Streams

Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap 2012

Send us your favorite holiday cookie recipe! Melissa Clark will be on the Leonard Lopate Show on Tuesday, December 18, to talk share her holiday baking advice, and she'll pick her favorite recipes from listener submissions and talk to those who shared them! Submit your recipe by Friday, December 14, at 8 pm!

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December 14, 2012 03:23:21 PM
:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen large cookies; 7 dozen smaller ones.

1 ¾ C. all-purpose flour (can replace ½ C with whole wheat flour)
2 ½ C.quick or old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt 2 C. semi-sweet chocolate
1 ¼ C. packed brown sugar morsels
1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened 1 C. coarsely chopped
½ C. granulated sugar (walnuts or almonds) toasted
2 large or extra large eggs ½ C. Heath English Toffee Bits*
2 Tbsp. milk (can substitute plain yogurt)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars in large
bowl until creamy—3 to 4 minutes at high speed**. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, morsels, nuts and toffee bits. Mix well. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Drop in rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets or silpat.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies.
Cool on baking sheets for one minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in tins. May be frozen. (Tastes great just out of the freezer.)
Warning: Highly addictive.

*Can be found in the baking section at your supermarket.
**You cannot overbeat this.

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December 14, 2012 03:20:07 PM
:


APRICOT ALMOND BISCOTTI

Two and three-quarters cups sifted all-purpose flour
One and one-half cups sugar
One half cup (1 stick)/chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Two and one-half teaspoons/baking powder
One teaspoon/ salt
One teaspoon/ground ginger
Three and one half ounces/imported white chocolate (Lindt), cut into pieces
One and two-thirds cups/whole almonds, toasted (I use a toaster oven at 300 degrees and watch them)
Two/large or extra large eggs
One quarter cup plus one tablespoon/ apricot flavored brandy
Two teaspoons/ almond extract
Six ounces/dried apricots, chopped (I use a mini food processor)

*Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
*Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Butter and flour foil (you can use Baker’s Joy).
*Combine first six ingredients in food processor. Process until fine meal forms.
*Add white chocolate and process until finely chopped, but not too finely.
*Add toasted almonds and chop coarsely, using 6 to 8 on/off turns.
*Beat eggs, brandy and almond extract in large bowl.
*Add flour mixture and stir until moist dough forms. (I use my hands.)
*Add the chopped apricots and mix well.
*Drop dough by spoonfuls to make three 12-inch-long strips on prepared cookie sheet, spacing
evenly. (See note below.)
*Moisten hands and shape each dough strip into a 2-inch wide log. Try to make them smooth on
top.
*Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
*Smooth again.
*Bake until logs are golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

*Reduce heat to 300 degrees.
*Carefully transfer logs to work surface. Using a heavy sharp knife, cut each log crosswise into ¾ inch-
wide slices.
*Arrange half the cookies cut side down on cookie sheet.
* Bake 10 minutes.
*Gently turn over and bake 10 minutes longer. You can let them cool a bit before turning. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
*Transfer cookies to racks.
*Cool cookies completely before storing at room temperature in airtight container.

The biscotti will have a chewy consistency. If a dryer harder cookie is desired, the second baking can be longer but do not burn them. The biscotti will keep up to two weeks in airtight containers—although I challenge you to keep them that long. They can be frozen.

Note: Rather than 10 minutes on each side, I bake them upright for 20 minutes without turning them. In either case, position the sheets in the middle of the oven. Also, you can use two cookie sheets and make four narrower logs. For a more festive cookie for the holidays, dip the biscotti in melted white chocolate.

Enjoy!

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December 14, 2012 03:17:24 PM
:

APRICOT ALMOND BISCOTTI

Two and three-quarters cups sifted all-purpose flour
One and one-half cups sugar
One half cup (1 stick)/chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Two and one-half teaspoons/baking powder
One teaspoon/ salt
One teaspoon/ground ginger
Three and one half ounces/imported white chocolate (Lindt), cut into pieces
One and two-thirds cups/whole almonds, toasted (I use a toaster oven at 300 degrees and watch them)
Two/large or extra large eggs
One quarter cup plus one tablespoon/ apricot flavored brandy
Two teaspoons/ almond extract
Six ounces/dried apricots, chopped (I use a mini food processor)

*Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
*Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Butter and flour foil (you can use Baker’s Joy).
*Combine first six ingredients in food processor. Process until fine meal forms.
*Add white chocolate and process until finely chopped, but not too finely.
*Add toasted almonds and chop coarsely, using 6 to 8 on/off turns.
*Beat eggs, brandy and almond extract in large bowl.
*Add flour mixture and stir until moist dough forms. (I use my hands.)
*Add the chopped apricots and mix well.
*Drop dough by spoonfuls to make three 12-inch-long strips on prepared cookie sheet, spacing
evenly. (See note below.)
*Moisten hands and shape each dough strip into a 2-inch wide log. Try to make them smooth on
top.
*Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
*Smooth again.
*Bake until logs are golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

*Reduce heat to 300 degrees.
*Carefully transfer logs to work surface. Using a heavy sharp knife, cut each log crosswise into ¾ inch-
wide slices.
*Arrange half the cookies cut side down on cookie sheet.
* Bake 10 minutes.
*Gently turn over and bake 10 minutes longer. You can let them cool a bit before turning. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.
*Transfer cookies to racks.
*Cool cookies completely before storing at room temperature in airtight container.

The biscotti will have a chewy consistency. If a dryer harder cookie is desired, the second baking can be longer but do not burn them. The biscotti will keep up to two weeks in airtight containers—although I challenge you to keep them that long. They can be frozen.

Note: Rather than 10 minutes on each side, I bake them upright for 20 minutes without turning them. In either case, position the sheets in the middle of the oven. Also, you can use two cookie sheets and make four narrower logs. For a more festive cookie for the holidays, dip the biscotti in melted white chocolate.

Enjoy!

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December 14, 2012 02:02:12 AM
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CHURCH WINDOWS
One of Gramma Del's favorites.
Makes 30-40 cookies. No baking.

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 bag mini colored marshmallows (10-12 oz)
1 bag shredded, sweetened coconut (14 oz)

Melt chocolate chips and butter in a large saucepan over low heat (or in a microwave).
Stir until smooth and let cool to room temperature. Add marshmallows and nuts. Mix until combined.

Using wax paper, shape the mixture into two 2-inch round logs. Roll each log in coconut and shape firmly in wax paper. Wrap securely in the wax paper and freeze overnight. While still frozen, slice each log, with the wax paper still wrapped, into 1/2inch slices. Remove the wax paper and enjoy.

Mickey Donohue

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December 14, 2012 01:11:27 AM
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Caraway Kringles
"Christmas Cookies and Candies" -Barbara Myers

Cream:
1/4 # butter
1 cup sugar
Add:
1 egg
2 tsp. caraway seeds
Sift:
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Alternate adding flour mix and 3T. brandy to above
butter mix.

Chill 2+ hours.
Roll 1/8 inch. Cut. Dust with confectioners sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes - lightly browned.

Notes: Important to use fresh caraway seed (homegrown is nice) or at least not old seed.
Brandy can be good cognac, Drambuie (my favorite), or Irish Mist, or your choice.

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December 14, 2012 01:04:42 AM
:

CHURCH WINDOWS

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December 14, 2012 12:59:17 AM
:

Gramma Delphine's Disintegrate In Your Mouth Shortbread Cookies!
(This is not your Walker's shortbread!)

1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
3/4 cup butter, softened

Directions:
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- With wooden spoon blend in butter.
- Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
- Form dough into 1" balls and flatten slightly.

Decorations:
Halved red and green candied cherries
Milk chocolate drops
Walnuts, Pecans

Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.
They burn really fast so keep an eye on them. They should just be starting to go a light gold around the edges.

Devour!

Mickey Donohue

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December 14, 2012 12:05:09 AM
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Lebkuchen--traditional German molasses-spice Christmas cookies with a sweet and tangy lemon icing. Using medium size cookies cutters, this will make approximately 12 dozen. They keep well and make a nice gift (no nuts or dried fruit).

1 cup shortening
1 quart molasses
6 tsp. anise extract

Melt shortening, let cool, add molasses & anise extract; mix well

2 cups flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsps. baking soda

Combine flour, baking soda, salt & spices. Sift into molasses mixture and mix well (a mixer with a dough hook works well for this). Continue adding flour to the mixture (up to 9 cups total) until a stiff dough forms. Refrigerate the dough until cold & stiff.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thin on floured pastry cloth & cut with cookie cutters. Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10 minutes. Cool and frost with icing and decorate with colored sugar.

Icing
2 egg whites
12 oz. confectioners sugar
lemon juice

Beat egg whites until foamy, mix in half the sugar and thin with the lemon juice until it runs off a knife, thin but not watery. Add more sugar & thin with the lemon juice as needed.

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December 13, 2012 02:15:21 PM
:

Chocolate Lace Cookies

1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
1/2 finely chopped [skinned] hazelnuts
1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat oven to 375; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Warm syrup, butter & sugar in heavy saucepan, stirring over low heat until butter melts. Mix well & remove from heat to cool for about 5 minutes.

Stir in chopped nuts; mix salt into flour and add. Mix until all flour disappears. Use a tiny spoon (half-teaspoon) and small rubber spatula or another spoon or a clean finger to drop batter onto parchment leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie -- they spread a lot!

Bake 2 sheet at a time for 7 to 8 minutes WATCHING THE COOKIES CAREFULLY AS THEY CAN BURN QUICKLY. Rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back after 4 minutes. When done the cookies will be very thin, lacy and deep golden brown all over.

When done remove the sheets from the oven and slide the parchment onto a flat surface immediately to cool and retain their flat shape.

Melt the chocolate over hot water. With a butter knife spread a dollop of chocolate between two [completely cooled] lace cookies and place on waxed paper. The chocolate with harden when left to reach room temperature. Makes +/- 30 sandwich cookies.

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December 13, 2012 02:11:44 PM
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Candy Cane Cookies (submitted by Helen Leah Conroy) This was one of my favorite holiday treats when I was a child. It still is! Like many of the cookies that were new to our family during that decade (the sixties), this one probably was clipped from “Woman’s Day” or “Family Circle”. I make these every December and ship them off across the country to my parents and siblings, and now to my grown nieces and nephews. My husband, sons and neighbors look forward to them too! If you don’t care for a strong almond flavor, feel free to use a tablespoon of vanilla extract instead. You could also substitute a much smaller quantity (½ teaspoon) of peppermint extract if you like. The key to these is dusting the cookies with the candy cane powder while they’re still warm, so the scented pink sugar will stick. Enjoy!!


½ cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I use Spectrum organic.)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract ( or ½ teaspoon peppermint extract)
2 ½ cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red food coloring (or more, if necessary)
2 ounces candy canes (to make ½ cup, crushed)
½ cup granulated sugar

Cream the butter, shortening and confectioners’ sugar. I use a stand mixer on medium speed for about 4 minutes, scraping down after 2.

Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond (or peppermint) extract and mix well to combine (another 2-3 minutes should do it).

Sift the flour and salt into the creamed mixture and fold it in, to combine.

Divide the dough in half. (On a kitchen scale, I get about 320 grams per half.)

Into one half, mix the food coloring, using the back of a spoon. It should be a bright pink!

Wrap the half batches of dough separately and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if using a convection oven and your manufacturer recommends that reduction).

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

When ready to bake, take heaping tablespoons of each dough, roll them (separately) into 6-7” logs between your palms, then twist a pink strip with a plain strip and form into a candy cane shape, flattening very slightly onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between canes.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until very slightly browned on the edges. Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet.

While the cookies are baking, blitz the candy canes in a food processor with the sugar until you have a fine powder speckled with tiny red shards.

While the cookies are still warm (and leaving them on the cookie sheet), sprinkle them with the pink candy cane and sugar powder, pressing very gently to help it melt and thus adhere. Gently transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy! ;o)

N.B. I take a somewhat industrial approach to shaping these, adopting the following efficiency-increasing procedures. I first plop little lumps of chilled dough onto a parchment lined sheet, making an effort to keep them uniform, and truing up any that aren’t. I also check to make sure I have equal numbers of pink and white! I roll the dough into logs, but when they’re about 3 inches long, put them down onto another cookie sheet (parchment covered) and quickly roll them back and forth on the sheet. It shapes them more evenly. Once all the logs are rolled, I wrap and shape all at once.

Comments(1)
December 13, 2012 01:41:56 PM
:

My father was from New Mexico so we made these every Christmas. It's important to use lard to get the right texture and flakiness.
Biscochito's
6 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups lard

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 teaspoons anise seed

2 eggs

1/4 cup brandy

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the lard and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Mix in the anise seed, and beat until fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Add the sifted ingredients and brandy, and stir until well blended.
Fill a cookie press with dough and press out cookies onto non stick cookie sheet. Combine 1/4 c. sugar with tablespoon cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar & cinnamon mixture and bake until golden.

Comments(1)
December 13, 2012 01:35:21 PM
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Since discovering Nekisia Davis’ olive oil maple granola recipe on FOOD52, I’ve made it countless times. I make big batches of it for my sons, but every time, I shamelessly strip mine the fragrant, olive oil- drenched, maple-scented toasted pecans. So I figured, why not just make the nuts and use them as the primary ingredient in a cookie? The dough is based on the ubiquitous holiday nut crescent for which there are dozens of similar recipes floating around. I started with the one my mother most likely clipped from a “Woman’s Day” or “Family Circle” magazine in the sixties. These are chewier – and tastier – due to the crumbled pralines inside each one. They take a bit longer to make, but the results are well worth the effort. Enjoy!! ;o)

For the nuts:
8 ounces coarsely chopped pecan piece
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (something decent, but relatively inexpensive)
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 heaping tablespoon dark brown sugar

For the cookie dough:
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter (salted is okay, but omit the salt below)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste (or high quality vanilla extract, but the paste gives it a better flavor)
2 teaspoons water
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar for rolling the cookies (about a cup or so)

In a medium bowl, toss the pecans well with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the maple syrup and the brown sugar, so all of the pecans are well coated. Let them sit in the bowl for about two hours, or more if you have the time. (The longer, the better.)

Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (or 275 if using a convection oven and the manufacturer recommends a 25 degree reduction).

Spread the coated nuts and any crumbs on a parchment lined medium baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, turning the nuts over after about 12 minutes. Check them at about 10 minutes and then after 18, to make sure they don’t darken too much. Let them cool on the sheet, stirring them about occasionally to help with the cooling process.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and olive oil with the sugar until light and creamy. If using an electric mixer, medium speed works well here, taking about 4 minutes.

Add the vanilla paste and water; scrape down the sides of the bowl; and beat until well combined.

Chop the pralined pecan pieces into small bits. (I do this by pulsing them briefly about 15 - 20 times in my food processor. You don’t want to grind them up too much, or you’ll get a sugary pecan butter.) Add to the creamed butter with the flour. With a large spoon, stir to incorporate fully.

At this point, you can chill the dough for about an hour, and then shape the cookies and bake them. Like many cookies, however, these taste much better if you let the dough rest for at least 24 hours in the fridge. If you do, divide the dough into four equal portions and roll each into an 8-inch log. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to bake, heat your oven to 325 degrees, or 300 if you’re using a convection oven and the manufacturer recommends a reduction for baking.

Scoop or cut the dough into walnut-sized pieces, then roll them into balls and flatten them. Or, if you chilled the dough in logs, slice it into pieces that when rolled are about the size of walnuts; roll those into little logs, which you then shape into crescents, pinching the ends just a bit.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet; then, roll the still warm cookies in sifted confectioners’ sugar.

Enjoy! ;o)

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December 13, 2012 12:47:10 PM
:

Great Grandmother Gera’s Almond Crescent Cookies

1/2 pound butter
1/2 pound fine ground almonds
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar

Cream the butter and sugar. Add almonds. Add 1 cup of the flour. Add vanilla. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour over this mixture and mix by hand. Place a handful of dough on a floured board. Roll out a log of this mixture 1 inch in diameter. Cut off 1/2-inch slices. Roll small crescents from the slices with the heels of hands. Place the crescents on a buttered cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Slightly cool and remove. Place in container and dust with powdered sugar while still warm. Yield approximately 10 dozen cookies.

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December 13, 2012 12:20:22 PM
:

Browned butter Cookies

My mother found this one some years ago-
I have modified the filling from her version

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt + pinch

Get a big bowl ice water ready in sink

Melt butter over med heat stirring occasionally
Until it browns and turns caramel colored... It will
Foam up once it is crowned place pot in ice water to stop cooking- let it cool about 5 min
Add sugar and vanilla stir

Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mix to form dough. Let sit out 2 hours then into fridge overnight

Use a spoon to form cookies by packing a deep
Teaspoon with dough then sliding off onto a ungreased baking sheet bake at 325 for about 10-15 min- until golden Let the cool on sheet for
5 then on rack. Once cool create filling of raspberry jam / mom uses sour cherry by warming it in sauce pan- can add a splash of liqueur of choice.

Create sandwiches - enjoy wait 2 days before eating for best flavor

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December 13, 2012 10:27:59 AM
:

Roseanne's Molasses Cookies

My mother made these moist and fragrant molasses cookies for most of her adult life. I believe the recipe was created with a college friend of my mom’s when they both attended Iowa State University in the early 1940s. She baked them year round. They were just as good with a glass of fresh lemonade as with a cup of hot cocoa. The cookies were placed in a brown ceramic jar that was also used once a year to bake beans on the fourth of July. I have that jar now and my mom has been gone for fifteen years. Every time I hear the lid of the jar rattle as it is being lifted, I am brought back to my childhood for a moment, the smell of fresh baked cookies fills the air and if I close my eyes, I can still hear my mother playing Chopin on the piano.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
( she used shortening I use butter)
1 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp.cinnamon


Granulated sugar for rolling
Plain or colored to be festive
Parchment Paper for placing and baking the
cookies on.

Sift together the flour, baking soda,salt, ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon.
Beat together creaming the butter and brown sugar, then beat in the egg and the molasses.
Form the dough into a big ball and wrap in wax paper.
Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

When ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Pour granulated sugar into a bowl.
Shape a piece of the dough into a 1in. ball then roll in the granulated sugar. Place on the cookie sheet with parchment paper, keep the balls about 2 inches apart. Press down slightly with the back of a spoon on the balls. Sprinkle with more granulated sugar.
Back for 12 - 15 minutes depending on how you like them chewy or crunchy. Cool on a wire rack. One batch will make about 24 cookies, I always double it.

Barbara Coccioletti

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December 12, 2012 03:32:26 PM
:

Nanny Colangelo's Christmas Struffoli

1/2 lb. unsalted butter
6 large eggs
2 Tablespoons Anisette Liquor
6 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups Honey
Peanut Oil for frying
Non Pareil Candy Sprinkles

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla & anisette. Mix until combined. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (Flour, baking powder, salt) Gradually add to wet ingredients and mix until a ball is formed.
Chill dough at least 1 hour.
Roll dough into 1" round Balls
Heat Peanut Oil in saute pan. Fry Struffoli Balls until golden brown. Remove from hot oil and drain.
Meanwhile, warm Honey on stovetop until it become thin and pourable.
Add warm honey to fried Struffoli Balls and toss gently to coat. Add non pareil sprinkles to taste.
Merry Christmas!

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December 12, 2012 12:29:37 PM
:

BELL COOKIES

This recipe is from my old Mum, Muriel Westlake.

Servings: 4 to 5 dozen

PASTRY
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and coffee.
1 cup room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 unbeaten egg
1 tablespoon milk
Cream the butter and gradually add the brown sugar.
Blend in the syrup, egg, and milk - beat well.
Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.

FILLING
1/3 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
1 tablespoon room temperature butter
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Maraschino cherries halved
Mix the sugar, butter, cherry juice, and pecans into a paste.

Roll the dough to 1/8" thick.
Cut into 3" rounds and place on an ungreased sheet.
Put 1/2 teaspoon of filling on each and fold two opposite sides toward the middle but so the edges are not parallel - a bell shape.
Place half a cherry where the clapper would be.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
Store in tins. Best after two days.

David Westlake

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December 12, 2012 12:26:12 PM
:

BELL COOKIES

This recipe is from my old Mum, Muriel Westlake.

Servings: 4 to 5 dozen

PASTRY
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and coffee.
1 cup room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar firmly packed
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 unbeaten egg
1 tablespoon milk
Cream the butter and gradually add the brown sugar.
Blend in the syrup, egg, and milk - beat well.
Add the flour mixture and mix thoroughly.

FILLING
1/3 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
1 tablespoon room temperature butter
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Maraschino cherries halved
Mix the sugar, butter, cherry juice, and pecans into a paste.

Roll the dough to 1/8" thick.
Cut into 3" rounds and place on an ungreased sheet.
Put 1/2 teaspoon of filling on each and fold two opposite sides toward the middle but so the edges are not parallel - a bell shape.
Place half a cherry where the clapper would be.

Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.
Store in tins. Best after two days.

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December 11, 2012 03:52:47 PM
:

American Lebkuchen
Makes 4-5 dozen

I call these “American” lebkuchen because I add a touch of molasses and a variety of warm spices not often found in the traditional Bavarian honey cookie. I also add a bit of anise seed, as it brings out the citrus and honey notes. These can be rolled and cut out with holiday cookie cutters, or rolled into a large rectangle which you then cut into smaller rectangles. (Bake the whole rectangle, fully scored, and then break the bars apart.) These are sweet, chewy and just plain delicious. This recipe is derived, many iterations back, from my mother’s Lebkuchen recipe (which I no longer have, as it’s been so long). She probably clipped it from “Woman’s Day” or “Family Circle” sometime during the sixties. Enjoy! ;o)
½ cup (one stick) butter
½ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
½ cup brown sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Zest of a large lemon or medium orange, finely chopped
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground Ceylon or Korintje cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground anise seed (optional but recommended. I like anise seeds from Spain.)
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
½ cup finely diced crystallized ginger
Icing: ¾ - 1 cup powdered sugar 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (or orange liqueur, or water)
To make the dough: Combine in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, the butter, honey, molasses and brown sugar. When the butter is melted, continue to stir a few more times; then, pour the mixture into a large bowl to cool.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, lemon or orange zest, baking soda, spices, and salt. Sprinkle the ginger over the flour mixture and stir in gently.
Add the egg to the butter mixture and whisk to combine.
Add half of the flour and spices to the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the remaining flour and stir until fully combined.
Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, to allow the flavors to meld.
To bake the cookies: Before rolling, let dough stand for at least an hour at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (300 for a convection oven if your manual suggests a reduction).
Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the edges are just a little brown. Cool on racks.
To make the icing: Sift ¾ cup of the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl; drizzle in the lemon juice or other liquid, starting with one teaspoon and slowly adding more if necessary. Stir well. Add more sugar or liquid to get the consistency you prefer. Drizzle the icing in stripy patterns over the cookies.

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December 11, 2012 03:33:20 PM
:


St. Clement’s Oranges and Lemons Cookies

“’Oranges and Lemons’ say the Bells of St. Clement's,” begins an English nursery rhyme about the bells of London's oldest churches. No one knows which of two London's St. Clements churches inspired the rhyme, as both were near the wharves where citrus cargo was unloaded. These orange-and-lemon cut-out cookies are based on my mother’s basic sugar cookie recipe, which I’ve adapted to give the cookies a citrus-y zing. Instead of vanilla, I use the juice from a Meyer lemon (though any kind of lemon will do), plus the zest of both oranges and lemons are added to the dough. This dough handles beautifully, and can be decorated simply with colored sugars, zest-scented granulated sugar, or a thin confectioners’ sugar glaze. Enjoy!! ;o)

• ½ cup butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 medium egg
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed, once you've zested the lemon)
• Zest of two or three oranges, minced
• Zest of a lemon, minced (Use 2 or 3, if they are smallish Meyer lemons)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough for cutting
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt

For the icing: Confectioners’ sugar (a cup or more)
Orange ratafia, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, strained fresh orange juice (plus a touch of grated zest for oomph) or vanilla extract, or water
Or plain or colored decorating sugars, for sprinkling (I like to combine minced zest with raw sugar on these.)

1. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract; beat well to combine.
2. Add 2 tablespoons (combined and firmly packed) of lemon and orange zest to the dough and mix well.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add them to the creamed mixture of butter, sugar, etc. Stir to combine.
4. Chill the dough for at least a few hours. Overnight is better. As with so many cookies, a longer rested dough produces a tastier cookie.
5. Heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for a regular oven, or 350 degrees for a convection oven.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutters, dipping the cutters into a saucer covered with flour periodically, for easier cutting. Place the cut shapes of dough on a cookie sheet covered with parchment (or lightly oiled, if you don’t have parchment). Sprinkle lightly with colored sugars or granulated sugar scented with citrus zest, if you like.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven, your cookie sheets, etc. The cookies are done when the edges are very light brown.
8. Remove the cookies immediately to let cool on a wire rack.
9. If you want to decorate with icing: Sift or sieve a cup or so of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl and stir in the liquid very gradually (starting with a teaspoon), until you get the consistency you like. Sprinkle with decorative sugars or more zest, if you like.
10.Enjoy!!

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