So many of our holiday traditions involve food that, for the first time, we decided to include recipes in this issue of the E-Forum.
Submitted by Nancy Becker
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
About 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and molasses; mix until blended and an even light brown color, about 1 minute. On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it.
Spread the granulated sugar on a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Roll 1/4 cup of dough between the palms of your hands into a 2-inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar, and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Continue making cookies, spacing them 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm but they are still soft in the center and there are several large cracks on top, about 14 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. I like them chewy, so I only bake them for about 6 or 7 minutes.
Holiday Almond Cheese Log
Submitted by Jo Lynn Bailey-Page
1 3-oz. package cream cheese
½ pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup shelled almonds, very finely chopped or ground
1 whole pimiento, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon grated onion
Dash cayenne pepper
Finely chopped almonds
Combine first four ingredients in stand mixer or large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients; beat until well-blended. Shape into two rolls about 7” long. Roll one in paprika, the other in chopped almonds. Wrap in waxed paper and chill. Serve with crackers.
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie
Submitted by Kelly Gasque
1 disk pie dough
3/4 stick unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (for serving; optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F with a baking sheet on middle rack.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in corn syrup, vanilla, orange zest, and salt. Lightly beat eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk in corn syrup mixture.
Put pecans in pie shell and pour corn syrup mixture evenly over them. Bake on hot baking sheet until filling is set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely.
Submitted by Sharon Lovering
The first time I made these cookies, I lived in a small one-bedroom apartment. I didn’t realize this recipe had enough peppermint in it to clog the sensor in my smoke detector – until it started chirping in the middle of the night. If you live in a place where your kitchen and smoke detector are on the same floor, open a window when you turn on the oven for pre-heating (after making the cookie dough and letting it chill).
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Red or green food coloring, if desired
Candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed
Combine 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour and cornstarch; beat at low speed until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate 30-60 minutes or until firm.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5-10 minutes on cookie sheets; carefully remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, 2-3 drops of food coloring (if desired) and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Submitted by Charles Nabarrete
2 cups harina (flour) (you may substitute gluten-free flour if you need to)
Manteca lard (ask for lard from the butcher, not the lard they sell in block)
3 large bags of corn husks
15 pounds masa (you can find this at a Mexican grocery store or tortilla store)
15 pounds pork butt roast
3 garlic cloves
2 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons salt
3 bags New Mexico chile
4 bags California chile
5 cans of black olives
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
Place pork in a large pot with salt, onions, pepper and garlic with enough water to cover under tender in a large pot. Boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 4 hours. Reserve some of the pork water and garlic for later. Shred the meat while it is still warm.
De-seed and de-stem the chiles. Then wash the chiles. Boil in water until tender, then reserve chile water. Pulverize in a blender with garlic and some chile water and peppercorns.
Make a paste of 3 tablespoons Manteca and flour and fry in a pot. Add chile mixture a little at a time. Add salt and pepper. Add reserved pork water. Once it boils, it is done; add the shredded meat. Refrigerate pork mixture for 1-2 days.
If you don’t have a tamale pot, use a large pot and place a Bundt cake pan upside down. You don’t want the tamales to touch the water.
Soak corn husks in hot water for 2 hours to make them more pliable. If masa is not soft enough, add reserved pork water.
Spread masa in the middle of softened husk. Ends should be free of masa. Add a large spoonful of pork mixture, top with one olive. Use more than one corn leaf if needed to completely cover pork mixture and add masa to all leaves. Tie ends with string.
Place tamale standing up in the tamale pot. Pot should have 1 gallon of water on the bottom. On high heat boil water then reduce heat to medium and steam for 2 hours. Makes 9 dozen tamales
Turtle Cheesecake Dip
Submitted by Nancy Christine Feela
Prep 15 min. Total 1 hour 15 min. (including refrigerating)
Makes 26 servings, 2 Tbsp. each
30 Kraft caramels
2 1/4 cups (about 3/4 of 8 oz. tub) thawed Cool Whip, divided
2 oz. Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
2 packages (8 oz. each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups chopped Planters pecans
Microwave caramels and 1/2 cup Cool Whip in medium microwavable bowl on high 1 minute 40 seconds, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until caramels are completely melted and sauce is well blended. Cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, microwave chocolate and 3/4 cup of the remaining Cool Whip in small microwavable bowl for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and sauce is well blended.
Beat cream cheese in separate medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Add 2/3 cup caramel sauce; beat until blended. Gently stir in remaining 1 cup Cool Whip. Spread cream cheese mixture onto serving plate; drizzle with chocolate sauce and remaining caramel sauce. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour. Serve with pretzel twists.