Living

More Christmas cookies for the hectic holiday season

School’s out this week for the Christmas holidays, and activities are crammed into the week.

My granddaughter’s preschool party is today, the Christmas program is Thursday night and dance classes end Thursday afternoon.

What does that mean? It’s crunch time for making teacher gifts and juggling all our schedules.

Crazy, yes. I will miss Lilly’s party today, because I am doing a luncheon. I was hoping Lilly’s party would be Friday, but no. Her mom switched her work schedule with a co-worker to attend the party and help me set up for the luncheon. At least one of us must be at the party, or Lilly would be crushed. Can’t have that, can we?

Does this time crunch sound familiar? I never understood how parents and grandparents of several children do it. God must have known I could only handle one child and now one grandchild.

For Lilly’s teachers, I pulled out a gift idea that Elyssa and I made for her fourth-grade teacher, Anne Ladner of Long Beach, some 14 years ago.

It is still a goodie because teachers rarely have time to bake for the holidays, much less grocery shop, and this gift lets them dump ingredients in the pan and out come sand art brownies.

The ingredients are layered in a quart canning jar and lid and a colorful tag of recipe instructions is attached to the decorated lid. Fabric, lace or paint can be used to decorate the lid. This recipe is for chocolate lovers.

Sandra Fulcher of Long Beach shared a Grinch cookie recipe that I am making this year. She found it online from Simplistically Living.

I promised to share three variations to Hershey’s Kitchens’ peanut butter blossom cookies. The original recipe appeared in Dec. 7 column. These are no-fuss cookies, another plus when time is short.

STILL LOOKING

No readers have responded to this woman’s search for a candy booklet. Perhaps some old-time Biloxians will remember it.

“I am looking for the name of a candy booklet by the late Bertha Sadowski, who had a bakery, taught cake decorating classes at Biloxi High and taught candy classes,” a reader with the initials H.B. said. “She produced a cookbook and a candy booklet.

“Would anyone know the name of the candy booklet or where I might get one? Also, if someone has the booklet, would they be willing to share some of her candy recipes or any information on these recipes?” asked H.B.

Readers, do you have information about this booklet? If so, please let me know.

QUICK-FIXES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Readers, you must be speedy to send in your favorite savory or sweet quick-fix recipes for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s. I will share those in time for the big events.

SAND ART BROWNIES

2/3 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup white sugar

1/2 Cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup vanilla chips

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour all purpose

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts

2 tablespoons flour to toss with nuts

Place ingredients in order listed in a quart-sized jar. Tap ingredients down gently after each addition.

Attach the following directions to the jar: Mix with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and three eggs. Spread into a greased 9-by-9-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until done.

Pretty printable instruction tags can be found online at http://christmas.organizedhome.com/crafts/gifts-in-a-jar/sand-art-brownies

KISSES RED VELVET CHOCOLATE BLOSSOMS

48 Hershey’s Hugs Brand raspberry flavored white creme candies or Hershey’s Hugs Brand Candies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon red food color

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup white decorator’s sugar or granulated sugar for rolling

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove wrappers from candies.

Beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, egg, milk, red food color and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in decorator’s sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookie is set (do not over bake). Remove from oven; cool 3 to 4 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

— Hershey’s Kitchens

KISSES BUTTER-NUT BLOSSOMS

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds, pecans or walnuts

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

30 Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in medium bowl until well-blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating well. If necessary, refrigerate dough until firm enough to handle. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in ground nuts. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Remove from oven; immediately press a chocolate piece into center of each cookie. Carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Chocolate should be set before storing. Makes about 30 cookies.

Orange variation: Add 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel to butter mixture.

– From Hershey’s Kitchens

KISSES COCONUT MACAROON BLOSSOMS

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons almond extract

2 teaspoons orange juice

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 cups Mounds Sweetened Coconut Flakes, divided

48 Hershey’s Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates

Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolk, almond extract and orange juice; beat well. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut.

Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in remaining 2 cups coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; immediately press chocolate into center of each cookie. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

– From Hershey’s Kitchens

CRINKLY, CRANKY, GRINCH COOKIES

Royal icing:

2 egg whites

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 gel food coloring, red

Pastry bag

Cookie ingredients:

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup cornstarch

1 gel food coloring, green

1 cup powdered sugar

1 box vanilla cake mix

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 stick butter, unsalted

1 gel food coloring, green

Parchment paper

For cookies:

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add powdered sugar and cornstarch together in loaf pan. Mix well.

Mix the butter, cake mix, oil and eggs together. (The batter will be thick.)

Stir green food coloring to get the Grinch green. (I used about 5 drops.)

Using a small ice cream scoop get a chunk of dough then roll it into the powdered sugar/cornstarch mixture.

Pick up the dough and roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet.

Place the cookie balls 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until they puff up.

Royal icing directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mixing on medium speed for 4 minutes, except for food coloring. Note: If icing is not thick enough, add 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Spoon the icing into a bowl. Add several drops of red gel food coloring in the large bowl of icing and stir well to mix the color.

Spoon the red icing into a piping bag with No. 2 tip.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

Free hand draw tiny red hearts or if needed trace the hearts to the underside of the wax paper to copy with the red icing. Allow to dry 5 to 10 hours. Cut the wax paper surrounding the hearts into small squares then peel the wax paper away from the back of the heart.

(My way: Buy small candy heart mold and pipe melted red candy disks into the mold. These dry quickly, and the hearts normally just pop out.)

Place the small heart in the bottom of the cookie. If you need it to stick, you can use a bit of the royal icing to “glue” it to the cookie.

– Submitted by Sandra Fulcher from Simplistically Living

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