New Castle News

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December 21, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Baking Christmas cookies, chapter 2

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE —

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1⁄2 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and gradually add brown sugar, creaming well in mixer. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Sift together all dry ingredients and blend into butter mixture.

You may chill dough for better results. Roll out half of dough on floured surface to a 10x8-inch rectangle. Spread with half of date, fig or chocolate filling.

Roll out like a jelly roll starting with 10-inch side. Wrap in waxed paper or aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill at least 2 hours.

Cut into slices about 1⁄4-inch thick and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Date filling: Combine 11⁄4 cups dates, cut in pieces, 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1⁄2 cup water in saucepan. Cook over low heat until thick; stirring constantly. Cool thoroughly. Add 1⁄2 cup nuts, chopped.

Fig filling: Combine 11⁄4 cups figs, ground or cut in small pieces, 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1 cup water in saucepan. Cook over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. Cool thoroughly. Add 1⁄2 cup nuts, chopped.

Chocolate filling: Melt 1 cup (6-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate pieces in top of double boiler over boiling water. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup flaked or shredded coconut, chopped.

Spritz Cookies

  • 21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon almond extract

Sift together flour and salt. Cream butter and gradually add sugar, creaming well. Blend in egg and extract (lemon or rum flavoring may be substituted.) Beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients; mix thoroughly.

Press a small amount of dough through a cookie press onto ungreased baking sheet, using any plate to make desired shape. Bake at 400 for 6 to 8 minutes.

Caramel-Nut Acorns

  • 21⁄2 cups flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3⁄4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄3 cup pecans, chopped fine

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