I believe it’s cookie making time. I’ve heard from quite a few people who are done and have the cookies in the freezer, so they won’t get eaten before Christmas. Ha! It isn’t just the younger set that finds them. Men dig their way to the middle of the freezer where you thought the cookies were safe. I call them “the cookie monsters.” If you are done with most of your Christmas baking, you just might find a cookie recipe in this column that you’d like to try...it’s not too late! This cookie is similar to Russian Tea Cakes or as some call them, Mexican wedding cakes.
NUTMEG MELTAWAYS 1 c. butter, softened 1/2 c. sugar 1 t. vanilla 2 c. flour 3/4 c. ground almonds (about 3 oz.) 1-1/2 c. powdered sugar 1 T. plus 1 t. nutmeg In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Gradually add flour; mix well. Stir in almonds. Shape into 1-inch balls; place 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Combine powdered sugar and nutmeg. Gently roll cooled cookies in sugar mixture. Makes about five dozen. Note: I combine the sugar and nutmeg in a small bowl, transfer to a pie tin or other flat container to roll them they are easier to cover.
+++++ CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY COOKIES 1/2 c. butter 1 c. sugar 1 egg 1-1/2 t. vanilla 1-1/2 c. flour 1/2 c. baking cocoa 1/4 t. each, salt, baking soda and baking powder 1-10 oz. jar maraschino cherries 1 c. chocolate chips 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. In another bowl, combine next 5 ingredients, mixing well; gradually add to creamed mixture. Drain cherries, saving 1-1/2 t. juice. Pat cherries dry on paper toweling. Shape 1 T. dough around each cherry. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire racks. For frosting: In a saucepan, heat chips and milk over medium heat until chips are melted, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in cherry juice. Coat the cookies. Makes about 2-1/2 dozen.
+++++ COCONUT FRUITCAKE COOKIES 1-1/2 c. chopped pecans 1-1/4 flaked coconu 1/2 c. plus 2 T. each, candied cherries and candied pineapple 1/2 c. snipped dates 1 c. sweetened condensed milk In a bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Stir in milk. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cake racks to cool completely. Let stand for 24 hours in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes about 1-1/2 dozen cakes.
+++++ I’m sure there are some of you that might want to make a low-calorie kind of cookie. If for a cookie tray or for yourself, and you won’t feel quite as guilty “testing” this kind of cookie. These molasses cookies have pretty crackled tops and soft center. LO - CAL MOLASSES COOKIES 1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil 1/4 c. molasses 2/3 c. sugar, divided 2 c. flour 2 t. baking soda 1 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. ginger 1/4 t. cloves In a mixing bowl, beat oil, molasses, 1/4 c. sugar and egg. In a small bowl, combine flour baking soda and spices, mixing well. Add to molasses mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in rest of sugar. Put on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are just set and surface cracks. Makes about five dozen. Nutritional value: one cookie equals 40 calories, 44 mg sodium, 4 mg cholesterol, 5 gm carbs, 2 gm fat.
Thought for the Day: Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.