New Castle News

Columns

November 24, 2012

Culinary Conversation: What are your Christmas cookie recipes?

NEW CASTLE — I recently read about a staggering figure.

There are more than 25,000 restaurants in Manhattan alone.

So I venture that trying to find a place to eat on any given night for the next 50 years or so shouldn’t be a problem.

In terms of numbers, I imagine the types of Christmas cookies also exceeds five figures, especially when variations are included.

For some, baking starts right after Thanksgiving. It does for me. And when a few people gather together, the fun faction increases, as do the amounts. That’s especially great if your friends and relatives are planning a cookie exchange this year.

What about you? What are your baking plans for this holiday season?

Culinary Conversation wants to know about your favorite Christmas cookie recipe and any other traditional food served this time of year.

Each holiday season, I like to try something new mixed in with the old.

For Part one of Christmas cookies — Culinary Conversation style — there are some gems from other countries including the cocoa butter sticks or balls, a Swedish specialty.

Next time, we’ll explore some other favorites including popular all-American choices.

Don’t forget to submit your favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Wish I could sample them all.

Greek Butter Ball Cookies

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped blanched almonds, crushed with rolling pin
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps. brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Few drops almond extract
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with a fork
  • Powdered sugar

Mix flour, baking soda and almonds; set aside.

Heat butter slowly in a small, deep saucepan. Cool. Carefully spoon off into a large bowl the clarified butter from top so cloudy solids which have settled at bottom of pan remain.

Add sugar, brandy, lemon juice, extract, oil and egg yolk to butter; beat well. Add flour-nut mixture in fourths, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a jelly roll pan with absorbent paper and generously sift powdered sugar over paper. Remove cookies carefully to the sugar and roll gently to coat.

Chocolate Vienna Cookies

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