Bits n’ Pieces: Baker wins with just desserts



With a contest name like Butter-Up the Holidays, it was easy to see why it conjured up memories for Sharon Hogan of her mother’s Bohemian Butter Cookies. After seeing a Facebook post from the Northwest Dairy Farmers asking for recipes using real butter, the Vancouver resident submitted the family cookie.

“I’ve always made them every Christmas with my mom,” Hogan, 56, said. It was a tradition she passed down to her daughter, and now her grandchildren.

When the results were announced Jan. 28, Hogan couldn’t believe that her recipe had won not just the best dessert recipe category in Washington, but also the best recipe in state contest. She won $150 in Fred Meyer gift cards.

Otto Guardado of Camas won the entrée category with his recipe for Otto’s Spicy Mac n’ Cheese, which adds kielbasa, and Worcestershire and Sriracha sauces to the cheesy macaroni dish. He won a $50 Fred Meyer gift card.

“I still can’t believe I won, it’s pretty amazing,” Hogan said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever entered a recipe contest.”

Cooking and baking have been longtime passions for Hogan. “I don’t always have a lot of time for it, but I love to bake. It’s relaxing for me,” she said.

“People think (the cookies) are rather pretty,” Hogan said. She added they are an unusual variety to see around the holiday season. Bohemian Butter Cookies are really Linzer cookies with a twist.

“Back then in the 1960s and ’70s, they didn’t make the specialty type of cookie cutter, so she didn’t have any way of cutting them out besides her imagination,” Hogan said. Her mother used wine glasses to cut the outer circle for the cookies and repurposed a plastic part from the family’s swing set to cut out the middle circle to expose the cookie’s signature jam center.

“It’s a really vivid memory, her taking a part from our swing set,” Hogan said. “She kept that piece in the kitchen just for those cookies.”

Hogan uses the official Linzer cookie cutter.

— Ashley Swanson

Bohemian Butter Cookies

Makes 5 dozen

Recipe courtesy of Sharon Hogan

2 hard-cooked egg yolks

1 cup butter, softened

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 raw egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

31/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Raspberry preserves

Rub hard-cooked egg yolks through a sieve or strainer with small mesh holes. Add butter, salt, then cream well. Gradually add sugar, creaming well after each addition. Add raw egg yolks, lemon rind and juice. Beat well. Add flour and mix thoroughly. Chill about 1 hour.

Roll to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured wooden cutting board. Cut out cookies with an approximately 21/2 inch floured round cookie cutter. Cut a small circle (or other shape) out of the center of half of the cookies. These will be the top layer. The remaining cookies will be the bottom later. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 to 12 minutes.

After the cookies have cooled, sift confectioner’s sugar over the tops and bottoms. Take a solid cookie and spread with 1/4 teaspoon raspberry preserves. Place a top cookie on the jam. The cut out part of the top cookie will be filled with the preserves. Repeat with all of the cookies.