Suzi's Blog

Maxines Revisted

Maxines 2 Again
Maxines are these wonderful cookies we make only at Christmas time. It’s past Christmas, and I’m not planning on making more unless Suzen caves on our only-once-a-year rule, but this season’s version were particularly good. Good tasting as always but this time good looking too. Here’s a trick you can use to get those refrigerator cookies round, or at least closer to round.

Maxines consist of a chocolate-nut center that is wrapped in a brown sugar dough. The whole package is chilled, then cut and baked. The trick is do do that wrapping and not have any “holes” that expand when baking. And, you want the whole thing to be round.

We’ve tried different techniques, including wrapping the log in waxed paper, putting a ruler edge next to the base, on pulling on the free end of the wax paper. That kinda works, but not always.

This technique is better. When you finish off a roll of paper towel, you are left with that cardboard core. Cut it lengthwise, put the log inside, seal it up, then press and roll. I’ve found it’s best to do the wrapping with the brown sugar dough and then do an first chill. You want that dough to have a little resistance so you can shape it without simply squishing it. The picture tells the tale. The cookies look solid, no holes between filling dough, and they don’t look like a machine stamped them out. Homemade, with some minor departures from perfection, can be quite exceptional.

Oh, you want a Maxine now? Just search on this blog and you’ll find this wonderful recipe.

Quick Preserved Lemons

Quick Preserved Lemons

What do you do if you need an ingredient, now, and it normally takes days or weeks to make it? Like, say, preserved lemons.

You Google and maybe you are lucky, like finding this wonderful site for quick preserved lemons:


Basically, you thinly slice lemons, put salt and sugar on them, cover with a press and wait a mere three hours. Do you have a panini press? We do makes for great preserved lemons.

The taste, after just three hours, is quite remarkable. You get lemon, salt, and sugar. What a surprise? But there’s an intense flavor there, no longer a mere bite, that shows the meshing and mellowing of the hours. It’s lemon but very comfortable to eat.

In fact, Suzen made this little remark: “Stop eating them! I need them for the roast.” The roast recipe comes tomorrow. I’ll be doing more preserved lemon slices. These are the perfect garnish for a cocktail.