Friday, December 18, 2009

Only a week away....

It is raining...again...and DH is home today is a hunker down day and get some things organized and/or finished for Christmas. Where did the time go?
This table-runner is for my Mom. It is the same pattern as the Mary Einglebreight one I posted a few days ago but can you believe when I went to make it the second time I hit a mental wall...could not get it to go together! It took several cups of coffee and even more scraps of paper before I worked it out. So topping my New Year's resolution list will be "make more notes immediately after playing with blocks...."

I am still working piecemeal on my Carolina Christmas. Sometimes I can get rather persnickety when cutting out when cutting plaids. Do you cut it crosswise and get little of the "plaid" or on the bias and really see the pattern? (that my friend can be a two cuppa tea problem....)

I've also had to clear the cutting table...or rather kitchen make room for my cookie baking marathon this weekend. Tonight I will make the dough for the chocolate mint cookies (I think I posted that recipe 4 years ago!) and the holiday biscotti which I posted two years ago. About half of the cookies are regulars and half new ones. Some, like the biscotti and mint, I bake on Saturday since they are better a several days after being baked, and others like the chocolate chip, sugar, and Linzer I make on Sunday. To me a good cookie recipe is one that: first, still tastes good for several days after baking; second, makes at least 3 dozen cookies (if not why bother); and finally, travels well (my Linzers are on the line there but the others have made it through the U.S. mail just fine...)

Linzer Bars
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup raspberry preserves or apricot jam (I do one log of each...)
almond glaze

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in egg, vanilla and extracts. Beat in flour (may stir last bits of flour by hand as the dough is stiff)

2. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each into a 10 inch log then roll the log in the toasted almonds. Place the logs 3 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Flatten each log to 1 inch thick then make a 1/2 deep indentation down the center. (I use a long mixing spoon handle)

3. Bake for about 30 minutes or until edges are firm and lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transferr to a wire rack to cool.

4. Spoon preserves down the center of each log and then drizzle with Almond glaze. (You can drizzle with chocolate instead...) Cut each log diagonally into 1-inch slice.

Almond glaze: Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of milk, and 1/4 tsp almond extract in a small bowl. (add more milk a drop at a time if not the right consistency - it changes quickly!)


Catswhiskers said...

...and where are your comments about the sleeping beauty in the wicker basket?? Maybe she's reminding you not to mistake her fur for a fat quarter or maybe she'd like a new cover her basket...
Your notes when playing with blocks will be useful.

I love when you post pics of your extended 'family'
keep well

Janet said...

I know just how you feel about those projects that won't behave. I find the American tradition of baking cookies fascinating. Are they given as gifts and just how many cookies does everyone end up with?

sewkalico said...

Your Carolina Lily is gorgeous - you reminded me that is seriously on my to-do list!!