Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thumbprint Cookies - Sonja Heine Cookies

So it is really cold here in Illinois this morning, so I started the baking. I mixed up a bunch of cookies yesterday, and today I'm going to keep the house warm by baking.

Starting with the smallest batch. This makes only about two dozen.
From Leone Potter

1/2 C butter (recipe says shortening)
1/4 C. Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
1 egg yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1 C sifted flour
1/4 t salt
1 egg white
3/4 C finely chopped pecans
Tart red jelly

Mix butter thoroughly with brown sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla.
Sift flour with salt & stir into butter mixture.
Preheat oven to moderate heat (375°)
Beat egg white slightly.
Roll dough between palms of hands into 1" balls.
Dip balls into egg whites and roll in pecans.
Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and quickly press gently on top of each cookie.
Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.
Before serving, place a bit of red jelly in the thumbprint.

Now, all we have to do is figure out why these are named after a skater?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Cookies - so many memories

Okay - now I'm thinking cookies. I bought four pounds of butter today. What can I say? It's a start.

The cookies all have memories attached.

Gingersnaps - made with butter. The recipe says: might as well double. This is my brother's favorite.

Shortbread - Grandma T's recipe. A Cream of Tartar cookie. Rolled out with Grandma D's rolling pin, these are crisp and delicious, often encrusted with impossible colors of frosting. We have a little Scottie dog cookie cutter (Roosevelt era) that is excellent, and makes a nice sized cookie especially when frosted with blue icing.

Rugelach - a recipe my neighbor brought to us. Sour cherry. Worth all the work.

Sugar cookies - Mrs. Juel's recipe, clearly doubled makes millions of cookies. Another Cream of Tartar recipe. There is a certain taste to them that is irresistible and I love them when they are slightly over baked.

Thumb prints (Sonja Heine cookies is what Grandma D always called them) Basically shortbread balls rolled in pecans, pressed as they come out of the oven. Serve with a blob of tart jelly - red currant, plum. Why are these named for a skater?

Krumkaka - my beloved aunt Ann used to labor over these crispy tubes that we filled with whipped cream and strawberries. I'm going to make these this year.

Date Filled - Little pillows of cinnamon dough, plump with cooked dates. Mom loves these. They are an acquired taste in my opinion.

Meringues - Filled with pecans and chocolate chips. Grandma D had Celiac's and couldn't eat gluten - but she LOVED sweets. Meringues went in the heated oven at night, oven was turned off, and they dried out over night.

Divinity - white, sweet, time consuming.

Penuche Fudge - Brown sugar fudge. Paradise.

Peanut Brittle - made in a cast iron skillet and poured onto the granite counter top. Remember to add a pinch of salt. I especially like watching the candy foam when you add the baking soda.

So, the question now remains: where do we start to bake?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Planning the Cookie Baking!

Every year we get together with the neighbors to bake cookies - This is the recipe from my grandmother, Frances Potter Tabor - Shortbread

1 lb of butter
1 C Brown Sugar

4 C flour
1/2 t soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mix well. Chill until it is firm enough to handle.

Roll out to 1/8" or thinner if you prefer. It will handle some additional flour for the board and the pin without getting hard to work or changing the flavor/texture

Cut into shapes - sprinkle with colored sugar or add cinnamon candies or currants as decoration. We do this sparingly as we like to frost them, too.

Bake at 350° until the edges begin to brown. Time will vary depending on thickness and size of cookies. I like the flavor of the cookie when it gets a bit "too" brown, but not everyone does, so watch them.

Cool and frost with way too much colored icing.
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So What Are We? Chewish? by Kate Tabor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.