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Food
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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Kitchen Mailbox: Cherries and cranberries the stuff(ing) of memorably scrumptious cookies

Thursday, March 30, 2000

By Arlene Burnett, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Cookies put smiles on everyone's face. We smiled all weekend when we tested today's recipes.

We know it's late in the season for cranberry cookies, but these cookies are so good we couldn't wait to share the recipes with our readers.

The first cookie, Cranberry Drops, gets its spicy flavor from cinnamon and brown sugar; the cranberries and orange juice contribute a tangy kick. The second recipe, Cranberry Oatmeal Drops, is an oatmeal cookie filled with cranberries; orange icing complements this treat.

The ruby color of the cranberries makes these cookies eye-catching as well as delicious.

Because these recipes are drop cookies, they're easy to make. Another bonus is the yield -- about 7 dozen cookies.

Our third recipe is Cherry Filled Cookies. They're scrumptious. The cherry filling is made with frozen cherries (we used frozen dark sweet pitted cherries for the filling), although you can use canned cherries. The cookie itself is a sweet, soft sugar cookie with an almost melt-in-your-mouth consistency.

Hilary Meister of Allison Park requested a recipe for Cranberry Cookies. This first recipe was sent in by Deb Nichols of Fox Chapel.

Cranberry Drops

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/2 cups chopped cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.

Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in milk, orange juice and egg.

In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Blend well with sugar mixture. Stir in walnuts and cranberry pieces. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes about 7 dozen cookies.


This cookie recipe was sent in by Mary Mannella of Penn Hills.

Cranberry Oatmeal Drops

1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon shredded orange peel
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped cranberries
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Orange Icing, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream margarine or butter with brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Add eggs, milk, orange peel.

Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, add to creamed mixture. Stir in cranberries, oatmeal and walnuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoons on greased cookie sheet, bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool. Drizzle orange icing over cookies.

Orange Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice, as needed for a pourable glaze
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients to pourable, glaze-like consistency. Ices about 7 dozen cookies.

Kevin Kelly of Mt. Lebanon requested a recipe for cookies with cherry filling. "When I was a kid, my father used to bring home these wonderful cake cookies from the MacIntosh Bakery, Downtown. We kids always used to fight over them. I always liked the ones stuffed with cherry filling. Since then I've never found anything close to those delectable biscuits."

According to our readers the bakery Kelly is referring to was probably McIntyre's Bakery.


Phyllis Veraldi of Brighton Heights supplied this recipe. Veraldi wrote: "This recipe was given to me many years ago -- it's supposed to be McIntyre's."

Cherry-Filled Cookies

Cherry filling:
2 (1-pound) bags frozen, dark sweet pitted cherries, thawed
1 cup granulated sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons cornstarch

Dough:
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 to 6 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder

For the filling: Place cherries and sugar in a pot. Cook on low for about 5 minutes. Add cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Cook until thick, stirring frequently. Cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar, eggs, shortening, buttermilk and vanilla.

Sift all dry ingredients and add gradually to creamed mixture. (See note.)

On a floured surface, roll dough about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out the cookie dough using a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter. Place about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of cooled filling in the center of dough. Place another cookie over the filling, then seal edges with the tines of a fork.

Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Note: We chilled the dough for about 15 minutes before rolling out.

Letters

Still on the subject of McIntrye's cookies: Here's a letter from Rose Ann Brown of Castle Shannon:

"I have no recipe for the heavenly cherry-filled cookies made by McIntyre's that Kevin Kelly requested. However, I do know who makes some that are extremely close to the original. It is the Simple Treat Bakery, 4734 Liberty Ave., in Bloomfield. They make them on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. These cookies are also available in apricot and raisin, just like McIntyre's. I am an expert because these are my husband's favorite cookies. I have been looking and trying for years to duplicate the recipe, but have had no luck.

"Maybe someone will make us both happy campers with a good recipe."

Rose Ann Brown
Castle Shannon



This letter is to complain about the article by Suzanne Martinson in the March 19 Sunday Magazine section.

"First she states her theory that most people don't cook at home anymore and just eat out. Then she goes on to show statistics compiled by Pillsbury that show most of their respondents spent between $350 and $400 per month on grocery shopping bills. "What the heck does she suppose these people are spending their money on...toilet paper? Of course people are going out, but they are darn well also cooking at home. I make sure my family eats at home most nights a week, and I rarely repeat a meal. I work full-time, and the majority of my co-workers also spend time cooking from scratch for their families. "What sort of a fantasy does this woman live in? Not everyone is an empty nester who is fascinated by chocolate. The single recipe appearing in this Sunday's paper is unsuitable for the majority of people reading the paper. No one I know would spend $100 and several days to make a single dish, not even for Christmas or a similar occasion. And I run with a very food-oriented crowd. "Please tell Ms. Martinson to get a grip on the realities of food, if that is what she is supposed to be writing about. I need recipes and ideas to make a meal, and less information about marching bands and how lazy the food editor is about cooking, eating and shopping."

Alice Kruse
Ross


Clarification

In last week's Kitchen Mailbox, there was an error in the directions for the second recipe for Italian Easter Bread. The ingredient list was correct: Use 6 eggs in the dough. In the directions: After melting the margarine, beat 6 eggs (not 3) until lemon colored and thick, then add the sugar. Sorry for the confusion.

Requests

Phyllis Veraldi of Brighton Heights is hoping someone will have a recipe for the Colonnade's "breakfast delight" Rolly Pollies.

Rosie Lucia of Bethel Park would like to know if any of our readers has a recipe for a cookie called Cherry Bomb. Dough is formed around a cherry (stem intact and sticking out of the dough). The baked cookie is then dipped in a colored powdered sugar icing and rolled in coconut.

The Grand Concourse serves a salad called Martha's Vineyard Salad with raspberry dressing. It's the recipe for the dressing that Laverne Porta of McKees Rocks would like. Can anyone help?

Paula Finello of Glenshaw would like a recipe for baked mini crab cakes.


If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com.

Please include a name, neighborhood and a daytime phone number on all correspondence. All recipes are kitchen-tested by the Post-Gazette.



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