One thing about holidays worth looking forward to is the traditional baking and cooking that goes along with it. I married into a family of great cooks, but I was born into a family of great bakers! Certain members of the family perfected certain recipes, and we would all come together during Christmas to share our goodies. Gramma B. made amazing sugar cookies with frosting, decorated by her grandchildren. Gramma C. made rock candy, covered in powdered sugar. Aunt Helen is most famous for her fudge, Aunt Marilyn for her holiday Chex Mix and Mexican wedding cakes, Aunt Bonnie for her pumpkin roll. The cookie creations done under our roof included chocolate crinkles, thumbprints, and other cookies from my mother’s recipe file.
My husband is convinced that good cooks are a sign of a generous person. One such person that I know, if the converse of this motto rings true, must be the best baker ever. I’ve been keeping track of her long list of cookies, cakes and pies by way of her facebook status updates. Here it is in alphabetical order, no less, so as not to favor one sweet over another: Apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate crinkles, lemonade cookies, magic middles, Mexican Wedding balls, peanut butter, peanut butter chip, pecan swirl cookies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, and sugar cookies. She starts her baking in November right on up to Christmas. She was also generous enough to share her recipe for Magic Middles, a chocolate peanut butter cookie on the outside, and a surprise blast of peanut butter on the inside. I am planning on making these very soon. Here is her recipe:
Magic Peanut Butter Middles
1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 egg
1/2 cup margarine, softened 3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup peanut butter 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/s cup sugar
Mix flour, baking cocoa and baking soda in small bowl. Cream margarine, 1/4 cup peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Add dry ingredients; mix well and set aside. Blend 3/4 cup peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in small bowl. Shape into thirty 1-inch balls. Shape reserved dough by tablespoonfuls around balls, enclosing completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press with bottom of glass dipped in additional sugar to flatten. Bake @ 375′ until set with slight cracks. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.
**I take about a tablespoon of the chocolate dough and flatten it in the palm of my hand and then put the ball in the center and wrap the dough around it, pinching off any extra dough.
**** And we have found with our Oven that our baking time is 8 minutes.
A friend of mine here in Jordan is organizing a cookie swap, so we can join in for a festive February cookie making and sharing. Each person will make three dozen of their absolute best cookie and go home with an assortment of three dozen cookies. I don’t know, three dozen might not be enough for my family! I think I will have to make two batches and see about coming home with double the deliciousness!
I just want to wish a seasoned greeting to Kelly, Wendy, Jamie, Lauren, and all those who show their love and generosity through baking and sharing!