Crickets and Cardinals

The little yellow flowers are perennial foxgloves.

Crickets are cute little cookies that I found in an old community cookbook called “Our Incredible Edibles,” by the women of the Mont Clare Congregational Church, in Chicago. While the temptation is to be a bit condescending to these cookbooks, often made with more love than skill, I love them. The recipes may not be sophisticated, but they tell me about the women who made them, their day to day lives, their world. This cookbook probably was published in the early ’70s: microwaves were just coming on the scene, dishwashers were big, noisy luxuries. And Cool Whip was something new and exciting, but in this cookbook did not appear in any recipe.

Course there’s the question: why are these called Crickets? They don’t look like crickets and they don’t chirp when you eat them. They certainly aren’t made with crickets. Whatever the reason, the chocolate-covered peanuts, the chewy coconut, and the buttery, brown-sugary cookie itself is an inspired combination. So my thanks to long ago Lori Johnson.

Crickets

1/2 cup each: butter (softened), white sugar & brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1  tablespoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda & salt
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate-covered peanuts

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Cream the softened butter with the sugars. Add egg, water, vanilla, and beat thoroughly. Mix the flour with the baking soda and salt, and stir into the butter mixture. Stir in coconut and chocolate-covered peanuts. Drop from a tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, or use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until delicately browned.

Baking notes: This is an easy cookie that requires no special baking skills. I used a 6-ounce bag of chocolate-covered peanuts, and sweetened coconut. This type of cookie contains a lot of butter, and how much it spreads depends a bit on how warm your kitchen is. It makes a difference if your kitchen is 68 degrees or 85 degrees. In a professional bakery, they might chill the sheets of formed cookies to keep them from spreading. In the home kitchen, they will taste delicious no matter what.

Pictures below show the chocolate-covered peanuts I used, the original recipe, feline assistant Puff, and the dough being mixed.

Below: In the “We all have days like this department.”

Keep knocking and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.

by Rumi

Peace to you. Fran

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4 thoughts on “Crickets and Cardinals

  1. Thank you for the lovely blog!

    On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 2:32 PM, Something for (almost) Nothing wrote:

    > fmanos posted: ” Crickets are cute little cookies that I found in an old > community cookbook called “Our Incredible Edibles,” by the women of the > Mont Clare Congregational Church, in Chicago. While the temptation is to be > a bit condescending to these cookbooks, often mad” >

  2. The cookies look delicious. In some places cricket cookies are used as a gateway introduction to the use of cricket insects in the making of flour. Start up companies are trying to get people used to the idea of incorporating insects into food products. Perhaps cricket flour was used in the recipe you found.

  3. Hi Carol–I have heard of grasshopper flour, so it makes sense there would be cricket flour. Definitely wasn’t an ingredient in these cookies, though! Fran

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