Monday, December 12, 2011

Poppy Seed Cookies

This recipe is from an old Penzy's catalog.  I've made it as part of our annual Christmas cookie tradition now for a couple of years.  It is essentially a butter cookie, but with the additition of ground almonds and poppy seeds to add a distinctive flavor and crunch, and rolled in colored sugar to make them festive looking. 

(Don't they look nice?  Ace took this picture!)

Poppy Seed Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
Colored sugar

Cream the butter.  Add the sugar, egg and vanilla and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, almonds, poppy seeds and salt.  Gradually add to the butter mixture and mix well.  Divide the dough into half and roll into logs.  Roll the logs in colored sugar.  Wrap the logs in waxed paper and chill for a couple of hours.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Slice the logs 1/4 inch thick and bake at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes or until delicately browned. 

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

A note on poppy seeds:  These can be awfully expensive in a regular grocery store.  I've found them much less expensive at my local ethnic food store.  Penzy's carries them, but for a little more than the ethnic grocery.

Pecan cookies

This cookie was clipped from an old newspaper.  The clipping is quite yellow and brittle.  The headline of the article is "Pecans Used In Cookies."  The article goes on to describe the "pleasingly cruncy texture and good flavor of these cookies."  I think that my husband can vouch for that.  I've had to make two batches since the first was chomped up already. 

Pecan Cookies
[Four Dozen]

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon rum flavoring
2 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pecan halves

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add egg and rum; beat thoroughly.  Add sifted dry ingredients and mix until blended.  Chill for an hour or longer.  Shape into small balls about an inch in diameter.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets and flatten slightly with fingertips.  Press a pecan half into the center of each cookie.  Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until delicately browned.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas cookies 2011

I love vintage recipes.  Several years ago I purchased a file box of handwritten and clipped reipes from an estate sale.  This year for Christmas, my kids and I are making some of the cookies that the former owner of the recipe collection thought worthy of saving in her recipe files.  This is the first of these recipes.

Chocolate Date Cookies

1 cup chopped dates

Water (small amount)

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

2 cups flour

2 Tbsp. Cocoa

1 tsp. Baking soda

pinch salt

Chopped nuts (optional)

Cover the dates with water; cover and let stand. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and milk. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the sugar mixture. Add the dates, and the nuts if desired.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on a cookie sheet and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes or until done.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.

Made for Christmas 2011.

Now for the taste test: These are really yummy.  They are tender and sweet with a light cocoa taste that does not overwhelm the flavor of the dates.  Although we made them without nuts - we are making a bunch of other nut cookies - they would be excellent with the addition of chopped walnuts.