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December Recipes

BUTTER PECAN COOKIES

Cookies:

1    Cup Butter (softened)

1    Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Sugar

2    tsp. Vanilla

2    Large Eggs

2    Cups All-purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1    Cup Pecans (chopped)

 

Maple Buttercream:

1       Stick Butter

1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

2       Tbsp. Maple Syrup

2       Tbsp. Heavy Cream

Pecans (chopped, for decorating)
 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined, then add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans.

Spoon tablespoon scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool.

Frosting: In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined, then add maple syrup and heavy cream and beat until creamy. (If frosting is too thin beat in more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.) Frost cookies and decorate with more pecans. 

Makes 2 dozen.


MICHIGAN ROCKS 

1       Box (12 oz.) Raisins 

1       lb. Dates (chopped)

1       lb. English Walnuts (chopped)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1       Cup Butter

4       Eggs

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1       tsp. Baking Soda

1/4    Cup Water

1       tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4    tsp. Cream of Tartar

3       Cups Flour (divided)

Soak the raisins in water overnight. Drain the raisins, mix with 2 tablespoons of the flour and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Slowly add the eggs and mix well. Stir the baking soda into the 1/4 cup water and add to the creamed sugar mixture and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the creamed sugar mixture, mix well. Stir in the raisins, nuts and dates. Drop by rounded spoonfull onto a very lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15 minutes.

Recipe In Memory of Elsie Pyles


EGGNOG GOOEY BUTTER COOKIES

2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour

2       tsp. Baking Powder

3/4    tsp. Nutmeg (plus more for dusting) 

1/2    tsp. Cinnamon

1       (8 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese (softened)

1/2    Cup Unsalted Butter (softened)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

2       Tbsp. Bourbon or Lite Rum

2       tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4    tsp. Almond Extract

1/2    tsp. Salt

1       Large Egg plus 1 Large Egg Yolk

1 1/2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
        (sifted, for rolling and dusting cookies)

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and spices until well blended. Set aside. Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until well blended, creamy and smooth. Beat in sugar, bourbon, vanilla, almond extract and salt; mix until well combined, light and fluffy, scraping the bowl when necessary. Add egg and egg yolk and beat well, about 2 minutes. (do not skimp on this part). On low speed gradually add the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated, dough will be very sticky. Cover work bowl and refrigerate for several hours or over night.

Meanwhile, arrange oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

Measure enough dough to roll into generous 1 inch balls, using a 1 1/3 inch cookie scoop or a tablespoon. Make sure each scoop is equal, this is important for even baking.

Roll balls between hands to form ball then roll in confectioners’ sugar to lightly coat. Place balls on  prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven until cookies have spread into round shapes and are puffy and crackly, about 14 minutes, Do not over bake! The cookies will be soft in the centers, if they begin to brown around the edges they have baked too long.

Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. If desired while cooling sprinkle cookies with nutmeg. After 10 minutes remove cookies from sheet and continue cooling them on wire rack. When completely cooled transfer cookies to airtight container. Cookies can be stored either at room temperature or chilled. If chilled, before serving dust cookies lightly with additional confectioners’ sugar and nutmeg. 

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


CHEESY PARTY BREAD

1    Round Loaf Sourdough Bread (unsliced) 

1    lb. Havarti or Monterey Jack Cheese

1/2 Cup Butter (melted)

1/2 Cup Green Onions (chopped)

2    tsp. Poppy Seeds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a serrated bread knife slice bread in 1 inch slices but do not cut all the way to the bottom. Turn bread loaf and slice crosswise in 1 inch slices, do not cut to the bottom. Slice the cheese into 1/4 inch slices  and if necessary cut them into smaller pieces. Tuck slices of cheese into all the cuts of bread.

In a small bowl mix the melted butter, onions and poppy seeds. Place the bread on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to lift sides and cover bread completely. Place on a baking sheet. Brush or drizzle the mixture over the cheese tucked bread. Bring foil up and wrap bread. Bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap foil and continue baking for 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Serve warm. 

Serves 8.


KRIS KRINGLE COOKIES

1       Cup Butter (softened)

1       Cup Sugar

2       Large Eggs   

2       tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/4 Cups All-purpose Flour

1       tsp. Baking Soda

1/2    tsp. Salt

1       Cup White Chocolate Morsels

1       Cup Dried Cranberries

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in white chocolate and cranberries. 

Drop rounded spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons) of dough, 1 1/2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake for about 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for about 1 minute and remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

Makes between 35 to 40 cookies.


APRICOT 

CREAM CHEESE COOKIES

1 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter (softened)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1       (8 oz.) Pkg. Cream Cheese (softened) 

2       Large Eggs

2       Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 1/2 tsp. Lemon Rind (grated)

4 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour

1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

Apricot Preserves (as needed)

Confectioners’ Sugar (as needed)

Combine butter, sugar and softened cream cheese, mixing until well blended. Blend in eggs, lemon juice and rind. Add combined dry ingredients; mix well.

Chill dough at least 1 hour. Shape level tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Place on cookie sheets sprayed with cooking spray. Using thumb or finger indent centers; fill each with about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of preserves. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15-20 minutes. Cool; sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. 

Makes around 54 cookies.

*Note: Dough must be chilled or it is too difficult to work with.


ORANGE CRANBERRY 

PARTY PUNCH

1 (64 oz.) Bottle Cran-Apple Juice

1 (12 oz.) Can Frozen Cranberry 
      Juice Concentrate
 (no water added) 

3 Cups Orange Juice   

Juice of 1 Lime (or 2 Tbsp.)

2 Liters Ginger Ale

Ice

Fruit for Garnish: 
      Cranberries, Apples, Oranges, Limes

In a large picture mix together cran-apple juice, frozen cranberry concentrate, orange juice and lime juice. This is the punch base. Chill the base until ready to serve. Just before serving, add ice to punch bowl or drink dispenser. Add the punch base and then add ginger ale. Add any garnishes to the punch you like. Apple slices, orange slices, lime slices and or cranberries.