We spent a week at our cabin on vacation this fall. It is “off the grid”, the cabin itself unfinished. A lovely little cook-stove called Happy Meal is our main cooking source although we do have an LP burner and even an electric frying pan if we want. We have a generator to run our lights and coffee grinder, vacuum cleaner, and water pump. And yes, we have no indoor plumbing. This little story is a bit of our cabin life.
Brad wanted cookies. So while I was making supper on the cook-stove, he stirred up a batch from my verbal instructions. Brad eats a lot of cookies. He always has. His baby teeth were terrible because I provided him nutritious oatmeal/chocolate chip cookies, then I failed him by not making him brush his teeth every night at bedtime. But that’s a different story.
He decided that he wanted non-oatmeal cookies this time … nutrition being over-rated. With a wooden spoon and a beat up stainless steel bowl he worked butter and sugar and eggs into a nice paste before finishing up with flavors and flour.
Unfortunately, we could not find a single baking pan in our odd collection of cabin dishes and utensils. There are old kettles and those white stacks of Mary’s donated stoneware set beside vintage, glass-covered casserole dishes and assorted pitchers and coffee pots. But no baking pans.
We resorted to a cast iron skillet from Elv’s fine collection hung likes music notes on the center post. Whoever heard of baking cookies on cast iron? Now that we have, we are sold.
We miscalculated the heat on the first batch, blackening the tops of six or seven beautifully raised and almost cracked cookies.
I’ll eat them anyway!” said Brad and proceeded to reload the skillet.
This time we covered the skillet with a glass lid and watched them like a hawk checking them so often they could hardly get hot enough to bake, let alone burn. But Brad was learning. We pulled the lid off and let them brown only just slightly. He was delighted with a perfect result. In fact, they were so pretty, I took a couple of pictures.
He covered the rest of the dough and stored it in the fridge. He had cookies for Saturday afternoon after his four hour remodel job moving his door from behind the chimney pipe. This time he timed them with his phone.
“That was three, four minute segments,” he enthused, showing me another round of large, brown and lovely cookies. We should write down the recipe and dub them Cook-stove Cookies.
For Sunday’s batch, Brad stirred up the coals and added wood, planning to bring the heat up. Elv came by remarking that the fire was rather eager and the oven temperature gauge showing a ready oven. Brad set to baking and timing again. He took the lid off for the last set of minutes to brown them.
“I did three minutes and twenty-five seconds, this time, for the last part.”
He is reading Dr. Doolittle this afternoon, chortling over a scene of the hero shaving his beard with a piece of broken bottle glass while floating on the sea. Happy is the man who finds delight in the real and the fantastic diversions of cookies and kid’s books.
1 stick of softened butter
3/4 cup of 100% peanut butter
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 package of your favorite chocolate chips
flour to make a stiff dough
Bake 12 minutes in a medium to hot cook-stove oven in a covered cast iron skillet.