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Have a Merry Littler Christmas

December 22, 1991|BEV BENNETT | Bennett is food editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and a cookbook author

It wouldn't be Christmas without a plate of cookies in the house. But rather than face too much of a wonderful thing, follow the directions below and make only 10 cookies.

BLACK WALNUT MINI-POUND CAKE

1/2 cup chopped black walnuts

1/2 cup butter

10 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon whiskey

1 cup cake flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees until lightly browned and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Remove nuts from baking sheet, so they don't continue to brown. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat together eggs and whiskey until blended. Beat into butter mixture. Sift together cake flour and salt. Gently fold into batter by hand. Fold in nuts.

Spoon batter into greased and floured 7 1/2x3 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees until cake is golden and wood pick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.

Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. (Cake improves in flavor if wrapped in plastic wrap and allowed to stand 1 day.) Served cold or toasted. Makes 6 slices.

EGGNOG COOKIES

1/4 cup unsalted butter

6 tablespoons sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 tablespoon whipping cream or milk

3/4 cup cake flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Dash salt

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar in medium mixer bowl until light. Beat in egg yolk, rum and whipping cream.

Stir together cake flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir into egg yolk mixture. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart to form 10 cookies. Bake at 350 degrees until cookies are puffed and lightly browned, 17 to 19 minutes. Allow cookies to set on baking sheet 5 to 10 minutes, then gently remove to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 10 cookies.

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