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Kitchen Mailbox: Four more cookies for holiday munching

Thursday, December 16, 1999

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

If you still have some holiday baking to do, we have four cookies you might want to add to your list.

First up is the recipe for Butter Dream Cookies. Butter Dream cookies are melt-in-your-mouth cookies that everyone will love -- the cherry in the middle adds a festive touch.

The second cookie, Jamborees, are delicate and pretty -- the marmalade centers almost sparkle. Those of you that have a cookie press will be able to pump out about 6 dozen of these cookies in no time. If you don't have a cookie press, check out the note at the end of the recipe.

The third is Thumbprint cookies, a staple of the Christmas cookie tray. These cookies are rolled in nuts and have a center of either icing or jam -- they're delicious.

The last cookie, Raisin-Filled Cookies, take some time, but you will find they're well worth it.

A recipe for Butter Dream Cookies was requested by Margaret Trunzo of Canonsburg. Lorraine Albright of Greenfield sent this recipe.

Butter Dream Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
Maraschino cherries

Cream butter; gradually add shortening, then sugar; cream well. Blend in almond extract and flour, mix well. Shape dough in balls using 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Press a maraschino cherry into top of each ball, allowing cherry to show slightly. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Here's a festive cookie, sent in by Sofia Prodonovich of Germantown, Tenn.

Jamborees

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
Apricot jam or marmalade
About 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped fine

Sift flour and salt together.

Cream butter; gradually add sugar and cream well.

Blend in eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Press through cookie press onto ungreased baking sheets. Use star plate, force about 3 inches of dough into an enclosed circle. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon apricot jam or marmalade into center of cookie. Sprinkle chopped walnuts (chopped fine); you need about 1/3 cup walnuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until delicately browned around the edge. Makes 7 to 8 dozen cookies.

Note: Our cookies took about 8 minutes to bake. If you don't have a cookie press, roll dough into balls (about 1/2 tablespoon) then flatten with the palm of your hand -- placing the marmalade in the center of each cookie along with the nuts -- then bake.

Linda Corbett of Brookline requested a recipe for Thumbprint cookies made with confectioners' sugar icing centers. Here's a recipe from Mary Jancsar of Moon Township.

Thumbprint Cookies

1/2 cup butter (you may use part shortening)
/4 cup white sugar (or packed light brown sugar)
1 egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Tinted confectioners' icing or jelly

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping or sifting. Blend together flour and salt; stir in butter mixture. Take about 1 teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball. Beat egg white slightly -- coat balls with egg whites -- then roll in nuts. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet; press thumb gently in center of cookies. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and if needed gently press thumb in center of cookies a second time. Add icing or jelly in thumbprint.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Confectioners' Icing

Combine confectioners' sugar with enough milk to make an icing that's easy to spoon but not too runny. We started out with about 2 cups confectioners' sugar and about 5 tablespoons of milk.

If you have fond memories of the fruit-filled cookies from McIntyre's Bakery, Downtown, you'll want to try these cookies.

Raisin-Filled Cookies

Filling:
1 pound raisins*
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the raisins and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Mix sugar and cornstarch together, then add to raisins. Boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Allow mixture to cool completely before making cookies.

*Note: The raisin filling can easily be substituted with any fruit filling on the market. A few suggestions are apricot or cherry.

Dough:
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons baking soda
Flour to form a soft dough, start with 5 cups
1 cup milk

Cream together sugar and shortening. Mix in eggs and vanilla and blend well. Mix cream of tartar with baking soda and 5 cups flour. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix well; add more flour if needed to form a soft, rollable dough.

On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness; cut with biscuit cutter and place rounds on greased cookie sheet. Place a heaping teaspoon of raisin filling in center of dough and cover with another round of dough. Gently press the edges together. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

-- Leah H. Kalasky



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