Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Classics: Pizzelles, Butterballs, Peanut Butter Blossoms



Now that it's December, officially holiday season, it's time to post some of the other requisite Christmas cookies we make each year, as requested by my eldest daughter, Julia. My sister-in-law, Debbie, makes the BEST pizzelles, and we use her recipe as our standard. We also never fail to make my mom's Butterball recipe, sometimes as balls and sometimes as crescents. And who doesn't love the peanut butter cookie with the  chocolate kisses in them?


DEBBIE'S PIZZELLES


6 eggs
1 cup Wesson vegetable oil or Mazola corn oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 tblsp. anise seed
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside. 


Beat the oil and sugar together, and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients gradually, then anise seed and vanilla. Bake in preheated pizzelle iron until pale golden or until steaming dies down ( matter of 30 seconds =/-). Makes 4 dozen. 


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BUTTERBALLS
not one Christmas in my lifetime has passed without these!


1 cup butter (2 sticks, or 8 oz.), room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. water, room temp
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
powdered sugar for coating cookies (about 2 cups)


Cream the butter and sugar, add water and vanilla nad beat well. Add flour and blend well. Add pecans, mix until just incorporated. Shape into small balls or roll into small logs with tapered ends and bend into crescents, and bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 325 degrees for 20 about 20 minutes. Bottoms should be pale golden. Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar until well coated, and place on racks to cool completely. 
Makes 4 dozen crescents or 5 dozen balls.




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PEANUT BLOSSOMS
from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion book


1/2 cup (1 stick, or 4 oz.) unsalted butter
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar, plus additional for coating dough
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tblsp. milk (2% or whole, not nonfat!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
7 ounces (48) chocolate kisses, unwrapped 


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.


In mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter together until well blended. Add the sugars, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, baking soda, salt and vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the flour on low speed, mixing well to incorporate. 
Shape the dough into 1" balls and roll them in granulated sugar. Place the balls on the baking sheets.  
Bake for 10 mins. or until a very pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and IMMEDIATELY press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Work quickly! Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Makes 48 cookies. 





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