A taste of my childhood! I’ve spent the last few Christmases trying to find the recipe for the “Mocha Cookies” my mom used to make every year.
But all the recipes on the internet call for cocoa powder, (among other ingredients I didn’t remember) which didn’t seem right. I’ve attempted several of these recipes, but they weren’t the right texture or flavor profile.
This year, it occurred to me that most of my favorite recipes from childhood all come from the same cookbook: The Cotton Country Cookbook, 1972 edition, to be exact. Our old copy was ragged and annotated with my mother’s neat penciled-in notes littering many pages through the years.
Unfortunately, that copy fell apart many years ago. Fortunately, I found a reprinting online a couple of years back and have been able to recapture many tastes of childhood. This particular cookbook was published by the Junior Charity League of Monroe, Louisiana, and has been re-printed many times through the years.
The recipe is really simple, and has NO cocoa in it, only instant coffee, so the “mocha” is really a misnomer. There’s also no leavening agents— just butter, sugar, nuts, flour, instant coffee, and vanilla. Oh and a dash of salt.
But these are PERFECT. Or will be. The flavor develops over time and will taste best this weekend.
What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe?
I like to think that my character, Pam Fairchild from Misty Fairchild and the Heart of Alignment, has her own dog-eared copy of this cookbook. I’m sure she’ll teach Adam Rowan some of her Cotton Country secrets. Join my mailing list for a FREE copy of a short story in which Adam and Dylan make a cooking video for TikTok.
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c sugar (I used brown sugar fro more flavor)
2 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but pecans are traditional)
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp instant coffee
“dash” of salt
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the vanilla and instant coffee. Dredge the nuts in some of the flour. Stir in the rest of the ingredients with the creamed butter/sugar. The mixture will be dry. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all the flour incorporated.
Roll into one inch balls onto a parchment lined (or ungreased) cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool then roll in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container. Flavor develops over time, so it’s better after a few days.