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Nearly a Baker's Dozen of Cookie Recipes for a Variety of Christmas Treats

December 14, 1989

Try these recipes for decorative ornament-type cookies, which you can puncture to hang on a Christmas tree. Other recipes are for simple but good-tasting cookies to serve during holiday time.

HOLIDAY COOKIE ORNAMENTS

1 (8-ounce) package assorted hard candy

1 (8-ounce) package peppermint candies

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup shortening

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup flour

1/2 cup uncooked regular, quick or instant farina cereal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Flour for rolling dough

Place candies in separate plastic bags. Using hammer, crush candies into coarse pieces and set aside.

In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, beat sugar, shortening, egg and almond extract. In medium bowl, combine flour, farina cereal, salt and baking soda.

With electric mixer at low speed, gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Beat until well combined. Form dough into ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator to lightly floured surface and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Using medium or large cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Leaving 1/4 inch or more border and using smaller cookie cutter, cut shape from inside of each cookie.

With large metal skewer, pierce hole in top of each cookie, large enough for decorative cord. (Reroll excess dough and cut out cookies until all dough is used.) Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven to heat-proof surface.

Fill insides of cookies with crushed candy of desired color, or for stained-glass effect, use candy pieces of different colors. Return to oven and bake until candy melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven to wire rack, using tip of small sharp knife immediately swirl colors.

Cool 10 minutes. Using metal spatula, gently loosen cookies from baking sheets and place on wire rack. Cool completely. Thread decorative cord through each cookie and tie in bow. Makes about 24 medium cookies.

SPICY FINGERS

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

Powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Beat butter until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup unsifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour mixed with cinnamon, salt, wheat germ and pecans. Roll small portions of dough into 1/2-inch thick ropes.

Slice on diagonal into 2-inch lengths. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while warm. Cool on rack and roll again. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

FUDGE COOKIES

2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup wheat germ

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate squares and butter over low heat. Cool slightly. Beat in eggs and sugar. Stir in flour, wheat germ, vanilla and walnuts.

Chill dough until firm enough to shape, about 30 minutes. Form into 1-inch balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees about 8 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Note: If desired, decorate with powdered sugar frosting put through decorating tube.

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS COOKIES

1 cup butter or margarine

Sugar

2 egg yolks

3/4 teaspoon brandy extract, optional

1 cup wheat germ

1 1/2 cups flour

Almonds

Beat together butter with 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and extract. Mix in wheat germ and flour. Form into 1-inch balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten balls with bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Press almond into center of each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to racks to cool. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

BLACK-EYED SUSANS

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture. Chill dough several hours.

On lightly floured board, roll out dough to 1/8-thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds with cookie cutter. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of Filling on centers of half the dough rounds. Cut small circles from centers of remaining dough rounds. Place on top of raisin-filled rounds. Press edges together lightly to seal.

Place on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheets a few minutes before removing. Makes 18 large cookies.

Note: Doughnut cutter works well. Simply cut 1/2 of dough with holes and 1/2 without.

Filling

1 cup chopped raisins

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest

1/4 cup sugar

Dash salt

Combine raisins, orange juice, zest, sugar and salt in saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens slightly. Cool.

LITTLE RAISIN LOGS

1 cup raisins

1 cup pecans

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons brandy, optional

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

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