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Yuletide treat – Twin Nut Wonders

Twin Nut Wonders

½ cup butter
1 cup ground almonds
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup sifted flour
1 sq /oz of semi sweet chocolate
Finely chopped pistachios

Cream butter with sugar in bowl by hand or with mixer
Gradually sift in flour blending well
Stir in the ground almonds
Chill one hour or until the dough is firm enough to handle
Form tablespoons of dough into 2 inch fingers by rolling lightly on pastry cloth or board.
No flour needed
Cut in half lengthwise
Place cut side down on greased or foiled cookie sheet
Bake at 325 (slow oven) 15 minutes or until pale golden brown.  Carefully remove with spatula.   Cool on wire rack. 
Melt chocolate in metal cup over hot water
Remove from heat
Dip end of cookie into the melted chocolates and then dip in the chopped pistachios
Put on waxed paper until chocolate has set.
Makes 3 dozen

Another old recipe from before calibrated ovens. I remember making these before pistachios were grown in the US, when they still came from Iran dyed with bright red dye or covered in a white coating of salt. I used to end up with bright red fingers from shelling the pistachios and sneaking them to eat because I loved them so much. Used to suck the salt off the shells too of the white ones if Mom didn’t catch me. Now I’m allergic to almonds so I could probably only eat one before it caught up to me but these are really good and one of my sister’s favourites.

Yuletide treat – Pineapple Pickle

Don’t knock it until you try it!

Pineapple Pickle

2 #2 ½ cans of pineapple chunks
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks 
20 whole cloves

Drain pineapple, reserving the liquid.
Add liquid to other ingredients and boil for 10 minutes
Add Pineapple and simmer for 10 minutes longer
Remove spices
Seal in hot sterilized jars or refrigerate until ready to use. 

Serves 6-8

Warning when we made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas there is never any left to store. The longer you wait before serving the better the spices will do their job. So make the day before at least.

Yuletide treat – English Matrimonials

Another family favourite

English Matrimonials

1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of butter
3/4 cup of raspberry jam (Mom used Mary Ellen but use the good stuff)

Measure flour, sugar, oats, salt and butter into bowl.
Mix with hands to a crumb-like consistency
Place half of mixture in an ungreased 6×10 Pyrex pan and press firmly
Cover with jam and top with remaining half of mixture
Press firmly
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes

Should be slightly candied around the edges and not too moist in center
Cut when cool
Makes 3-5 dozen

The recipe can be used as a dessert by substituting 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce or cherry or apple pie filling for the jam. Serve warm with ice cream.

Yuletide treat – Walnut Crispies

Walnut Crispies

2 Squares bitter chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in heavy saucepan
Add all other ingredients except nuts
Beat well by hand
Spread mixture in greased jelly roll pan or 3 (8×8 inch pans)
Sprinkle with nuts

Bake in  400 degree oven for 15 minutes
While warm cut with cutter into bars or squares 
Break apart when cool.

Makes 4 dozen

Yuletide treat – Grandmother Dorchester cookies

Grandmother Dorchester Cookies

2 cups Brown sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of water
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of cloves
2 cups raisins

Cream together brown sugar and shortening
Add egg and water
Sift together the dry ingredients

Add to the sugar mixture
Add raisins and mix well
Dough will be quite stiff
Drop by large tablespoon on foil lined cookie sheet

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 -15 minutes

Makes 3 -5 dozen

This is a very old recipe and is named for the grandmother of my grandmother’s girlhood friend

Yuletide treat – Palmie’s Peanut Brittle

Palmie’s Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cup water
2 TBSP butter
2 cups raw Spanish peanuts (I bet you could use salted if you like your brittle a little salty)
1 TBSP soda

Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy saucepan and boil until reaches soft ball stage (yes, you need a candy thermometer)
Add butter and peanuts, boiling until the mixture is amber coloured
Add baking soda
Remove from heat and pour onto a buttered pan or platter
As soon as cool enough to handle pull out thin. 
Break into pieces when cooled.

Palmie was my Grandma’s best friend

Yuletide treats – Mom’s Bon Bons

Mom’s Bon Bons

1 cup sugar
2 cups butter
1 egg
4 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon of lemon extract
Or a few drops of oil of lemon
1 small jar of S&W chopped fruit
Bag of chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix creaming butter and sugar, adding rest of ingredients
Make into 2 rolls then roll in chopped pecans or walnuts
Put in refrigerator
Slice thin and bake at 400 degrees

The chopped fruit was a jar of mixed maraschino cherries and other coloured fruit.
When in the cookie makes it look like a stained glass window.

The mom in Mom’s is my grandmother and she did this pre any magazine article for stained glass cookies as this was her way of modifying the spritz dough sans the almonds.

Yuletide treat – Pecan cookies

Pecan Cookies

½ pound of butter
2 cups of flour, sifted
1 Teaspoon of vanilla
3 heaping kitchen tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

Additional powdered sugar for rolling

Cover cookie sheets with foil or grease lightly
Mix thoroughly all ingredients except the nuts with electric mixer
Add pecans and shape into teaspoon size ovals
Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until set

Do not over bake! They should not be brown!

Roll in powdered sugar immediately when removed from oven. (And some of you wonder where I got my asbestos hands?)

Roll again when cool

Makes 3-5 dozen

Mom got this from her first voice teacher and you can use Chocolate chips instead of pecans.
When she packed them in the cookie tins she packed them in more powdered sugar under and between the layers.