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December 2000 Issue
Vision of Sugarplums....
by Victoria Smith
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Cream Cheese Crescent Cookies

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
Combine flour and baking powder in bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Beat well. Gradually add flour mixture beating after each addition. Divide dough into three balls. Refrigerate overnight.

Work dough into long strands. Cut and form crescents, or make balls and flatten with fork on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool before icing.

Icing: Melt chocolate or white chocolate chips and dip cooled cookies. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or decorative sugar if desired.

  • Yields: depends on the size of the cookies
  • Preparation Time: chill 4 hours to overnight -- about 30 minutes actual fixing time, not counting the chilling
 

 

Chocolate Crinkles

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • confectioners' sugar, sifted
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour with the mixer as possible, and stir in the rest of the flour. Chill for 2 hours, covered.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sifted confectioners' sugar, coating well. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake in a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until crackled in appearance. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar if desired.

  • Yields: Makes 48 cookies
  • Preparation Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
 

 

Old-Fashioned Walnut Balls

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely chopped walnuts
  • powdered sugar
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Sift flour and salt together; add to creamed mixture. Mix well; stir in walnuts. Shape dough into walnut-sized balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet with spatula. When still warm but cool enough to handle, roll in powdered sugar.
  • Yields: depend on the size of the balls
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 

 

Lemon Spritz Cookies

  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine, softened (6 ounces)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp lemon peel, finely grated
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven at 350°. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine margarine, lemon juice, and lemon peel. In another mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients just until moistened. Spoon dough into a cookie press (with desired shape template). Press cookies about 2" apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or lightly browned.
  • Yields: about 3 dozen
  • Preparation Time: less than 30 minutes
 

 

Florentines

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almonds or hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound candied orange peel, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
Icing:
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons cream or water
Mix all cookie ingredients together and arrange 2 inches apart, by teaspoonfuls, on baking sheet. Flatten each with a knife dipped in cold water.

Bake about 10 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Cool, flat side up, on racks, then spread with chocolate icing.

Icing: Melt chocolate in a double boiler; add cream or water. Stir until smooth and spread on the flat side of the cookies.

  • Yields: 24 cookies
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes
 

 

Special Christmas Tarts

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg white, unbeaten
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar and stir in well beaten egg. Sift flour and baking powder together, blend with first ingredients to make a soft dough. Set in refrigerator to chill. When cold, place on well floured board (or use powdered sugar), roll out 1/8-inch thick. Knead in more flour if needed. Shape with cutters. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet at 275 degrees about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Yields: about 30 cookies
  • Preparation Time: about 45 minutes
 

 

Extra Wonderful Cookies

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating until they hold stiff peaks. Add salt and vanilla. Stir well. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Cover cookie sheet with foil and grease with butter or margarine. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the foil. Put in oven then turn the oven off. Leave overnight in oven with door closed.
  • Yields: about 4 dozen
  • Preparation Time: about 45 minutes plus overnight
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