Sunday, December 21, 2008

THE MAD BAKERS

For those of you who read my blog for its coastal content and decorating ideas, I'd like to apologize in advance for the recent and upcoming glut of recipes... but it's that time of year!

I promise the more usual topics will re-appear in a mere 8 -10- days.

Tonight, we celebrated the first night of Chanukah at my house with noodle soup and potato latkes with apple sauce.

For years, one of my mom's traditions has been to hand out plates of homemade cookies to family and friends and for the last two weeks, the two of us have been baking up a storm.

We also mailed a tin to my son Fred, who has far less time off now that he has a job. Since he was home for Thanksgiving, he'll be in celebrating Chanukah in Los Angeles this year.

As a little holiday gift to all of my friends in Bloglandia...

I'm going to post one of my favorite cookie recipes for each of the
8 Days of Chanukah.

* Betty's Cookies
* Sicilian Fig Slices
* Cardamom Drops
* Pecan Crescents
* Chinese Almond Cookies
* Amish Raisin Cookies
* Holiday Hearts
* Gingerbread Men

I hope you'll try them and vote for your favorite.

On January 1st, I'll pick one winner from everyone who has left a comment from now until midnight on the December 31st.

THE STORY BEHIND BETTY’S COOKIES
For several years when I was in elementary school, my father worked in an Italian salumeria (an Italian deli) in Brooklyn. For Christmas, each of the store's two partners would invite all of the employees to their home for a party. Each owner's wife tried to out do the other one.

It wasn't much of a competition though. One woman, whose name was Betty, made wonderful cookies.The other wife, whose name I've mercifully forgotten, made cookies that most reminded me of rocks.

Fortunately, Betty shared her recipe with my mom who has been making these cookies ever since I can remember. They are irresistible right out of the oven, keep for weeks and get even better with age.

Everett, by the way, recognized these cookies instantly the first time my mother made them for him. He remembered them as his great aunt Julia's cookies, which his mother once explained to him were actually made by his great uncle Jack.

BETTY'S COOKIES
1 pound butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, separated (you use yolks first but save whites in the fridge as, you will need them later)
Cinnamon
About 4 cups of flour
A 1/4 cup of Cinnamon Sugar or a mix of cinnamon & sugar to taste
Chopped walnuts

Bring butter to room temperature, then add egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and mix together until tacky.

Add 3- 1/2 cups of flour and mix well. Add more flour, as needed until dough is no longer sticky.

Divide dough into 4 pieces, then make each piece into a long roll. Wrap rolls in wax paper and refrigerate overnight or longer.

To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, beat egg whites. In another small bowl, mix chopped nuts with cinnamon and sugar.

Cut cookies into 1/4-inch thick slices and place on a cookie sheet. Brush tops of cookies with beaten egg whites, then sprinkle with nut mixture. Bake until very lightly browned.

19 comments:

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Lavender Hill Studio said...

Oh Yummy! Cookie recipes. I love cookies. You can have the pies and cakes. Just give me cookies! I don't have time to bake anything new right now, but I am saving all of these recipes. Keep them coming Barbara!

Hope you have the best Chanukah!
Penny

Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

I just found site! What a wonderful blog it is! I will be a frequent reader! Please join us at our blog.

Merry! Merry!
Malisa

NeereAnDear said...

Oh girl my daughter is on her way back to my house right now with my kitchenaide that she borrowed to make cookies today

So I am going to put this one on my list to make tomorrow if I have time...

They sound so yummmmmmmyyyyy

Cant wait to try these

Cant wait to see more of these goodies

HAPPY CHANUKKAH!!!

HUGS

JO

NeereAnDear said...

OOPS.... I think I put and extra K in CHANUKAH!!

HUGS ...PS ... dont apologize for the recipes... we LOVE them too!!

HUGS AGAIN!!

JO

Marie Antionette said...

Hello Barbara and a Happy chanukah to you.I love your goodies.Yum Yum.Thank you for stoping by.Your visits are always a joy.May God bless you and keep you safe always.Hugs Marie Antionette

celestina marie said...

Hi Barbara, Those cookies look like some my grandma from Italy used to make.
Wonderful!!
The platter of cookies looks yummy. You have been busy!
So nice to see you and thank you for stopping by.
Happy Chanukah!
Celestina Marie

Heather ~Pretty Petals said...

Hi Barbara, I love the recipes and am definatly writing that one down. I was in a cookie exchange this year and was looking for GOOD recipes so maybe next year!

I have heard so many wonderful things about you from Natasha and loved hearing about your adventures in New York when she was here.

Have a wonderful week, thanks for visiting my blog and saying hello! xo Heather

Theresa N. said...

They look so pretty, do you just hate to eat them. :)
Theresa N
weceno(at)yhaoo(dot)com

Coastal Sisters said...

Hi Barbara:

Thank you so much for popping by my Blog and your kind words about my designs. I have entered your name for the drawing that will be held this Saturday! I am sitting here reading through your lovely Blog with my morning coffee :)

Thank you for sharing all the recipes.

Please come visit me again.

LuLu Kellogg
Coastal Sisters

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Wonderful! It all looks so yummy, and beautiful. The Chanukah display is wonderful. Beautiful blue colors. Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Hi Barbara,
The cookies look delicious. I will have to try (or talk my husband into baking them for me) this holiday season.

Thank you for the cookies to take home to my blog - such pretty wrapping! Happy Chanukah to you.
xo~Tracie

Gail McCormack said...

~Happy Chanukah to you all~

Loved reading your recipes, maybe a Cook book will be your next project!

Anonymous said...

Happy Chanukah! Your food looks divine.

Kathryn

Shabbyfufu said...

Just popping in to wish you a very happy holiday season Barbara, and the happiest New Year ever! ~XO~Janet

Becky said...

I don't know about trying anymore cookies. Altho I think yours look fabulous. I tried to bake snowflake cookies just like Cindy at My Romantic Home and I think I had just better stick to what I know and that is making carmels.
I hope you will stop by!

Happy Chanukah
Becky

GeorgiaPeachez said...

Oh Barbara, your recipes always make me so hungry! yum, yum, yum! xo, suzy

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Barbara,
Yummy! I would rather have a cookie that any other treat. I have time to make one more batch of cookies and Aunt Betty's it is! Can't wait to try them.
Thank you for sharing - a girl can never have too many recipes this time of year.
Best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Chanukkah.
Erin

Susie Q said...

I wanted to drop in to wish you a blessed Chanukah dear Barbara!
Thes eposts have been a delight to read and see. So many delicious goodies...

Love and hugs,
Sue

Daisy Cottage said...

Dear Barbara,

YOU always make me SO hungry!! Thank you for being so generous with your great recipes! And thank you for ALL that you have shared with us during the year. Here's to 2009 and I look forward to celebrating your new book too!!!

Happy Chanukah!!!

xo,
Kim