top of page

My Friend, Ilse, Loves to Bake

By Pipka

My friend, Ilse, has been baking for her friends and family all her life. Now that she lives in a senior residence, she bakes almost every day and gives her cookies or cakes to her fellow residents, the staff and anyone who happens to stop by. A lifetime of baking has made Ilse an exceptional baker. After one of my visits, and knowing I am related to the cookie monster, Ilse gave me a little bag of Lacy Cookies. One bite and I knew I had to have this recipe. Better yet, I thought, I am going to bake with Ilse. And so I did.

The American dream is to have a big kitchen with an island, a huge fridge, double ovens and every kitchen gadget every made. Ilse’s kitchen, with counter space the size of a postage stamp, is barely big enough to turn around in. Her bowls, hand held mixer and cookie sheets are worn with age yet she manages to bake the most wonderful things in her tiny space. I have also found this to be true in the homes of my friends in Germany and France. The kitchens there are very small but the results that come out of their kitchens are huge.

Lacy Cookies are delicate, light, crunchy little cookies that melt in your mouth. They look like Florentines, yet they are much simpler to make. It took Ilse and I less than 5 minutes to mix the simple ingredients in one bowl. While the dough was chilling, we had a cup of tea and shared stories about our youth growing up in Germany.

After the dough was chilled, we rolled teaspoon fulls into little balls, placed them 3 inches apart on a silipat covered cookie sheet and baked them for 15-16 minutes. Oh, the heavenly aroma coming out of the oven! After the cookies were baked, we waited for them to cool so they don’t break their delicate little selves before putting them on a tray. Honestly, I could eat six of these at one time…but I nibbled on just one while another tray was baking in the oven. Later I made them at home, wrapped the cookies in baggies and, following Ilse’s good example of sharing, gave them to my neighbors. What a happy day!


bottom of page