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Clock's ticking to enter the L.A. Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off

October 30, 2012
(Ricardo De Aratanha / Los…)

Don't keep your favorite holiday cookie recipe all to yourself. Spread the love; there are a few days left to enter the 3rd annual Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off. Post your recipe along with a short essay explaining why this cookie is your family's favorite. You can find a link for entry on our website: latimes.com/food.

We'll test and taste the top 50 vote-getters at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Pasadena to come up with the 10 best. The deadline for entries is Nov. 3, and the voting ends Nov. 12. So get your recipe in as soon as you can.

Here's a recipe for one of last year's winning cookies: Hungarian Isler cookies, submitted by Monika Csaszni.

Hungarian Isler cookies

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, plus chilling and cooling times

Servings: Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Monika Csaszni.

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter

1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) powdered sugar

1 1/4 cups ground walnuts

1 tablespoon rum

Pinch of salt

2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) flour

1/2 cup raspberry jam

1 cup chocolate chips

Dark and white chocolate curls, for garnish (optional)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Slowly beat in the walnuts, rum and salt. Slowly beat in the flour. Cover and refrigerate the dough until well-chilled, at least 1 hour.

2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and break off one-fourth of the dough; return the rest of the dough to the refrigerator so it stays chilled until rolling. Roll each portion of the dough to a thickness of 3 millimeters (a scant one-eighth of an inch); if the dough is a bit sticky, roll it under a layer of plastic wrap or dust the dough lightly with flour. Cut out rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and bake just until the edges start to turn brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the cookies and cool on a rack.

3. To assemble the cookie sandwiches, spoon about 1 teaspoon raspberry jam in the center of half of one cookie and top with a second. Repeat with all of the cookies.

4. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave using a glass microwave-safe container; stir the chips every 10 seconds until melted. The chocolate can also be melted in a metal bowl set over simmering water, stirring until all of the chips are melted. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or into a heavy, sealable plastic bag with one of the corners cut off, and glaze the cookies. Garnish with dark and white chocolate curls for an extra special treat.

5. Store the cookies in a tin container and place in a cool place at least overnight, to give the flavors time to develop.

Each of 24 cookies: 244 calories; 3 grams protein; 25 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 16 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 13 grams sugar; 11 mg sodium.

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