Holiday Cookies 2

This year I discovered a new (to me) easy recipe with the help of my friend Margie. She gave me some mini tart pans and a wooden stamp for making these mini pecan or jam tarts. I can't wait to try...thinking I can put the jams I made throughout the summer to good use. What a perfect gift! Thanks Margie!

Here's the result of my first attempt:

For crust I used:
1 (6 oz.) cream cheese
1 c. soft butter
2 c. flour

For pecan tart filling: (one should cut this recipe in 1/2. I had way more than I needed, but just went ahead made more pecan tarts!)
1 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Melted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs
2 Cups Pecans for topping the tart

For jam tart filling:
Strawberry Lemon Zest Jam,
Concord Grape with Blackberry Jam, and
Blue-Blackberry Jam.

First place all ingredients for crust in a food processor, process until a ball has formed and Stop. Remove the dough from the food processor. Divide dough into small balls about 1" in diameter, place them in individual tart pan cup. Place the tart pan in the fridge for about 20 minutes. After taking them out of the fridge, use the wooden stamp to push the balls into a cup shape. Fill the crusts with the various filling. For the pecan tarts, fill the crust half way and top with pecans. For the jam tarts, fill the crusts 2/3 full. Bake at a preheated 325F oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust turn lightly golden. Cool and serve. They look a lot harder to make than they really are.

Post cooking notes: This crust recipe is a really simple one, it would work well on pies too. It is flaky and delicious and super easy to work with....

Tasty Kohlrabies in December!

Kohlrabi is a above the ground vegetable from the cabbage family that resembles a turnip. Many people do not know about them here in America. They are easy to grow and versicle in cooking. If you plant them in May you can start harvesting them as early as July (see earlier post: The beauty about it is, they grow well in hot and cold climate. I am just harvesting the rest of mine before the hard frost suppose to hit this weekend (December 12). And the frost hardened kohlrabies tasted extra crunchy and sweet!
I like to slice the kohlrabi and put them in salad, or slice them really thin, add vinegar, salt and tiny amount of sesame seeds oil. They are pretty tasty in soup as well.
All of the Germans I met gave me the same recipe:
Peal and slice kohlrabi into 1/4" pieces, cook in salted water until tender to the bite. Make a white cream sauce, and pour over the cooked kohlrabi. You may flavor your sauce with blue or Gorgonzola cheese. Anyway you eat them, they taste great and are good for ya! :)

Holiday Cookies

Three of my favorite holiday cookies are: Molasses Cookies, Lime Icebox Cookies and Double Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The reasons I like them are they are easy to make, delicious and keep good.

Lime Icebox Cookies:
· 1-1/2 Sticks of Butter
· 1-1/3 C. Powdered sugar
· (Cream the above together)
· 1 T. Vanilla Extract
· 2 t. Lime Zest
· 2 t. Lime Juice
· 1-3/4 c. flour
· 2 T. Cornstarch
· 1/4 t. salt
· Powdered sugar to cover cookies after baking.

Mix all the ingredients together, then shape the dough into half inch logs with wax paper. Chill dough. Cut into think wafers and place on parchment paper or silicon baking mats. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 12-15 minutes (no convection bake). Transfer cookies to a cooling rack, when completely cool, roll cookies in powered sugar.
(Originally from: Martha Stewards show)

Molasses Cookies

· 2/3 c. vegitable oil
· 1 c. sugar
· 1 egg
· 1/3 c. molasses
· 2-2 1/4 c. flour
· 2 tsp. baking soda
· 1 tsp. cinnamon
· 1 tsp. ground cloves
· 1 tsp. ginger
· sugar for coating cookie dough
Mix all the ingredients in order, then shape the dough into balls and roll them in the extra sugar. Place thm on a cookie sheet on parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, they’ll be golden brown and cracked on top.
Originally from: thecookfulyouth This recipe is for Crazy Aunt Robyn.)

Double Batch Chocolate Cookies
· 5 Sticks of Butter
· 1-1/2 C. Dark Brown sugar
· 1 C. sugar
· (Cream the above together)
· 2 eggs
· 1 T. Vanilla Extract
· 3-1/2 c. flour
· 2 t. Baking Soda
· 1 t. Salt
· 6-7 c. oats
· 2 c. Chocolate Chips

Mix all the ingredients together. Bake at a preheated oven at 375F for 10-11 minutes.
(Originally from: Our friends Kohl)

Esay Homemade Cheese Cake: Not for the faint of heart! super easy and delicious!

For Crust:
1.5 C. Gram cracker crumbs (comes in a box)
3-4 T. Butter, room temperature
Mix the gram cracker crumbs and butter together, shape in a spring formed pan. Bake at a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

1.5 lb. cream cheese (bought from a local restaurant supply store, $3.86 for a 3 lb. block, which makes two l0" cheese cake);
4 whole eggs, and two egg yorks, room temperature;
1.5 C. Sugar;
2 t. vanilla abstract;
a pinch of freshly grounded nutmeg;
a pinch of lemon zest.
In a food processor, blend together cream cheese and sugar until smooth (2-3 minutes), add eggs/egg yokes one at a time while keeping the food processor running, add vanilla, nutmeg and lemon zest.

Pour the filling in the baked pie crust. Lower oven temperature to 325 degree (make sure do not use convection baking, use regular baking instead). Bake for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Run knife around the cake pan, and place the cake pan on a cooling rack. Here's comes the hardest part: Wait until completely cool before serving. Top with cherry pie filling if you prefer. (My friend swears by it)