Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Cookies Part 2

This is another old holiday family favorite.The cookie is rich, flavorful and chewy. I got the recipe from my mother. She got it from her mother, and now I give it to you. I hope you enjoy.



  • 2 cups chopped English Walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped Pitted Dates
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups shredded Coconut
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the following ingredients:
    • Brown Sugar
    • Eggs
    • Dates
    • Walnuts
    • 1 cup Coconut
  3. Form a bit of the mixture into a 1" by ½" log.
  4. Roll the log in the remaining coconut.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
makes about 60 cookies

Peppermint Pie

My grandmother Jessie was in love with peppermint candy. So it was no surprise that she would make a peppermint pie. She was a very intuitive cook who did not always write recipes down, or measure. Either you watched and figured out her tricks or you were left in her dust as she whipped up her delicious dishes.

One of my sisters wanted the recipe and I started thinking back to the days when I watched my grandmother make this dessert. I had a rough idea of the recipe and with a bit of searching and remembering I came up with something very close to her original recipe. The only real difference was using whipping cream instead of condensed milk.

Candy Cane Chiffon Pie


  • 1 - 9" pie crust, prepared
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon. peppermint extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cups crushed peppermint candy canes


  1. Have the baked pie crust ready.
  2. Soften the gelatin in water in a 1-quart saucepan.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat.
  4. Cook until the mixture bubbles and the gelatin is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat. Cool.
  6. Stir in the peppermint extract.
  7. Beat the egg whites in a 3-quart bowl with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form.
  8. Beat in the sugar gradually until stiff and glossy.
  9. Beat in the gelatin mixture at low speed until mixed.
  10. Fold in the whipped cream and candy.
  11. Heap into shell.
  12. Decorate with small candy canes if desired.
  13. Chill 2 hours or until firm.
  14. Sprinkle with crushed candy just before serving for an added sparkle.
Yields: 1 - 9" pie
Preparation Time: 45 minutes, plus chilling time

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potatoes are a good food. They are fairly inexpensive, tasty, and very good for you. Personally I like sweet potato pie better than pumpkin pie. The bright color and flavor are wonderful. Add the fact that fresh ingredients are better than canned ones, it makes it a clear choice for me. Have you ever tried to prepare fresh pumpkin? It can be a lot of hard work, and that is the last thing I want when preparing for a holiday dinner.

Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups lard or shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons water
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Work it into the flour till it is a uniform grainy consistancy.
  3. Mix the water into the mixture but do not overwork the dough.
  4. Form a ball and wrap it in a plastic wrap.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for later use.
  6. Once the dough is chilled roll the dough into the shape you need.

The pie crust can be prepared in advance and frozen. You can either freeze prerolled pie shells, or as slabs you can thaw and roll out as needed.


  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (¼ pound)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2- 8 inch pie crusts
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  1. Boil potatoes in their skins until tender.
  2. Let them cool
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes
  4. Put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mash them thoroughly with a potato masher.
  6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  7. Melt the butter. Pour it into the potatoes.
  8. Add vanilla, spices, salt and evaporated milk.
  9. Stir the mixture until well mixed.
  10. Pour the potato mixture into the pie crust.
  11. Put into an oven preheated to 375°.
  12. Cook for about 35-45 minutes.
  13. If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, it's done.
  14. Let the pies cool for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.
Makes 2 pies.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Simply Delicious

Pound Cake

A pound cake is one of life's simple pleasures. This golden, rich cake is the basis of many wonderful desserts. Making a pound cake is a very simple project..

This cake gets it's name from the fact that each of the ingredients used in the recipe weigh one pound. Try this recipe, you will not be disappointed.

  • 1 pound cake flour
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound granulated sugar
  • 1 pound egg (8 large eggs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Generously butter 2- 9 inch loaf pans.
  3. Place a sheet of parchment in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Cream the sugar into the butter.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to the creamed sugar.
  6. Mix the eggs into the mixture, one egg at a time.
  7. Gradually fold ithe flour and salt into the mixture.
  8. Mix until the ingredients are completely combined.
  9. Pour the batter into the pans.
  10. Tap the pans on a firm surface to remove any air pockets,
  11. Bake the cakes for 1 hour.
  12. Remove the pans from the oven.
  13. Test with a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cakes are done.

Talking Turkey

The holidays are upon us so I am posting a few links for anyone facing the task of cooking a turkey.

Christmas Cookies- Part 1


No matter how you spell it these Polish or Ukrainian Christmas cookies are wonderful addition to any Christmas cookie list. These flaky pastry like delicacies were always the first to disappear during the holidays. My mother would make them by the gross. It was a very big family and they all were Kolatchki junkies. You can use any flavor filling you prefer, but most of the ones I have seen were either apricot, cherry, and almond. If you do not have a large family, or you are a dainty eater, you can scale the recipe easily. Just scale down the amount of flour, butter, cream cheese and filling.

  • 1 lb unsalted butter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 lb Cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water for egg wash
  • 2 cans Solo canned filling
  1. Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl until combined.
  2. Beat cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
  4. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  5. Chill until firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Put oven rack in middle position
  7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  8. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  9. Divid the dough into 8 equal pieces
  10. Roll the dough between sheets of well-floured wax paper into an 11" square.
  11. If dough gets too soft, and chill until firm.
  12. Discard top sheet of wax paper
  13. Trim dough with a pastry wheel or sharp knife into a 10-inch square.
  14. Cut square into 4 equal strips
  15. Cut crosswise in fourths again to form a total of 16 squares.
  16. Place 1 heaping teaspoon filling in center of each square.
  17. Brush 2 opposite corners with egg wash
  18. Bring the coated corners together and pinch firmly to adhere.
  19. If dough becomes too soft, freeze it on a baking sheet for a few minutes.
  20. Arrange cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet.
  21. Bake 17 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
  22. Transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely.
  23. Sprinkle with powdered sugar .
  24. Make more cookies with remaining dough and filling on a lined cooled baking sheet.

makes around 128 cookies.