Flipping through the pages of the Alpha-Bakery cookbook makes me smile. It’s the first cookbook I ever owned, given to me by my grandparents at the tender age of four. With uncanny prescience, my grandmother wrote, “We hope you have a lot of fun with this book as you grow up to become as good a cook as your mom!”
Over the next few months, through my mother’s careful teaching, I learned how to make turtle bread and zebra cookies, pocket pizza and kart-wheels. My favorite part of this cookbook is the handwritten date on each page, noting when Mom and I first attempted a recipe. Reimagining days I can’t remember, I wonder how it felt to bite into my first successful ice cream sandwich or slice of mud pie.
A few years ago I rediscovered this cookbook, as a college student seeking memories from home. I whipped up a batch of honey bee cookies, fifteen years after my first attempt. Sweet and buttery, flecked with cinnamon, they tasted exactly how I remembered. Like innocence. And warmth. And home.
Today, my geographic transience (four moves in two years!) makes me hold tightly to symbols of home, both old and new: my college graduation lantern, quilts made by family, a framed photo of a prayer left at the Western Wall. As Gabe and I set up yet another home– and wonder where we will end up next– I know this cookbook will stay with us, signifying the warmth of the past and our hopes for the future. With honey, butter, and love.
Honey Bee Cookies
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat butter, brown sugar, honey, and egg in a medium bowl on medium speed until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 7-9 minutes, until cookies are light brown around the edges with shiny tops. Let stand 3-5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets, and let cool on wire racks.
Makes 3 dozen.
Nutrition facts (per cookie): 70 calories, 2.7 g fat, 11.9 g carbs, 0.2 g fiber, 0.8 g protein.