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2008 Cookie Contest Finalists

Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Simonelli's

Debbie Berloni

Berlononi shares that this delectable recipe comes "from an Italian lady in Avon, Conn."

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon rum flavoring

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg, unbeaten

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, vanilla and rum flavoring. Gradually add sugar, blend in egg. Sift together the flour and nutmeg and gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix until blended. On a lightly-floured surface, shape pieces of dough into 1/2-inch diameter logs; cut logs into 3-inch long pieces. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely. When cookies are cool, frost.

Kitchen Ade note: For this recipe, flour was scooped into a measuring cup and then leveled off with the flat-edge of a knife.

Cookie frosting

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon rum flavoring

2-3 tablespoons cream or milk

Place butter in a small mixing bowl. Gradually mix in confectioners' sugar and stir to blend. Mix in vanilla and rum flavoring, adding cream or milk to blend into frosting consistency.

Chocolate-dipped German chocolate Biscotti

Cris Richardson

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoon hot water

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon butter or shortening

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, combine the whole eggs and egg whites and lightly beat. Add all at once to the dry mixture. Stir in the vanilla and hot water and stir until blended. Fold in the coconut and pecans and mix to distribute evenly. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for about 30 seconds. With floured hands, shape dough into a 16-inch long roll and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten the roll to about 1-inch thickness. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top of the log is firm. Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. With a serrated knife, cut the log diagnonally into 30 (1/2- inch) slices. Place slices on the cookie sheet and bake at 325 for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. The biscotti should be firm, but not hard. Cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan or double broiler, combine the chocolate chips with the butter or shortening. Heat on medium-low, stirring constantly to achieve a smooth consistency. Dip the bottoms (or ends) of the cooled biscotti into the chocolate mixture, and let cool and harden on a wire rack. Makes about 30 biscotti.

Apricot-oatmeal bars

Caroline W. Kennedy

Kennedy's recipe comes from her mother, Iona Bain (Meme). "The best things come in small packages," Caroline said.

Canola oil spray and aluminum foil

1/4 cup snipped dried apricots

1 cup warm water

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups quick oats (not instant or old fashioned), uncooked

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over pan edges. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, soak apricots in warm water for 30 minutes; drain well. Place in a large bowl, and add preserves, sugar and almond extract; stir until preserves melt. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, combine butter and next 5 ingredients; mix at low speed with electric mixer until well blended and crumbly. Press half the mixture in bottom of prepared pan. Spread filling evenly over crust. Sprinkle remaining mixture over filling. Press down gently. Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Lift from pan by foil edges; cool completely. Freeze for 10 minutes so bars cut cleanly. Cut into 2 by 1 1/2-inch bars.

Yield: 3 dozen.

Exotic Persimmon (Fuju) Cookies

Laura Aguiar

"As a Marine Corps wife, I spent three years with my husband, David, in Okinawa, Japan. I worked for a base magazine and took on the assignment of cooking holiday recipes with local ingredients with which Americans may not be familiar. In the fall, I loved picking up the persimmons, called 'fuyu' in Japan.

1 cup persimmon pulp (peel a soft fruit then mash, consistency of a ripe peach is best)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in egg and persimmon pulp. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, then cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size of drop.

Kitchen Ade note: One medium persimmon will yield about 1 cup of mashed pulp.

Brown Edge Wafers

Charlotte Ward

"Brown Edge Wafers," was the signature recipe of Charlotte's mother-in-law, Alice Ward. "They are perfect to serve with everything from high tea to ice cream," Charlotte said.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, beaten

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, sugar and egg. Add flour, salt and vanilla. Beat together for about 1 minute. Using a one teaspoon measuring spoon, leveled off for 1-inch cookies (or slightly rounded off for 1 1/2-inch cookies), drop the dough about 3-inches apart, onto a large (12 by 18-inch cookie sheet), which has been lined with parchment paper. (See note.) Bake cookie sheets one sheet at a time, on the second rack from the bottom of the oven. Bake for 6 minutes. Edges should be just brown. If necessary, bake for 1 more minute. Remove cookie sheet from the oven. Slide the parchment paper (with cookies still on it) onto a wire rack and let cookies cool for about 15 minutes.

While these cookies are baking, there is enough time to drop 10 more cookies on a second sheet. Repeat this procedure, rotating the cookie sheets and the parchment paper. Each of the cookie sheets and parchment should be cool enough when it comes time to be used again. Place cookies in a cookie tin, or plastic food container, with wax paper between the layers and store in a cool place. Yield: 40-50 cookies.

Kitchen Ade note: The cookies spread, so I bake 10 cookies per sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart; first row three cookies, second row two cookies, repeating for two more rows.

Editor's note: The Food page prints Wednesdays in the Peninsula Clarion.



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