Monday, January 4, 2010

Mennonite Monday - New Years Cookies

Mennonite Monday started because I wanted to make recipes from the Bethesda Mennonite Church Cookbooks (both the yellow and the white cookbook for those of you who own them). I also wanted to take pictures of each recipe that I made, so I would know for future reference what the recipe should look like. I am by no means a great cook, but I think it will be fun to try new and different recipes each week. Not all of these recipes are for ethnic Mennonite food, but the women from Henderson know how to cook, so I can safely say that these recipes will be good. Check back each Monday for a new recipe and feel free to leave a comment if you have a favorite recipe from these cookbooks, or if you have some tips on what I should make and how I should make it.

This is another traditional recipe that I did not get from the church cookbook. The white church cookbook has a recipe for New Years Cookies, but there were a few things about the recipe that had me concerned. First of all, I didn't know what a cake of yeast was. Apparently that is how you used to buy yeast, but they don't usually sell it that way anymore. Secondly, it didn't give the exact number of cups of flour needed for the recipe. Since this was my first time making New Years Cookies, I knew I wouldn't be able to eye ball the right amount of flour and I didn't want them to be rock hard.

Luckily my mom had one of the best recipes for New Year's Cookies which comes from Arlene Rempel (Carol Janzen's mother). This is the recipe used at the Nebraska MCC Sale.

New Year's Cookies
- Microwave 1/4 cup water for 10 seconds
- Dissolve 2 1/2 tsp yeast in water
- Stir and let set 5 minutes
- In a large bowl beat 5 eggs and 3/4 cup sugar with whisk
- Add 3 Tbl melted margarine, 2 1/2 cups warm milk (heat milk in microwave for 2 minutes), 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 1/2 tsp salt.
- Add yeast mixture and 5 cups flour (you will need to switch to a spoon at this point because the dough becomes very thick)
- Stir in 3 cups raisins
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until double ( about 1 hour)
- Heat oil to 350 degrees
- Use a larger cookie scoop and drop into hot oil
- Let drip on paper towel once cooked
- If the middle is doughy, turn down the temperature
- While warm role in sugar or glaze
- For glace, mix 2 cups powdered sugar with 1/3 cup hot water

I have to admit, yeast scares me. I actually thought I had killed my yeast because it took a while for my dough to rise, but in the end I just needed some patience.

This is the yeast after five minutes, before you pour it in the other ingredients. You know the yeast is working if it is bubbling and foamy on top.

I actually made raisin and apple New Year's Cookies because we like some variety.

If you dip your scoop in the oil first it won't stick to the dough as much.

Make sure you check one of the first cookies to make sure the middle isn't doughy.


  1. Whoa, Kels, that's a really hairy hand and fingers you have there!!

  2. I think I recognize that hairy hand...reminds me of his Grandpa Kenny. LOL. I always wondered how people got their New Year's Cookies so perfectly round - thanks for sharing the secret of the cookie scoop. (duh!)Anyway, they look yummy. They are really not as hard to make as one might think from reading the recipe. Congrats on mastering this one, Kelsey!