Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies - Petite Cherry Cookies

Oh, this is a good recipe, and the whole is greater than the sum of the very simple parts.  You'll have to spring for some pecans, expensive here in New England but I have a lovely cousin in GA who sent me a big bag.  Again, this recipe is from my mother, Earla Travis, who was a great cook and a fantastic baker.  As a girl, her nickname was "Cookie." 

Petite Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup butter (one stick) at room temperature 
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 - 1 cup flour 
1 egg, separated with both yolk and white beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt 
1 generous cup chopped pecans
Maraschino cherries, chopped fine 

Cream butter and suager, add beaten egg yolk, orange rind and lemon juice.  Mix thoroughly. Add flour and salt and mix to a smooth dough.  Chill until firm. Roll into quite small balls (1/2 inch in diameter), and dip each ball in slightly beaten egg white and then roll lightly in chopped peacasn.. Place on a greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper) and press a piece of maraschino cherry on each cookie.  Bake in a moderate 325 degree F. oven for about 20 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies. 

At our house, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies, (pretty, too) disappear first. 

My Mom, 2nd from left and her girlhood friends at a reunion in Oakland California in 1954.

In the fifties, women were not so concerned with diets and staying slim.  An aerobics class would have been weird and foreign.  My mom, who had to walk far to school and jobs as a young girl, never walked anywhere she could ride as an adult.  My folks did like to go trout fishing and they would hike into the woods to get to a trout stream.  The woods were full of ticks and I always got them behind my ears.  My dad would make them back out with either a hot needle or a lighted cigarette, with me screaming bloody murder the whole time.  But that is a different story.  These ladies have nice laps to hold grandchildren, and they certainly knew how to cook and to have fun. 

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