Holiday cookies … variations on three old favorites Essay

Holiday cookies . .

. variations on three old favorites From the booklets of the Miller-Berra cooky exchange party (page83), we’ve adapted three favorite cooky recipes. They were broughtto one of the annual gatherings by Mary Ann Champagne of Los Altos, JanGross of San Carlos, and Cindy Lamendola of Menlo Park. The toffee cookies bake in a single piece; you cut them into barsafter frosting with chocolate.

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Chili-flavored jelly gives a new tasteto thumbprint cookies, and toasted hazelnuts enrich the danitycrescents. To store cookies for best quality, package airtight in a rigidcontainer that will protect them from breakage. Separate layers of thetoffee and thumbprint cookies with waxed paper; spoon any extra powderedsugar over the crescents. Freeze any of the cookies up to 6 months; thaw before serving, ifdesired. Keep the cookies at room temperature for no more then 2 days;they soften and begin to taste stale on longer standing. Chocolate-frosted Toffee Cookies With a food processor or mixer, mix 1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter ormargarine (at room temperature), 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg yolk untilcreamy.

Add 2 cups all-purpose flour (stir in, then beat if using amixer) and mix until the dough holds together. With your hands, patdough evenly in a 10- by 15-inch pan. Bake in a 275| oven until golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove fromoven and immediately scatter 14 to 16 ounces chopped milk chocolate overhot cooky; when chocolate is soft, spread it evenly and sprinkle with 1cup sliced almonds. Let cool until chocolate is firm, then cut cooky into 1- by 2-inchbars. Serve or store; to store, see preceding directions.

Makes 75. Thumbprint Cookies with Chili Jelly 2/3 cup (1/3 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 egg, separated 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup finely chopped pine nuts, macadamia nuts, or pistachios About 3/4 cup red or green jalapeno jelly In a food processor or with a mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg yolk,and vanilla. Add flour (stir in, then beat if using a mixer); mix untildough holds together. Pinch off 2-tespoon-size pieces of dough and shape into balls. Beategg white slightly. Dip balls into egg white, drain briefly, then rollin nuts. Set nut-coated balls about 1 inch apart on an ungreased 10- by15-inch baking sheet.

With your thumb, press a well in the center ofeach dough ball. Bake cookies in a 350| over for 10 minutes. Remove them from ovenand press thumb or handle end of a wooden spoon back into eachimpression. Quickly spoon enough jelly into hollows to fill them. Bakeuntil jelly melts, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer cookies to racts to cool.

Serve or store; to store, seepreceding directions. Makes about 3 dozen. Hazelnut Crescents 2/3 cup hazelnuts (filberts) 1 cup (1/2 lb.

) butter or margarine, at room temperature 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup powdered sugar Put nuts in an 8- or 9-inch pie pan and bake in a 350| oven untilnuts are golden under their skins, about 15 minutes. Pour hot nuts intoa towel and rub to remove as much of the brown skins as possible. Liftnuts from towel and finely grind in a blender or food processor. With a food processor or mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add flour,ground hazelnuts, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and baking powder; mixuntil dough holds together (if using a mixer, stir in dry ingredients,then beat). Cover dough and chill 2 to 4 hours. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls.

Roll each ball between your handsuntil it is about 1 1/2 inches long and tapered to points on each end.Lay the strand of dough in a crescent shape on ungreased 10- by 15-inchpans. Repeat to shape each cooky, placing them about 1 inch apart. Bake in a 325| oven until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let coolslightly to firm, then transfer to racks.

While the cookies are still warm, combine remaining 2 teaspoonscinnamon and powdered sugar; sift over cookies. Serve, or store; tostore, see preceding directions. Makes about 5 dozen.

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