New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

December 16, 2011

Culinary Conversation: Still baking? Two new cookies to try

NEW CASTLE — The envelope, return address and letterhead all reflected the spirit of the season.

On paper adorned with Christmas trees, Helen Martin of New Castle penned a lovely note sending along holiday cheer and included some cookie recipes she has tried and loved.

“I found them to be delicious,” Helen wrote of the shortbread cookies and rum nut butter balls.

For those who are still baking, these sound like a pair to add to the cookie tray.

Thanks, Helen.

Meanwhile, as we make our lists for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals, there’s a tendency to forget about Christmas morning breakfast after the gifts are all unwrapped.

Who wants to spend lots of time on that routine?

Ideas need to be easy, convenient and quick.

One uses frozen bread dough. As the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, would say, “How easy is that?”

And to follow in that theme of questioning, who doesn’t love muffins?

Finally, to provide a wonderful aroma throughout your home, a concoction for a holiday scent rounds out this week’s selections.

Shortbread Cookies

  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, blend butter and sugar until creamy, then add the cornstarch and mix well until smooth.

Gradually add in the flour until the dough starts to hold its shape and is easy to roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.

Cut into any shapes you desire and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on a rack, then ice or enjoy plain.

For the icing:

  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 ounces hot water
  • 1 ounce corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Place in a double boiler to heat slightly or use a microwave on low power until warm. Divide the icing and tint with food colorings, then ice the cookies.

Rum Nut Butter Balls

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lugene Hudson
  • Hudson.jpg Lugene Hudson: Celebrate Easter like Helen Martin

    What’s cookin? That’s one of our favorite questions at Culinary Conversation. We love when readers share some of their favorites. This week, Helen Martin of New Castle stepped up to the plate to answer that question regarding Easter dinners.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: From main dish to dessert, some recipes for your holiday table

    We all have our favorite memories of Easter dinners.  While bunnies, chocolate eggs and peeps show up in the kids’ Easter baskets, the dinner table gets to showcase all of those wonderful spring delights that have finally come out of winter hiding including asparagus, sugar snap peas, broccoli and carrots.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Go on; give someone the raspberries

    It was my first bowl of red raspberries for the season. And I was jubilant. Plump, juicy and delicious to the last bite, those little nuggets of sweetness satisfied. After this stretched-out, dismal winter, I was ready for a little taste of spring.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Greens, cakes among reader’s recipes

    Weeks always start out better when something pleasant arrives in the mail. No, I didn’t win the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Add Girl Scout cookies to your recipes

    Usually, this time of year, I have a secret stash in my freezer. It doesn’t usually remain a secret for long, though. But when the Girl Scout cookie shipments started arriving, this house had no deliveries.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Give your meals an Irish accent

    It’s a new month. And it’s time to be thinking about replacing the snowblowers with lawn mowers. But March can be brutal. There’s a saying that in western Pennsylvania, we can’t breathe easier until we get past St. Patrick’s Day. Still, I’m thinking positively and considering all things new.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Take the cake and pass the pie

    It’s a new month. And it’s time to be thinking about replacing the snowblowers with lawn mowers. But March can be brutal. There’s a saying that in western Pennsylvania, we can’t breathe easier until we get past St. Patrick’s Day. Still, I’m thinking positively and considering all things new.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Yes, soup for you! Try some!

    The groundhog said six more weeks of winter, and nobody is going to argue with his assessment. The upside is — we’re closer to daffodils, the swallows returning to Capistrano and sooner rather than later, gardening. There’s already been a glimmer of spring’s promises this week.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Cherries can help make Presidents Day sweet as pie

    Monday is Presidents Day. Granted, most of us don’t celebrate like we do on the Fourth of July and Christmas.  Some get the day off, though, which is a mini-celebration in itself.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: It’s time for some Valentine’s Day sweetness

    After only a few seconds of thought, I’ve come to a conclusion. There’s isn’t anything in the food world much more wonderful than chocolate. My love affair with chocolate began at a very young age.

    February 10, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The driver of the car that killed Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. You OK with the sentence?

Yes
No. Not long enough.
No. Too long.
Not sure
     View Results