Max’s Cookies for Bucky, … I mean Norm


One hundred and thirty years ago, George Rahn’s business in Allegheny City (now downtown Pittsburgh) was the start of something really good. Now Max’s Allegheny Tavern, the grand German restaurant and pub that Mr. Rahn began is known for amazing food and even more amazing hospitality. I love the place. It also happens to be where my son, Bucky, learned to cook. (I’m embarrassed to say that as a child his cooking extended mostly to making potions with ingredients like ketchup, grape Kool-Aid and soy sauce.)

For a time, the Pittsburgh restaurant operated as Max and Erma’s Allegheny Tavern. But restaurants need their own identities. And the Ohio-based Max & Erma’s (known around the region for fantastic chocolate-chip cookies) was no exception. So, the David in our story dropped Erma, and life went on.

Yesterday, Norm asked me to make oatmeal raisin cookies for him. Yes, I just typed that. His name is Norm. It really is. The birth certificate says it. His friends and colleagues know it. Only his mom and dad seem to struggle with it, because although his name is Norman (after his grandpa), we’ve always called him Buck because his grandma always called her husband Buck.

But people seem to like identities as much as businesses. And Norm is Norm because he claims it with the authority of an owner.

So today, in honor of his cookie request, and because I love the Max’s story and both of the restaurants, I’ve tried to copy Max and Erma’s new summer offering… Cinnamon Maple Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The restaurant’s version (which I’ve not tried) looks terrific (mine not so much). But I’ll keep trying, and I hope the next batch will be more photogenic.

They actually taste pretty good.

Come and Get ‘Em!

Happy Friday.

Oatmeal Raisin
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter rum flavoring
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinammon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup white chocolate chips

Cinnamon Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, more if needed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon very soft butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup good maple syrup, more if needed

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