I went to the liquor store this morning.
I know. I'm a teetotaler (spelled correctly, per Wikipedia, here; I always thought it was spelled teatotaler). So what was I doing in the liquor store?
As I mentioned, recently, on one of my posts, my mother is half French and half Scottish. But, surprisingly, it is the Scottish side of her family that has, for generations, made these waffle-like cookies, and called them French cookies. One of the important ingredients is a splash of Brandy. We've tried making them without the Brandy, and they just aren't the same.
I remember my Great Aunt Agnes making these cookies when I was little. And after we moved to Alaska, she faithfully sent a box of them through the mail to us each Christmas. By the time they arrived, they were usually all broken up, but they still tasted delicious.
When Aunt Agnes made them, she used an old, HEAVY cast iron iron that had to sit atop a stove to get hot. It only held one cookie at a time, as I recall, and she had to cook each one for awhile on one side and then turn the iron over and finish them off on the other side. When Dan and I moved back to Oregon, and my parents followed us there a few years later, Mom would borrow that heavy iron from Aunt Agnes or mom's cousin, Margaret, at Christmas time so she could carry on the French cookie tradition.
In later years, both Mom and I discovered an electric iron that holds two cookies at a time, and makes the job so much easier. (Mom tried a couple electric irons before she found one that made the cookies thin, like we like them.) So, today I bought the Brandy, heated up the iron, and made French cookies. I'll probably take most of them to Carlsbad at Christmas, but will use some at the Cocoa & Cookie party we're hosting at our house next week.