Irish Coffee

October 28, 2007

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Whiskey in coffee may have been around forever, but true Irish Coffee is said to have been invented in County Limerick in the 1940s. It’s one of the easiest bar drinks to make at home, and is a warm and comforting treat on a cold and windy night. SAM

1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
3/4 cup hot strong coffee
1 ounce Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons whipped cream or topping

In a glass or mug, dissolve the sugar in the coffee. Add the whiskey and stir thoroughly. Top with whipped cream.
Makes 1 serving.


Chocolate-Molasses Bars

October 27, 2007

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I modified these chewy bar cookies slightly because some ROL readers don’t like the combination of orange and chocolate. If that’s you, substitute chopped raisins or dates for the orange zest. And by all means use your favorite nuts. However you make these cookies, they’ll be fabulous. If you’re feeding kids, they’ll make a great lunch box snack. SAM

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
2 1/2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts
1/4 cup coarsely grated orange zest or chopped raisins or dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the flour mixture alternately with the molasses, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in the chocolate, nuts, and orange zest, raisins, or dates by hand. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars.


Date-Nut Hermit Cookies

October 26, 2007

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These are called ‘hermits’ because the date-nut filling hides in a little cave of cookie dough like a hermit in the rocks. Emily’s family has been making them since time immemorial. Taste one, and you’ll see why. SAM

1/2 cup shortening
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water

Date-Nut Filling
1 pound pitted dates
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cognac
1/2 cup chopped pecans

With an electric mixer, thoroughly cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, nutmeg, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and add to the shortening mixture alternately with enough ice water to form a medium stiff dough. Form the dough into a cylinder 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 3 hours.

While the dough is chilling, make the Date-Nut Filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates, sugar, water, and cognac. Cook, stirring frequently, until smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and add the pecans. Cool.

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on each slice and top with a second slice of dough. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 5 dozen cookies.


Coconut Macaroons

October 25, 2007

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Need a quick-and-easy treat for a drop-in guest? You can stir these together while you chat. SAM

1 (14-ounce) package grated coconut
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, milk, and vanilla, mixing well. Drop by teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart onto well-greased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately from baking sheets, using a moistened spatula. Cool on a wire rack.

For variation, add 1 of the following before baking:
4 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup chocolate or butterscotch morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Makes 5 dozen cookies.


Double Chocolate Cookies

October 24, 2007

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Double the chocolate and you double the taste! These yummy cookies even have chocolate liqueur. For true chocolate lovers, this is the ultimate! SAM

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet baking chocolate
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
6 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon crème de cacao
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring until smooth. Place the sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Add the eggs, vanilla, and créme de cacao, stirring until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in the nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 1 1/2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until set. Do not over-bake. Cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.


Sugar Cookie Hearts

October 23, 2007

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A sweet heart for your sweetheart … You’ll want to bookmark this one for Valentine’s Day. SAM

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks or 16 tablespoons)
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. With an electric mixer on medium high, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until smooth. Add the flour and mix until a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookies 1/2 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges start to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.


Rocky Road Fudge

October 22, 2007

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Emily’s blog friend almostgotit has been saying for months that we needed a Rocky Road recipe. Here’s hers. It’s technically fudge, not a cookie. But it’s a great way to launch Cookie Week on the ROL! SAM

1 (12-ounce) bag chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened, condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups salted, dry-roasted peanuts
1 (10.5-ounce) bag mini marshmallows

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with tinfoil, letting ends extend 2 inches above the ends of pan. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter, stirring to blend. Add the peanuts and marshmallows. Spread in the pan and refrigerate until firm. Lift the foil by the ends onto a cutting board and cut the fudge into 1-inch squares. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.
Makes about 9 dozen squares.