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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pomegranate Pistachio Thumbprints

For this cookie, you can make your own pomegranate jelly with the recipe that follows or use store bought.

Pomegranate Pistachio Thumbprints
2/3 cup pomegranate jelly * recipe follows
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts

If you are making the jelly, make it well in advance so it has time to cool and set before you use it

Preheat oven to 350, line baking sheets with parchment

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
In the mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. 
On low speed, add the flour, mix until well combined
Place the pistachios in a dish. Use the medium scoop to scoop out dough balls, roll in pistachio nuts. Place 1 to 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Use your thumb to make an impression in the cookie. Add about 1/4 teaspoon prepared jelly  into each impression. 

Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until the are  golden brown around the edges. 
Cool cookies on baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool. 

Pomegranate Jelly
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice (I only had a lime and it worked just fine)
1 packet liquid fruit pectin
4 cups sugar

This will make way more than you need!  It makes 4 to 5 half pints.

In a large dutch oven, combine pomegranate juice, lemon (lime) juice and fruit pectin.  Bring to a boil over high heat. 
Stir in sugar all at once. Stirring constantly bring to a full rolling boil. Boil 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, skim foam and place into hot sterilized jars.  Seal according to directions from manufacturer.  
Cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using in cookies. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cottage Cheese Cookies

I made some Ricotta cookies last year, they were good, but not worthy of Christmas. I experimented with the recipe, and these are wonderful!

Cottage Cheese Cookies
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
zest of one medium orange
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
15 ounces small curd cottage cheese, drained if wet

2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon almond extract

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange peel, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl, set aside. 
Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs one at a time, add the extracts (you can skip the almond if you have flor di scilia -just use 2 or 3 drops of that)  and cottage cheese. Add flour and beat until well combined. At this point you will still see some lumps of cottage cheese, but soon you won't. 

Cover and refrigerate over night.  At least 8 hours. 

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment
Using the medium cookie scoop drop cookies on prepared sheets, about an inch apart

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
Cool completely before glazing

To make glaze:
Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Mix orange juice and almond extract. Whisk into powdered sugar. It should be a fairly thin glaze. Dip the cookies into glaze, then top with sprinkles.  Let stand until glaze has hardened. 

These freeze wonderfully. 
Makes about 3 dozen

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
12 ounces white chocolate chips (1 bag)
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, (16 tablespoons), room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies
5 ounces Andres Peppermint chips (1/2 a bag)

8 teaspoons heavy cream
Crushed peppermint candies

Preheat oven to 350
Line baking sheets with parchment

Melt 4 ounces of the white chocolate, I do this in the microwave, 30 seconds, then stir, repeat till it is all creamy.  Set aside to cool slightly
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
Cream butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar, beat until light and fluffy .At least 2 minutes.  Add the melted chocolate, blend till smooth. Add eggs and vanilla.  
Add the flour in batches at low speed. (or you will get flour flying all over the kitchen) 
Add the peppermint chips and 4 ounces of the white chocolate chips ( you should have 4 ounces left for the glaze)
Using the medium scoop, drop onto prepared pans about 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned

Let them cool for a few minutes on the pan, the put them on a wire rack to cool completely. 
Let cool completely.
Make the ganache
Take the last four ounces of white chocolate and melt it in the microwave. 
Add  heavy cream. Beat to blend well. 

Dip the cookies in the ganache. Top down. Then dip into crushed peppermint candies. The white chocolate mixture (the ganache) will thicken up, so don't dawdle. If it does thicken up, you can warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave. 
Let the cookies set on the wire racks about an hour. 
Makes 36