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December Recipes

Hazelnut Yule Logs

      Cup Butter (softened)

3/4    Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

      Tbsp. Lemon Juice

      tsp. Grated Lemon Zest

2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour

1/4    tsp. Salt

1 1/2 Cups Hazelnuts (finely chopped)

      Tbsp. Water

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon juice and zest. In another bowl, mix flour and salt; gradually beat into the creamed mixture. Place the hazelnuts in a small bowl. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1/2 cupfuls of dough into 1/2 inch thick ropes, about 22 inches long. Cut ropes into 2 inch logs. Lightly brush each log with water; roll in hazelnuts to coat. Place logs 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookie logs.


Pecan Roll-Ups

      Cup Butter (softened) 

      pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese (softened)  

1/4    tsp. Salt   

      Cups All-Purpose Flour

1 1/4 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar (divided) 

96     Pecan Halves (about 2 cups)

In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and salt until smooth. Gradually beat in flour. Divide dough in half; shape each into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dust a work surface with about 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Roll 1 portion of dough into an 18 by 8 inch rectangle; cut dough crosswise into six 3 inch wide sections. Cut each section crosswise into eight 1 inch wide strips. Roll each strip around a pecan half; place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and pecans, dusting work surface with an additional 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Place remaining confectioners’ sugar in a shallow bowl. Roll cookies in confectioners’ sugar, coating well. Yields 8 dozen cookies.


Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg (room temperature)

2 Tbsp. Milk

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

6 Tbsp. Baking Cocoa

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

1 Cup Dried Cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate and cherries. Drop by rounded tablespoonful, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake until firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack. Yields about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.


Mom’s Buttermilk Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

1 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg (room temp.)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Buttermilk Frosting: 3 Tbsp. Butter (softened)

3 1/2 Cups confectioners’ Sugar

1/4 Cup Whole Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Walnuts (finely chopped, optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.

Frosting: Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread over cookies; if desired, sprinkle with chopped walnuts.


Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg (room temperature)

2 Tbsp. Milk

1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Cup All-Purpose Flour

6 Tbsp. Baking Cocoa

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chunks

1 Cup Dried Cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate and cherries. Drop by rounded tablespoonful, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake until firm, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack. Yields about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.


Mom’s Buttermilk Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter (softened)

1 Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg (room temp.)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 Cup Buttermilk


Frosting:

3 Tbsp. Butter (softened)


3 1/2 Cups confectioners’ Sugar

1/4 Cup Whole Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup Walnuts (finely chopped, optional)


Christmas Chocolate Cutouts

      Cup Butter (softened)

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

      Large Eggs (room temp.)

      tsp. Vanilla Extract

      Cups All-Purpose Flour

2/3    Cup Baking Cocoa 

1/2    tsp. Baking Powder

1/4    tsp. Salt

Icing:

      Cups Confectioners’ Sugar

      Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Water

4 1/2 tsp. Meringue Powder*

1/4    tsp Cream of Tartar

* Meringue Powder is made mostly of dried egg whites. It is a baking substitute that is used instead of raw fresh egg whites. It’s used mostly in making meringue, frosting and royal icing. It can be found in with the spices or baking section of most larger grocery stores.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into creamed butter mixture.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll each disk of dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with floured 3 inch cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove from sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, water, meringue powder and cream of tartar; beat on low speed just until blended, beat on high until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep unused icing covered at all times with a damp cloth. If necessary, beat again on high speed to restore texture.

Using pastry bags and small round tips, decorate cookies as desired. Let stand at room temperature until frosting is dry and firm. Yields around 5 dozen cookies, depending on size of shapes.


Tomato Bacon Bites

1       (10 oz.) Can Rotel Diced Tomatoes (drained)

2 1/2 Cups Bacon Crumbles*

1       Cup Swiss Cheese (shredded)

8       oz. Cream Cheese (softened)

45     Frozen Phillo Pastry Cups (thawed)

*Bake and crumble your favorite sliced bacon for best flavor. If you buy bacon crumbles make sure they are 100% real bacon.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the drained tomatoes, bacon crumbles, swiss cheese and cream cheese in a bowl till blended.
 
Spoon the mixture into thawed phillo cups. Fill them very full, around 1/2 inch above the cup. Place filled cups on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted. Makes 45 appetizers.


Bacon-Ranch Spinach Dip

 
2       Pkgs. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese (softened)
 
1 1/2 Cups Bacon Ranch Salad Dressing
 
1/4    Cup Milk  
 
2       Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
 
1       Can (14 oz.) Water-packed Artichoke Hearts (rinsed, drained and chopped)
 
1       Pkg. (10 oz.) Frozen Spinach (chopped, thawed and squeezed dry)
 
2       Plum Tomatoes (seeded, finely chopped)
 
1/2    Cup Bacon (cooked, crumbled)
 
4       Green Onions (thinly sliced)
 
Assorted Crackers and Fresh Vegetables

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, salad dressing and milk until blended. Stir in the cheese, artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, bacon and green onions. Transfer to a 4 or 5 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 3 hours or until heated through. Serve with assorted crackers and vegetables. Yields 6 cups of dip.