Sunday, October 28, 2018

Baking From The Heart and Family History...

Recently I have started to get back to baking, something I so enjoy but had truly stopped doing regularly. Encouraged by a good friend to start up again with some of my most favorite recipes, I picked my Gramie Gibson's Cocoa Czechoslovakian Cookies, though growing up we called them Chocolate Checks.  These are a thumbprint cookie that has a bitter sweet chocolate outer shell cookie and a tart raspberry filling. Though my sisters make it with strawberry, my go to is always raspberry.

We used to have these cookies at Christmas, Gramie would bake and freeze them in Quebec (then later from Ontario), then ship them 3,000 miles to us. They are my dads favorite. When she passed away I got the recipe card from her box and it is one I treasure. If I could ask her about any of her recipes this would be the one.  While I was making this batch up for the photos, I ran out of raspberry jam and used peanut butter instead. While the raspberry jam is my go to, I still enjoyed the peanut butter center as well. 

I did not grow up near either set of my grandparents but they did come and visit us. My paternal grandmother was an amazing cook and award winning baker. Having this recipe and making it reminds me of her, of the fun holiday times we did get to spend together . My Gramie passed away 18 years ago this coming January. My oldest son was 5 days old when she passed. It was a long while before I could bring myself to make these. This is the second time in a month I have made them and each time I do I feel just a little bit closer to my Gramie.

Gramie's Cocoa Czechoslovakian Cookies
3/4 cups Soft Butter
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Cocoa
3/4 Tablespoon Vanilla
9 oz Flour

Raspberry Jam
Icing Sugar for dusting
In a mixing bowl cream your butter and sugar. Add the cocoa and vanilla slowly add the flour until incorporated.  Roll out into small balls, place them on a lined cookie sheet,  then use your thumb to press down in the center.  Bake at 325 F for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and then re dent with your thumb.
Spoon raspberry Jam into the center of the cookies one after another then with a fine strainer dust the cookies with icing sugar.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cookie recipe today. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at

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