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 (page
83), we’ve adapted three favorite cooky recipes. They were brought
to one of the annual gatherings by Mary Ann Champagne of Los Altos, Jan
Gross of San Carlos, and Cindy Lamendola of Menlo Park.

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The toffee cookies bake in a single piece; you cut them into bars
after frosting with chocolate. Chili-flavored jelly gives a new taste
to thumbprint cookies, and toasted hazelnuts enrich the danity

To store cookies for best quality, package airtight in a rigid
container that will protect them from breakage. Separate layers of the
toffee and thumbprint cookies with waxed paper; spoon any extra powdered
sugar over the crescents.

Freeze any of the cookies up to 6 months; thaw before serving, if
desired. 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 or
margarine (at room temperature), 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg yolk until
creamy. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour (stir in, then beat if using a
mixer) and mix until the dough holds together. With your hands, pat
dough evenly in a 10- by 15-inch pan.

Bake in a 275| oven until golden, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from
oven and immediately scatter 14 to 16 ounces chopped milk chocolate over
hot cooky; when chocolate is soft, spread it evenly and sprinkle with 1
cup sliced almonds.

Let cool until chocolate is firm, then cut cooky into 1- by 2-inch
bars. 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 until
dough holds together.

Pinch off 2-tespoon-size pieces of dough and shape into balls. Beat
egg white slightly. Dip balls into egg white, drain briefly, then roll
in nuts. Set nut-coated balls about 1 inch apart on an ungreased 10- by
15-inch baking sheet. With your thumb, press a well in the center of
each dough ball.

Bake cookies in a 350| over for 10 minutes. Remove them from oven
and press thumb or handle end of a wooden spoon back into each
impression. Quickly spoon enough jelly into hollows to fill them. Bake
until jelly melts, 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Transfer cookies to racts to cool. Serve or store; to store, see
preceding 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 until
nuts are golden under their skins, about 15 minutes. Pour hot nuts into
a towel and rub to remove as much of the brown skins as possible. Lift
nuts 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; mix
until 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 hands
until 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-inch
pans. Repeat to shape each cooky, placing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake in a 325| oven until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool
slightly to firm, then transfer to racks.

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


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