Monday, December 21, 2009

Raspberry Almond Thumb-prints

These... are just awesome. I made them for our church Christmas party, and a bunch came back home with me after. This is not a good thing. I had a resolution to maintain my weight throughout the holidays. I'm worried now. These things are addicting. Try this recipe at your own risk.

Raspberry Almond Thumb Prints

1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 large egg, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
2/3 C sliced blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
Raspberry jam

Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla, beating until blended. Stir in flour. Dough will be crumbly, but easily pressed together. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic-wrap and refrigerate 3 hours.

Let dough stand for a few minutes at room temperature. Shape into 24 balls (3/4" or so. I used the small Pampered Chef scoop.. yes, I admit, I love those things, nearly to obsession.) Lightly beat egg whites. Dip each ball into egg white then roll in almonds, pressing firmly. Place on lightly greased pans, 1" apart. Press an indentation in the center of each with your thumb, and fill with 1/4 tsp raspberry jam.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Try not to eat more than a dozen in one sitting.

New meaning for "Pizza Pie".

I've been making a lot of pies lately, so when mom asked me to make pizza one night, my hands automatically wanted to crimp the crust. I laughed to mom about it... and then I decided to go ahead and do it, to see what would happen. I wasn't sure the crust would hold the shape, but it did!

Chocolate Raspberry Scones

I'm not a huge fan of raspberry flavored chocolate, but raspberries and chocolate are a totally different story. We have a bumper crop of our own raspberries stored in our freezers, and I'm forever trying to think of something different to do with them. When a sweet ingredient needs to be used up, I generally look to scones for the answer. The results this time are amazingly delicious.

Chocolate Raspberry Scones

2 C all purpose flour

1/3 C sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 ounces dark chocolate chunks* or chips (about 1/2 cup)

3/4 C fresh or frozen raspberries**

1/2 C plain yogurt

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Christmas Monster Cookies!

Monster cookies are some of my favorite cookies ever. Huge, chewy and moist, peanut-buttery and full of chocolate, what's not to like? I got this recipe from a friend who runs a diner - never fear, she does not own the recipe, so I'm not betraying her secret recipe. These were very popular at her diner when I was last there; I remember a young boy coming in just as I pulled them out of the oven. He bought a baggy of them, and in five minutes he was back for more. :)

Since these contain M&Ms, they are easily made into Christmas cookies by using red and green M&Ms. I made several dozen for a party last week and very few came home!

Monster Cookies

1/2 C soft butter
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C peanut butter
1 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
1 C chocolate chips
1 C M&Ms

Cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then peanut butter. Mix in flour and soda thoroughly before adding oatmeal. And last, mix in chocolates. I use the large Pampered Chef scoop to drop the cookies onto cookie sheets, but optionally you could use a 1/4 C measuring cup. You'll probably only get about 8 to a pan.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until the bottom edges begin to turn brown. They should be still gooey in the centers, this is crucial. Allow the cookies to sit on the pans a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks. The centers will be cooked but still moist, and will remain so for several days.

Enjoy with a cup of cocoa!