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Tuesday December 12th 2017

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Food Obsession: DEEP WINTER SWEETS

by Jane Thomson

I don’t aim to be a collector, but somehow have acquired at least 100 cookie cutters, of all sizes, some 100 years old, including shapes observant of almost any holiday. While on the subject of size, make cookies of all sizes; but for best results (all done, none burned) bake cookies of the same size and thickness on the same sheet. Grandchildren love to make cookies. We made some with my then 2 ½ year-old grandson last Christmas – two adults were in charge, with plastic on the floor. The cookies were very interesting, and quite edible. I don’t know where I got this recipe, but it is fairly recent.

CHAI SPICE GIRLS
(After the dough is made, chill it for three hours.)
2 chai tea bags
1 ½ cups of butter, softened
3 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons molasses

ICING
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons of milk
½ teaspoon of vanilla
food color

Take tea out of bags (I would crush it up a bit), and combine with flour and pumpkin pie spice. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture. Refrigerate dough for 3 hours.

Turn oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets well, or use parchment paper under the cookies. Roll cookies ¼ inch thick. Bake 12 minutes for large cookies, like a gingerbread woman form (you can tell by the skirt), less time for small cookies. Cookies are done when lightly browned. Cool on the same cookie sheets for 2 minutes; then transfer to racks. When cool, decorate with frosting.

The next recipe is from The Pembina New Era, the newspaper of my late husband’s home town of Pembina, North Dakota. The New Era was one of the last newspapers with type set by hand. The paper was sometimes called The New Error. This recipe has been tested by me, as are all the recipes in this column.

PEPPERMINT FLUFF (It may be fluffy, but it’s not “lite”.) Recipe makes 12 or more servings. ( Finished dessert must be refrigerated at least overnight before serving.)
Crust:
1 2/3 cup of graham cracker crumbs 1/3 cup of melted butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of sugar

Filling:
1 pint of heavy cream
2 cups of miniature marshmallows
2 cups of peppermint hard candy, crushed
2/3 cups of pecans, chopped

Mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar and stir in melted butter. Pat at least half of mixture into bottom of 9”x13” pan. Whip cream and fold in remaining ingredients. Spread over bottom crust and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Refrigerate overnight.

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