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Northwoods Cooks: RoJean Cummins' favorite cookies

Whoopie Pie Cookies were a favorite of RoJean Cummins' six boys when they were growing up. "We baked a lot of these but they never lasted long," she said.

When it comes to making cookies, RoJean Cummins has lots of experience.

"With a houseful of boys, it was hard to keep cookies in the house, so I taught my six sons how to bake," she said.

Cummins was born in Halma, Minn., just 30 miles south of the Canadian border.

After completing her nurse's training in Grand Forks, N. D., Cummins worked as a registered nurse at Altru Hospital for 33 years, retiring in 1999 and moving to Park Rapids where she owned property on Long Lake.

"We had been coming summers and camping on the lot and my boys built me a retirement home there," she said.

Her son, Galen Johnson, owns Remax and she finds time to keep him supplied with his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

"I still am pretty active in the Hubbard Methodist Church and the senior center," she said. Cummins also quilts with her church and the quilter's guild, bringing her cookies for lunches at her social activities.

Galen's favorite chocolate chip cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup butter-flavored Crisco

2 cups brown sugar

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

5 cups oatmeal

4 cups flour

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. soda

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 12-oz. pkg. miniature chocolate chips

1 12-oz pkg. regular chocolate chips (the more the better when the boys were making them!)

Cream butter, Crisco and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and chips. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake if you want them soft. This makes a large batch, but it also works well to make half a recipe.

Caramel Rice Krispy Puffs

1/2 cup butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-oz. pkg. Kraft caramels

6-8 cups Rice Krispies

1 bag large marshmallows

Melt caramels, milk and butter in microwave or double boiler. Put a marshmallow on a fork and coat in caramel mixture. When marshmallow is coated with caramel, roll in Rice Krispies. Pack Rice Krispies tight with your hands and place on wax paper to cool. Keeps well when frozen.

Sweet and Salty Treats

1 cup butter

1-1/2 cups brown sugar

Saltine crackers

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray foil with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with saltine crackers in single rows. Spoon mixture above onto saltine crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for four minutes. Take out of oven and spread one 12-ounce package of chocolate chips over top. Return to oven only long enough to melt chips. Take out of oven and spread chocolate over entire top. Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts. Put in freezer until hardened. Take out and break into pieces. Store in tight container. Keep in refrigerator so saltines stay crunchy.

Whoopie Pie cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

Mix ingredients together. Batter will be stiff. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Bake for eight minutes in 350 degree oven. Cool.


3/4 cup white Crisco

1 cup powdered sugar

1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of salt

Mix well together. Spread filling between two cookies and serve.