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Food
Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Dellawitzes

2 pounds pitted dates
8 ounces candied orange or lemon peel or a combination of the two
8 ounce walnuts, chopped
8 ounces almonds, chopped
8 ounces brazil nuts, chopped
4 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or butter them.

Using a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop the dates, candied peel and crystallized ginger in batches, using some of the flour to keep the pieces of fruit from sticking together. As it's chopped, transfer the fruit to a very large bowl. Add the nuts to the fruit, toss to mix and set aside. (We could not find shelled brazil nuts, so we used double the walnuts.)

On a piece of wax paper, combine the remaining flour, salt and baking soda. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until well mixed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the flour mixture. Begin adding the fruit and nut mixture as you continue to beat the dough. When the dough mass gets too large for the bowl, transfer the mixture to a huge mixing bowl and continue to incorporate the fruit and nut mixture into the dough with your hands. It helps at this point if there's one person to hold the bowl while another mixes in the fruit and nuts. Try not to laugh too hard.

Form the dough into 1-inch balls, wetting your hands in cold water from time to time to keep the dough from forming a gunky layer on your palms, and place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets. Bake in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. Makes about 175 cookies.

"The Christmas Cookie Book,"
by Judy Knipe and Barbara Marks
Tested by Suzanne Martinson

Thursday, December 07, 2000



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