Cookbook celebrates virtues of lard

June Cleaver’s Cookies live up title

The cookbook: “Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother’s Secret Ingredient,” Editors of Grit Magazine (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $24.99).

The recipe: I decided to make this recipe because I grew up watching “Leave It to Beaver” on TV and as a newly married woman I would love to be like June Cleaver, the masterful mom on the show. She was the ultimate housewife and had all the answers from how to get grass stains out to making the perfect, moist meatloaf.

The result: These cookies turned out wonderful, delicious and soft. I had more than a dozen people sample them, and they all raved and wanted the recipe. I also know why they were so good: the lard. This is such an old-fashioned concept. Lard makes everything taste better, and it is easier to work with than Crisco. It is one of those ingredients that is multifunctional, too. You can use it to cook with, slather yourself in it for softer skin, wash your hair in it for shinier hair and even spread on bread like better for a delicate treat.

The verdict: I would recommend the cookbook “Cooking With Lard,” not only for its incredible recipes but also for its great stories and tips.

JUNE CLEAVER’S COOKIES

1 cup lard, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all purposes unbleached flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, cream together the lard and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Blend in the flour, salt, and baking soda; mix well. Sit in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and set. Cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

SOURCE: Katie Simpson of Hamilton (a newspaper reader/contributor)

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