coating completely. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until brown. Let cool on wire rack, this recipe should make around 2 dozen cookies.

These cookies are also good with wine.


CB said...

What a great memory of your grandpa.
I too can not drink my ceral milk, even watching my daughter drink it grosses me out.

Julie said...

Thanks CB, I use to think that I was an odd duck but I'm finding out that there are quite a few people that can't drink their cereal milk.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Julie, lovely story!
And the cookies are something I'd love to try, too!

Julie said...

Thank you so much Patricia

Butta Buns said...

Awww, Meema and Peepa.....that's too cute! At least your grandparents let you have milk in your coffee (or is it coffee in your milk?), mine would make us drink ours black with no sugar to deter us from wanting any.

I'm so happy that you posted this recipe! There's an infamous bakery, Mike's Pastries, in our Italian district of the city that makes these and I'm betting it's exactly the same. I buy them by the boxful but it's hard for me to get down there. Now I can just make them at home. This could get dangerous.

Julie said...

No more milk in this girls coffee Butta Buns, now I am drinking it very black and very strong. These cookies are very easy to make and they keep forever with an air tight seal, enjoy.

Chris said...

Wonderful post. great recipe!

Julie said...

Thank you Chris

Jeri said...

Every child should have the opportunity to learn the art of dunking at the feet (or perhaps elbow)of a master. In my case, it was a Norwegian neighbor. A lovely story...now I need a cookie.

Julie said...

I agree Jeri, every child should have a good; "Dunk" memory.
Thank you so much for your comment and I do hope you'll stop by again.

Kate said...

I can't stand the thought of drinking cereal milk. With sweet cereals, it was always too sugary and thick. With unsweetened cereals, it was too brown and thick. Blech! I still never want to drink it, BUTTTTT, consider this: Cereal milk is excellent for cooking muffins with. If you have sweet cereal milk, use it in pancakes or waffles or muffins -- even cornbread ... where a sweet taste is okay. If you have unsweetened (from say, rice chex or corn chex or granola or something) mix that into bread dough, cornread, and even pan gravy.

Julie said...

Thanks Kate that is a great idea and a lot less wasteful.