Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Cookies!

Today my mama and I made several different types of cookies for Christmas: Thumbprint Cookies, Fairy Drops (no, I have no idea why they are called that) and Oatmeal Crispies. The Thumbprint cookies have always been a holiday treat in my family, we made the Oatmeal Crispies for my niece who cannot have eggs, and I don't know where the Fairy Drops came from, but they have a cool name.

Thumbprint cookies (no nuts)

Fairy Drops topped with sprinkles and sugar & crushed candy canes

Oatmeal Crispies dough...the first cookies I've ever made in a pot over the stove

Completed cookies while still baking

Holiday spread

Recipes after the jump...

Austrian Jam Cookies aka Thumbprint Cookies or Bird’s Nest Cookies
(From Family Circle, December 1978)

What you need…

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
1 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped almonds (optional)
Raspberry or strawberry jam

What to do…

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk in a medium-sized bowl with electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Stir in flour; gather dough into a ball; wrap in foil or plastic wrap; refrigerate several hours or until firm.

Roll level teaspoonfuls of dough into balls. Dip balls into slightly beaten egg white and then roll into chopped almonds. Place on ungreased cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Make and indentation in each cookie with finger or with tip of wooden spoon handle. Fill indentation with jam.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 2 dozen.

Fairy Drops
(From Karen Petersen, family friend)

What you need…

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoon almond extract
Colored or plain sugar (optional)
Crushed candy canes (optional)

What to do…

Mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium-low until smooth. Add powdered and granulated sugars; beat on medium-high until fluffy. Add oil, eggs and almond extract; beat until just combined. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating on medium speed until just combined. Cover and chill dough about 30 minutes or until needed.

To shape cookies, roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls (the dough will be soft). Arrange balls on ungreased cookie sheets. Gently flatten the balls until about 1/4” thickness. Sprinkle with sugar or leave plain. If you want to add candy cane pieces, sprinkle while still warm from the oven. Transfer to wire rack; cool completely. Makes 55-60 cookies. 

Raisin Crispies
(From The Sebastiani Family Cookbook)

What you need…

¾ cup raisins
½ cup butter
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups rolled quick oats

What to do…

Combine raisins with butter and water and head only until butter melts, stirring constantly. Let cool. Stir in vanilla and sugar. Sift flour with salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir into raisin mixture, blending well. Stir in oats. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen small cookies.

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