The easiest recipes are often the best. This four-ingredient recipe, from my grandmother’s recipe files, which I recently discovered, is quick, straightforward, traditional,and toothsome.
I am a big fan of brown sugar, especially dark or demerara, so I was glad to have found this recipe, among my grandmother’s hand-written and typed cards. While it is not the brown-sugar-beurre-noisette cookie which ranks among my very favourite cookie recipes, this version is much faster and a classic shortbread or sablé. I remember well my grandmother’s tubular aluminum cookie press, which made fancy beribboned butter cookies. I can picture only the plain melt-in-your-mouth white butter cookies, which Jessie often adorned with glacé cherries.
In thinking about brown sugar, I thought about “Bubbling Brown Sugar” and jazz, which Jessie liked. This led me to think I might find a picture of my grandmother Jessie at the Stork Club in New York City (I remember she had matchbooks from there but no such luck in the photo realm). At various nightclubs, Jessie liked the many-layered and coloured liqueur drink, the “pousse-café” (she unfortunately pronounced this confection-concoction as “pussy café” – I kid you not…) , with layers of brandy, green chartreuse, white crème de cacao, crème de cassis, yellow chartreuse, and grenadine, as Wikipedia describes one variant, though there were many other versions. This depends on the specific density of each liqueur to float on top of the previous one. It was all the rage in the early 20th century.
For the description of the cookie and the recipe …