December 10: Snowflake Meringue Cookies

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An easy recipe even JDub can’t screw up. I brought some to the beauty parlor (yes, I’m 80) yesterday, and these were my manicurist’s favorite.

Except, they are supposed to be shaped like snowflakes.

And I’m still not that good with a decorator bag.

Nailed it.

So I settled for wreathes. Yes, white wreaths. Deal with it.

Snowflake Meringue Cookies
(from The Spirit of Christmas Cookbook, Volume 4)

Ingredients:

4 egg whites
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. almond extract
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cream of tartar
decorating sugar

Directions:

1. Cover baking sheets with waxed paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add powdered sugar, almond extract, cinnamon, and cream of tartar; beat until very stiff.
3. Spoon meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip. Make snowflake design. Add decorating sugars.
4. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

My notes:

Well, sure, you can let them sit at room temperature…for 24 hours. I did one batch like that. The rest, I got impatient and used my oven on the lowest setting for 5 minutes, then turned off the oven and let the cookies rest.

Oh, and these are very fragile. The tin fell off the counter, and now I have meringue wreath bits to give people.

Stats:

This batch: 152 cookies
Total so far: 567

December 9: Peanut Butter Blossoms

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Yes, yes, the iconic peanut butter cookie with the Hershey Kiss in the middle. It’s just not Christmas unless these bad boys are in a tray.

Because I promised my new friend Alex some gluten free cookies this year, I made half the batch with gluten free flour. Normally, you’re supposed to use Xantham, too, but I figured these cookies have enough grease in them to keep them together without it. That, and I don’t have the foggiest idea where to buy Xantham.

Two different bowls for regular and gluten free cookies. First ingredient in gluten free flour? Garbanzo bean flour. Have fun with that, Alex and Stephen.

(The next trick will be getting them in the mail before they go bad. And get them to Atlanta in one piece.)

My kids, by the way, all turned their noses up at peanut butter cookies…yet, they hold a new personal record for the eating of an entire batch of cookies in one day.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
(from the Hershey Chocolate website)

Ingredients:

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Additional granulated sugar
 
Directions:
 
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each
cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

My Notes:

You have to put the kiss on the cookie pretty much immediately, otherwise the cookie falls apart.

Stats:

This batch: 38 cookies
Total so far: 415