Friendship is a funny thing.
You can be the best of friends. Totally inseparable for weeks, months, even years. Then life changes. New friends come into your life, old friends drift away. Often it’s not even a conscious decision, thought or action. It just happens.
I was first introduced to these Currant Cookies thanks to a friendship I’ve known all of my life, a friendship of my mother’s that has been passed down to the next generation. Life comes full circle and somehow these cookies have become a part of it.
Back a few more years than I’d care to have on my calendar, my mom was set to deliver my little sister when she met her best friend Pam. My mom and Pam were both in the same hospital about to give birth to daughters. For years they had run in similar circles, in the same city, but hadn’t met one another. Yet people would always mistake them for one another. Similar mannerisms, style, beauty and height. It was a wonder they hadn’t met before. I guess bringing their daughters into the world at the same time made it their time.
They both named their daughters Holly. Well, my mom didn’t initially. I did that. My mom and dad named her Heather, but I refused to call her anything but Holly. My mom said she never did look like a Heather. She said Heather’s are wispy. Holly was a tub. So at 4 months old, Holly had a name change.
I’ve always been a bossy older sister. I blame it on this first act of self righteousness.
My mom and Pam became the best of friends, the type you can celebrate with when things are up, and totally count on when things totally bottom out. Because at some point in your life, it will.
The Holly’s became bosom buddies too, and while they didn’t go to the same school, or see each other every week, when they did come together it was if they’d never left. Because that’s what friends do.
Over the years Pam and my mom discovered new friends, other friends. They didn’t see one another as often, they weren’t on each others monthly check-in list. But they always knew they had a bond, one that would endure. Because real friends are like that.
Suddenly 30+ years go by. How did that happen?
And one horrible day Pam was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
She leaned on her family and friends to get her through the agonizing fight of her life. She should have been shopping with her daughter Holly, bragging about her sons at lunch and spoiling her grandkids silly with homemade cookies. But life had other plans.
While Pam had many friends old and new to support her, I’m proud to say that at Pam’s request, my mom was by her side for the entire good, bad and the very ugly way.
My mom was there to drive her to chemo, to make her laugh ’til they cried trying to fashion a scarf to hide the hair that was no longer there, to shop for Build a Bear toys so Pam could record love notes from her hospital bed to leave as remembrances for her grandchildren.
After a battle that lasted not nearly long enough, but in some ways far too long thanks to the heartache and hurt that all were witness to, Pam passed away. There isn’t a time that my mom talks of Pam when her eyes don’t well up in tears. When she says, “Oh, how I miss my dear friend.” Because that’s what real friends are.
While our two Holly’s casually keep in touch thanks to Facebook, I see Pam’s Holly every few months thanks to mutual friends and now our daughters know one another. This fall I was at a tailgate party where Holly and her University of Utah loving troops preside over a massive tailgate that takes place each and every home game.
And that’s when I had these delicious Currant Cookies. I knew they were good. But when I found out they were Pam’s recipe, they tasted even better. Thankfully, Holly shared the recipe with me. And now I’m sharing them with you.
Because that’s what friends do. We’re here for each other. And friends always share their cookies.
These cookies. Oh, these cookies. The first bite made me want another. And another. Just the right amount of crispy to make me love that chewy all the more. These are thin cookies, not heavy and floury which makes them that much easier to eat more of.
While I snacked on half of the cookie dough before it even hit the baking sheet, I saved a few cooked cookies for the family and then packaged up the rest to give to the neighbors.
I think you know why.
The warming spices of cinnamon and cloves make this an especially good option to give for neighbor gifts or cookie exchanges around the holidays. If you can bear to part with them.
A few recipe notes:
Pam’s original recipe calls to mix the butter, oats and sugar all at once. I tried this and had oats flying about the kitchen. Creaming the butter and sugar first is what I’ll be doing the next time around.
Can’t find currants? Try regular raisins instead. You may want to chop into smaller pieces to mimic the currants. Or, give dried apricots or dried cherries a try.
For my oven I discovered the cookies baked perfectly at 14 minutes. They looked like they almost needed another minute to bake, but as they cool they firm up and darken a bit too. Don’t let them get too crispy on the ends or the chewiness will go out the window like last year’s New Year’s Resolutions.
Is it really already that time of year again?
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
With a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar, then add the oats and mix. Blend in flour, soda, cloves and cinnamon. Mix in currants and milk, mixing well.
Cooking with currants isn’t necessarily high on the trending list—yet—but this little jewel of a fruit is certainly gaining in popularity. Just look at what some of my favorite food bloggers have come up with to showcase these sour little beauties.
Nik pairs whole-wheat pastry flour and a dash of instant coffee to bring out the lush chocolate base and fresh currant flavor in A Brown Table’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake with Red Currant Jam. Seriously. This is a show-stopper for the holidays that will leave your guests in shock. And not just from the chocolate coffee’d sugar after effects.
Pretty much anything Ashley brings to the blogosphere is going to be damn good. This time around she’s bringing us a fave from one of her faves and deems Not Without Salt’s Currant and Orange Marmalade Tea Cake a very welcome treat. Especially for breakfast. Oh, twist my arm.
With so much sugar and indulgences around, I’m ready to follow Brian’s lead and lean more to the healthy side for dinner, with a whole bowl of A Thought for Food’s Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants. One day I’ll be back in my skinny pants.
My snow buddy and travel roommate Kelley rocked this salad in the first issue of FoodieCrush magazine and it’s since become a favorite at my house. See, I’m on my way to healthy-dom. Check out Mountain Mama Cooks Kale Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts and Parmesan. Totally crave-worthy.
I’ve only made scones once, and while they were a success thanks to Brian’s recipe for Chocolate Cherry Scones, I’ve not ventured down the scone path yet again. Oh, but this version of Tartine’s Currant Scones and Lemon Cream (are they scones or biscuits?) with chunks and chunks of butter have me ready to hit the scone trail again. Thank you Alexandra’s Kitchen.
AND NOW FOR THAT ECOOKBOOK SALE
To celebrate the holidays, for two days only Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod and I are sharing a Cookie Craving Flash Sale with you.
For 2 days only you can get Cookie Cravings Digital Package or Holiday Cookie Cravings for 60% off.
Simply go here to purchase and use the discount code HOLIDAY.
This offer ends Friday, Dec. 6 at midnight MST, so don’t wait to get your bake on. And remember, friends share cookies with friends.
As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. This post contains affiliate links.