Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recipes from an old magazine...

As I've mentioned before, every year I plan to try at least one or two new Christmas cookie recipes. These don't have to be newly developed recipes from a recent cookbook, newspaper, or magazine -- although they may be. These recipes just have to be new ones for me. They might come from a friend or from an old newspaper clipping -- just about any source. One year, I found two "keeper" recipes in an old Early American Life magazine which had been discarded by the local library. Here they are:

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk

2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. orange juice
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 cups flaked coconut, divided use
9 oz. Hershey milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped (about 54)

Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, extract, and orange juice; beat well. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut. Cover dough and chill it for about 1 hour.

Shape the dough in 1-inch balls. Roll balls in remaining coconut; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom. Remove from oven and press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then carefully remove to racks to cool until chocolate is firm.

Makes 4 1/2

These cookies are delicious and very festive-looking.

Here's the second recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 3/4 cups flour
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsp. unsweetened baking cocoa
1 egg, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
Candied cherry halves OR red and green M&Ms

Cream butter with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until well blended. Mix in 1/4 cup cocoa; gradually beat in flour, mixing until smooth. Chill dough for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, beat cream cheese in small mixer bowl; add remaining 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 T. cocoa, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Set aside. Slightly beat the egg white in a custard cup; set it aside.

Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls; dip in egg white, then roll in chopped pecans. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently press thumb into center of each cookie to make indentation; fill each with about 1 tsp. filling mixture.

Bake for 12 minutes at 350° or
until filling appears set. Cool slightly on cookie sheet; top each cookie with a cherry half or an M&M candy. Remove to racks; cool completely. Store in refrigerator due to the cream cheese filling.

Makes 40.

These cookies are really pretty and delicious. The M&Ms are my
own variation. If you would like vanilla filling rather than chocolate
(even prettier!), just leave out the 2 T. cocoa in the filling mixture.

Maybe one of these recipes will become a favorite for you at Christmas 2007! At the very least, maybe this thought will inspire you to search for a new recipe or two to try for your family and friends this Christmas.

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