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December 1999 Issue
Visions of Sugarplums....
by Victoria Smith
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Sugar and Spice Espresso Cookies

  • 1 1/2 tbsp. dry instant espresso
  • 1 tbsp. hot water
  • 1/2 cup softened margarine
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg substitute
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 additional tsp. dry instant espresso
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Espresso coating (below)
  • Chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired
Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso in hot water in a large bowl.  Add margarine, shortening, sugars and egg substitute. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in flour, baking powder, 1 tsp espresso cinnamon and salt, on low speed.

Divide dough in half.  Shape each half into a roll, 10 inches long.  Wrap each roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Prepare espresso coating on a large plate.  Roll each roll of dough (reserve any remaining coating).  Rewrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes longer.

Heat oven to 375F.  Cut each roll into 3/8" slices.  Place about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with remaining coating.  Press beans in cookies.  Bake 8 to 10 minutes of until edges are light brown.  Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

  • Yields: 4 1/2 dozen cookies
  • Preparation Time: about 90 minutes
 

Espresso Coating
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. dry instant espresso
Mix ingredients.
  • Yields: enough for cookies
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Old Time Chocolate Fudge
  • 3 or 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. margarine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
Combine chocolate and milk in a large, heavy skillet.  Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth and blended.  Stir in sugar, salt, and corn syrup; continue cooking without stirring until 236F registers on the candy thermometer, or until a small amount of the mixture when dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball. 

Remove from heat; add margarine, vanilla, and nuts.  Cool, without stirring, until lukewarm.  Beat thoroughly until mixture thickens and loses its gloss. 

Pour quickly into a greased 8" square pan.  Cut into squares and remove from pan.

  • Yields: about 2 lbs
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Peanut Brittle
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts
Combine sugars, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan.  Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved.   Continue to cook, without stirring, until a little of the mixture dropped into very cold water becomes very brittle.  Remove from heat.  Add salt, margarine, and baking soda, and stir to mix.  Add nuts and turn into a shallow greased pan.  Let stand for a minute or so, and then pull very thin.  When cold, break up.
  • Yields: about 1 1/2 lbs.
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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