Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let It Snow - Cookie Time




Resolved, now that I don't have to leave for work in the dark, and clear the car of snow while trying to remain dressed up and professional looking, I will try to see the beauty of snow. The first snow of the season happened while we were gone, and then it melted right away. I was maintaining denial and keeping a pot of yellow pansies alive by the front door. But then yesterday I sent the pansies to their reward and went to the garden center for an evergreen wreath. That must have done it, because you can see the results piling up on my front steps. The other photo is of a tin that originally held Christmas cookies, though later Mom used it to store buttons, zippers and other sewing notions. I liked the graphic, so when she died I snatched it up. It still has buttons and zippers in it, though I rarely sew. I keep it because it reminds me of her.

I'm currently avoiding sugar and most carbs, but I thought I'd share the recipes for the Christmas cookies my husband loves best. It's rough, because I like to bake, but I should not have sugary treats in the house. Still, even looking at these recipes puts me in a holiday state of mind. I see that all four recipes are in the shapes of little balls; I hadn't noticed that before. Anyway, they're all easy and taste tested. You could store them in a nice tin, out of sight but probably not out of mind.

Snowballs
2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two cookie sheets. Cream the butter and add the egg and extract. Stir in the dry ingredients. Form the batter into balls the size of a walnut and place on a cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes. Cool just a little on a wire rack, then roll in powered sugar. These are so buttery and delicious with a cup of hot tea, I cannot tell you.

Brandy Balls
1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tblsp. cocoa
2 1/4 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 cup brandy
Combine everything and form into balls. These get better as they age. We Wisconsinites love our brandy, especially when it's cold outside. If you like rum better, use that instead.

Date Balls
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups chopped dates
2 Tblsp. milk
Combine and cook over low heat until thickened. Then stir in:
2 tps. vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chopped nuts
2/3 cup coconut
Form into little balls and store in an airtight container. This was my husband's mom's recipe.

Sugar Plums
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried figs
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup coconut
3 Tblsp. orange flavored liqueur
Finely chop apricots, pecans, figs, raisins and coconut in a food processor. Add liqueur. Stir together. Shape the mixture into 1" balls with your hands (it gets sticky). Roll each ball in some granulated sugar. Store in an airtight container in the icebox for up to a month. Actually, they're fine stored on the counter too.

1 comment:

Roc said...

Hi,

I just saw your list of favourite books - To Kill a Mocking Bird and Great Expectations are two of my favourites too !

I must read Kite Runner - I've heard so much about it - except that "I hate to read new books "