Have some cookies and punch, courtesy of AAUW | TheUnion.com

Have some cookies and punch, courtesy of AAUW

John HartOn Friday, Cheryl Morris (left), Pat Pennock and Diane Hancock prepare for the American Association of University Women's annual Antiques Appraisal and Tea on Saturday at the L.O.V.E. Building at Condon Park.
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The American Association of University Women is devoted to providing opportunity through funding to further the education of women. The group supports scholars pursuing a vast spectrum of academic research; public school teachers promoting girls’ achievements in math, science and technology; and community activists helping to improve the lives of females through education.

Funding also assists women at critical stages of their careers and those preparing for professions underrepresented by women. Funding is available for a college/university scholar-in-residence to research issues of gender and equity. It is the largest source of funding exclusively for graduate women in the world.

The Nevada County branch of AAUW has a scholarship trust from which several awards are granted annually to local women for academic endeavors. The local AAUW holds an annual Antiques Appraisal and Tea to raise funds for educational fellowship and scholarship offerings. It’s our version of “Antiques Road Show.”

Saturday’s Appraisal Day provided pleasant surprises for participants when 10 appraisers evaluated items brought in by attendees. A World War I vintage Doughboy doll absolutely stunned the doll specialist. She had only seen one other, in a museum. Several items of furniture kept another appraiser busy. There were antique rocking chairs, carved pieces and an Asian folding screen inlaid with mother of pearl. Just watching the parade of items brought in was worth attending the event.

AAUW members prepared delicious cookies and beverages to enhance the event.


Cheesecake Bars

(Cheryl Morris)

Butterscotch Cheesecake Bars are very rich, more like candy than a cookie.

1 package (12-ounces) butterscotch-flavored morsels

1/3 cup margarine or butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chopped nuts

1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for a glass pan). In medium saucepan, melt morsels and margarine; stir in crumbs and nuts. Press half the mixture firmly onto bottom of greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

In large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy; beat in milk, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Pour into prepared pan and top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, then chill before cutting into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Lace Cookies

(Cheryl Morris)

“This recipe for Lace Cookies was given to me when I was a newlywed in need of foolproof recipes,” says Morris. “It is still a favorite after 30-plus years.”

1/3 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter until creamy, add sugar and beat until fluffy. Stir in rest of ingredients. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before removing from cookie sheet. Cookies will be very thin and lacy.

Chewy Orange

Almond Cookies

(Cleo Gibson)

Chewy Orange Almond Cookies are a light meringue-like cookie without any butter or oil.

31/2 ounces slivered almonds (about 1 cup)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Zest of 2 oranges, finely grated

1 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed (can substitute cinnamon)

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, blend almonds with1/2 cup sugar until almonds are finely ground. Transfer almond mixture to a medium bowl. Sift in flour. Add orange zest and crushed anise seed. Stir to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites, salt and remaining1/4 cup sugar to soft glossy peaks. Fold egg white mixture into dry ingredients until just blended.

Spoon level tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Sift confectioner’s sugar over cookies. Bake until cookies are lightly browned along edges, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from sheets with a spatula.

Thumbprint Cookies

(Margaret Castle)

11/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg white

1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. In a separate bowl cream butter. Gradually add brown sugar; cream well. Blend in 1 unbeaten egg yolk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix well. If desired, chill 1 hour before handling. Shape dough into balls 1 inch in diameter. Dip in slightly beaten egg white then in about 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts.

Place on ungreased baking sheet. Press deep hole in center of cookie with floured thimble or finger. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Melt semisweet chocolate pieces over boiling water. Place1/2 teaspoon chocolate in hollow. Can also use jam or jelly.

Coconut Oatmeal Drops

(Cleo Gibson)

Coconut Oatmeal Drops are good keepers and store well.

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 egg, beaten

1 cup oatmeal, regular or quick

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet. Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add flavorings and egg; beat well. Stir in oatmeal and coconut. Sift flour with baking soda, salt and baking powder.

Add sifted ingredients alternately with nuts and mix well.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on baking sheet. Bake 15 – 18 minutes.

Extra touch: On top of each cookie, add small piece sliced candied orange.

A Really Good

Punch Recipe

(Cheryl Morris)

1 can (46 ounces) apricot nectar

1 can (46 ounces) unsweetened pineapple juice

18 ounces frozen limeade

3 bottles (28 ounces) ginger ale or 7-Up

1 fifth vodka

Just before serving, combine all ingredients and serve over ice. This is equally good with or without the vodka.

Cranberry Punch

(Cheryl Morris)

2/3 cup sugar

6 inch cinnamon sticks, broken

2 teaspoons whole allspice

1 to 2 teaspoons whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bottle (32 ounces) cranberry juice cocktail

1 can (21/2 cups) unsweetened pineapple juice

1 bottle (31/2 cups) ginger ale, chilled

Combine sugar, spices, salt, cranberry juice and pineapple juice. Cover, simmer gently 10 minutes, strain and chill. Just before serving, pour over ice cubes in punch bowl. Carefully pour ginger ale down side of bowl. Float orange slices atop.

Russian Tea

(Cheryl Morris)

2 tablespoons whole cloves

6 inch stick cinnamon

Tea bags

2 small cans each frozen limeade, lemonade and orange juice

1 large can pineapple juice

Boil about 2 quarts water with cloves and cinnamon. Add tea bags (exact number is not critical, depending on strength of tea desired). Add juices. Sweeten to taste, if desired. Serve hot.

Bette Worth writes a column for The Union on Wednesdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945; or she can be reached at

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