Sweet & Spicy Barbeque, Oatmeal Cookies, and Ice Cream for Your Memorial Day Party

May 20, 2009


Happy Memorial Day from Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets!

I like to kick off the beginning of picnic season with a menu featuring my all time favorite barbeque recipe. It’s absolutely, positively the best pulled pork I’ve ever eaten! (Recipe follows.) It’s good warm or at room temperature on buns, flour tortillas, or sliced baguette. For dessert this year, I’m going with the classic ice cream and cookies combo. Or, in this case, rainbow sherbet and cookies. 


Substitute dried cherries for the raisins, if you like. This recipe makes a lot of dough. You may want to bake off half of it and store the other half in the freezer for a future cookie emergency.

(Makes about 40 large cookies)


2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon each salt, cinnamon and ginger

1- 1/3 cups unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons)

2 cups brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

3- ½ cups regular oatmeal

1- ½ cups chopped, salted cashews

¾ cup raisins



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger and set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugars, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the oatmeal, chopped cashews and raisins until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Roll pieces of dough into 1- ½ inch balls and place them on baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Press lightly on each ball with your fingers to flatten into 2- ½ inch rounds.
  6. Bake in upper third of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are flat and brown. Remove from the oven and let cookies stand on baking sheets for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 



This recipe serves 4, but can easily be doubled.


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons  dark molasses

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup tomato paste

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon each paprika, ground coriander and salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1-1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or stew beef or “stew beef,” cut into 2-inch cubes

2 bay leaves


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together the molasses, vinegar, tomato paste and spices. Place the meat cubes in a large, shallow, non-aluminum baking dish. Add the molasses mixture and stir well to coat. Cover with foil and bake until the meat is very tender, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

2. Remove the meat from the sauce and shred it with a knife or two forks. Return the shredded meat to the baking dish and mix with the sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature in crusty buns or rolled into flour tortillas.

(I adapted this recipe from one developed by Marcia Keisel, test kitchen supervisor of Food & Wine magazine.)



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