Secret Garden

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cookie Swap

    Jessica is doing a virtual Cookie Swap.  Since we can't actually swap cookies, the next best thing is to swap the recipes.  If you want to participate, post your favorite Christmas (Or other December Holiday) recipe, then post a link to your journal in her comments.  We could get some awesome recipes this way.  Post pictures of your cookies, and tell why they are your favorites.
    I no longer make the vast array of Christmas goodies.  I usually only make Sugar Cookies and Mexican Wedding Cakes, but I have fond memories of the cookies my mother and I used to make, I made them for years myself, but I just don't spend the time to do it now.  My mother used to make apricot thumbprints, Beacon Hill Cookies (I'm going to try to find that one to share, it's in a box somewhere, and I was thinking about making them this year, anyway) and Spritz Cookies and fudge and one year Divinity (Ick!!), bourbon balls and truffles.  Mmmm!  Here are a few of the recipes I have made for Christmas Gift Baskets. (Sorry, no pictures yet.  I won't be making many of these this year, anyway.)  Hope you enjoy, should you try them.

English Toffee
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1/4 Cup finely chopped pecans

Line cookie sheet with wax paper.  In 2 quart saucepan combine sugar and butter.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until candy thermometer reaches 300ºF or a small amount dropped into ice water forms brittle strands, usually 25-30 minutes.  Quickly spread into prepared pan with a buttered metal spoon. Sprinkle with chocolate chips immediately.  Allow chips to stand five minutes, then spread evenly over the toffee.  Sprinkle with nuts.  Cool completely, then break into pieces.

   This is a recipe my husband's sister shared.  His Mom used to make these.

1/2 C shortening
1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 Eggs
2 3/4 C flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
    Mix shortening, the 1 1/2 C sugar and eggs until creamy.  Mix flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt in a separate bowl.  Stir into sugar and egg mixture.  Shape dough into one inch balls.  Roll balls in mixture made of the 2T of sugar and the cinnamon.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes at 400ºF.  Makes about 6 dozen.

Kentucky Bourbon Balls
1/4 C butter
1 pound powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 C ground pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 C bourbon
4 one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
2 Tablespoons shortening
    Line baking sheet with wax paper.  Beat butter until fluffy.  Beat in 1/2 pound of sugar.  With hands work in remaining sugar, lemon juice, pecans, salt and bourbon.  Chill for 30 minutes.
   Meanwhile, melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler stirring often.  
   Shape dough into one inch balls.  Dip in chocolate and place on baking sheet until firm.  Store in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Candy  (Just like peanut butter cups, without the fuss!)
2 C peanut butter
1/2 C margarine, melted
1/2 C brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 C chocolate chips or a 12 ounce bag
1/4 C margarine
    In a large bowl mix peanut butter, melted margarine, brown sugar and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and mix well.  Press into the bottom of a cookie sheet. 
    Melt chocolate chips and 1/4 C margarine in double broiler.  Quickly spread over peanut butter mixture.  Chill for at least half an hour before cutting into small squares.


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