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Our Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes

Thumbprint Cookies

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

3/4 cup  (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup  sugar

2 tsp. Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla

2-1/4 cups  flour

1/2 tsp.  baking soda

1 cup  Chopped Pecans

1-1/4 cups fruit preserve (we like Stonewall Kitchen’s Holiday Jam)

HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add flour, baking soda and pecans; mix well. Refrigerate 30 min.

SHAPE dough into 1-inch balls. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Indent centers.

BAKE 10 min. Fill each cookie with about 1 tsp. preserves. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

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Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup white baking chips

Directions

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and chips.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks. Yield: 2 dozen.

Gingerbread Men Cookies

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3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 large egg

1 cup molasses, warmed

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons warm water

Combine dry ingredients.

In large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, beat in the egg, beat in the molasses.

Dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and add the wet ingredients.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Cover and chill for several hours.

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease baking sheets.

On floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.

(If you like softer, thicker cookies you can roll dough thicker)  Using cookie cutters,

cut out cookies and place 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until dry-looking and firm to touch.  Don’t over cook, edges do

not need to be brown.  Let cool before frosting.

Royal Icing

3 T. Meringue powder

4 c. powdered sugar

6 T. warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a high powered mixer)

*Icing must be kept in airtight containers prior to use

Glaze for Decorated Cookies

2 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted

2 T. corn syrup

2 T. milk (may need to add 1 t. more)

Food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients and frost cookies.

*Glaze will dry with a film on top.  Keep air tight prior to use

 

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Easiest Cream Biscuit Recipe

Here’s a question for you: have you ever made biscuits?

We’re talking about scratch-made, fluffy, melt-in- your-mouth biscuits. The kind that are so soft and light that you probably end up eating more that you should at one time. Mmmm…hungry yet?

We’ve found a foolproof recipe for the Easiest Cream Biscuits. We love this recipe because of its simplicity – one bowl, one spoon, 3 ingredients, and ready in 15 minutes. Easy, right? And biscuits accompany ANY meal, so get creative!

  • Breakfast: serve with honey butter or scrambled eggs with fresh herbs and Canadian bacon
  • Lunch: top with Brie, apples, arugula and freshly ground black pepper (Makes a great appetizer, too!)
  • Dinner: top with hearty beef stew

Easiest Cream Biscuits

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Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment (or a preheated baking stone) leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Early Summer Recipe


Fried Green Tomato

Late Spring and early Summer is the prime time to find green tomatoes at the Farmers Market. What exactly are green tomatoes? There are two types of green tomatoes, those that are green when fully ripe (generally heirloom varieties), and unripe tomatoes. Here are two recipes for a favorite dish using this seasonal fruit.

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 pinch cayenne

1 1⁄2 cups buttermilk

kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

4 large unripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, ends removed

1⁄2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

hot pepper sauce, for serving

lemon wedge, for serving

 

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, and cayenne together.

Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides well.

Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil.

When the oil is hot, pan-fry the tomatoes (in batches if necessary) until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Carefully remove the tomatoes and drain on paper towels.

Serve with hot pepper sauce and lemon.

 

Crunchy “Baked” Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large firm green tomatoes

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt, more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Pam Cooking Spray or olive oil for drizzling

Slice tomatoes 1/8 inch thick. On a large plate mix flour, salt, and pepper. Place yogurt and buttermilk on a second plate, and Panko Bread Crumbs on a third plate. Coat tomatoes with the flour mixture, then the yogurt – buttermilk mixture (you may want to put the yogurt in a small bowl so that dipping them is easier), then the Panko Bread Crumbs.

Place coated tomatoes on a cookie sheet and spray with Pam Cooking Spray liberally on both sides or drizzle them on both sides with olive oil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 7 minutes on one side then flip them over and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with extra salt and serve warm.

 

Buttermilk dipping sauce: 

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

hot sauce

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped chives and stir to combine. Add a few dashes of hot sauce to taste. Chill until ready to serve.


 

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Nothing Sweeter than a Little Tart

Yesterday, Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Megan Lasiter conducted a fun pre-Easter class for us, “Nothing Sweeter than a Little Tart.” What a refreshing breath of air for Spring! Although her recipes are tried and true, she added just a bit of pinache to keep her audience interested. Among her recipes in this demostration class were pate sucre ( translates, “sugar paste” but is actually a slightly sweetened pastry tart), whiskey pecan tart, lemon meringue tart with Italian meringue, pastry cream for fruit tarts, and good ‘ole fruit cobbler.

All of the recipes were hits with the class, but the whiskey pecan took the cake – or the pie – in my opinion. Maybe it’s the Southern Girl in me. Perfect with a cup of coffee. The fruit tart, however, was the most beautiful of all. A sip of champagne really completes it.

Below is her pate sucre recipe as well as the pastry cream recipe. Topping this with colorful fresh berries makes a lovely Spring presentation. Please see our Facebook page for pictures. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Waco-TX/Gourmet-Gallery/78558491610.

Happy Cooking!

Pate Sucre

(Gourmet Gallery Chef, Rachel Solano says that this pastry is a bit more forgiving than a traditional pie crust. Don’t use it for your chicken pot pie, though!)

7.5 ounces unsalted butter
3 ounces sugar
.06 ounces salt
3 ounces eggs
12 ounces pastry flour

Baking Temperature 375 degrees.

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs.
3. Add flour, salt and vanilla.
4. Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness.
5. Place into pie plate or tart pan and press into edges.
6. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned.

Pastry Cream
1 quart milk
4 ounces sugar
3 ounces egg yolks
4 ounces whole eggs
2.5 ounces corn starch
4 ounces sugar
2 ounces butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Mix milk and first sugar.
2. Bring to a scald in a medium saucepan.
3. While milk is cooking, mix the following: eggs, egg yolks, second surgar, and conrstarch.
4. Temper milk into egg mixture.
5. Add whole mixture back into saucepan.
6. Whisk until thickened to desired consistency.
7. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.

Spoon into tart shell (pate sucre). Top with fruit or enjoy by itself.