Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas cookie exchange



Held the first Christmas cookie exchange with the church ladies' group Wednesday night. Only three people showed besides me. Heavy fog and prior commitments kept people away. I hope it will catch on in subsequent years. Here are three recipes (one woman didn't bring hers to copy.)

REESE BALLS
1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1 1/3 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 box confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 block food-grade paraffin (Gulf Wax brand) Note: Paraffin is no longer receommended for consumption. You can add a small amount of Crisco to the chocolate to make it shiny

Crush graham crackers until fine. Add peanut butter, sugar and melted butter. Roll mixture into balls. Melt paraffin wax with chocolate chips. Dip balls with toothpick into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper until dry. Should make approximately 5 dozen depending on the size of the balls.




HARVEST COOKIES
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
1 1/2 cups rolled oats.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped apples
1/2 cup each raisins and nuts

To roll cookies in: 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Sift flour with baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmed in bowl. Add shortening, 1 cup brown sugar, egg and water; beat until mixed thoroughly. Stir in apples, rolled oats, raisins and nuts. Mixture will be stiff. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Make 1 tevel tablespoon of cookie dough into balls. Roll in sugar mixture; bake on greased cookie sheet in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until done.




I have it on good authority from my friend Katie that the ones I made are "AWESOME."
The recipe is from the current (Dec./Jan. 09) issue of Taste of Home Magazine. The person who submitted it said it was brought to America from Germany in 1846 and handed down through six generations.

SPICED CHRISTMAS COOKIES
2 cups molasses
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
8 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons EACH ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts
1 2/3 cups raisins
1/4 cup chopped candied lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped candied orange peel

FROSTING:
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice

GARNISH
2 cups red and/or green candied cherries, cut as desired

In a large bowl, beat molasses, butter, sour cream and lemon juice until well blended. Combine flour, brown sugar, spices, baking soda, lemon peel and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture; mix well. Stir in walnuts, raisins and candied peels. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Divide dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Beat frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost cookies; decorate with cherries. Store in an airtight container.

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