Cookie Confab 2008

I am sad to report that Debbie, Gail and I have decided that we would not have a cookie confab this year. We are heartbroken, but there was really nothing else to do. I now work the weekends. Debbie and Gail have weekends off. I work swing shift, Gail works second shift and Debbie works first shift. So even on my days off, it would be impossible for us to even squeeze in an evening of cookie making, much less a couple weekends like we have in past years. But we have made a pact to make cookies on our own and trade out some of our specialties to the others so that we can have the best of all worlds. (Oh God - I sound like Candide!)

Since I am not working with the other cookie ladies this year, my hubby has declared that I am allowed to break the rules. Actually just one rule - he wants chocolate chip cookies. And so do all his friends. They have actually been calling me asking when I will have the chocolate chip cookies ready! It's a conspiracy, I tell ya! They managed to separate me from the rest of the group and I am now their helpless cookie baking thrall.

I am always on the lookout for more cookie recipes - especially those that promise not to make my butt wider than the Grand Canyon.
If anyone has any other cookie suggestions, drop me a line. You know me - no cookie will go uneaten!

Here is a partial list of cookies I am going to start making this coming "weekend"

Stroopwaffels - I picked up a pizzell maker at New Uses this past spring for all of $10.00. True they will be HUGE cookies, but they will taste great. As part of my revenge, I plan on forcing Tony to sit at the kitchen table to make the cookies while I relax on the veranda (IE: play computer games).

Baby Fruitcakes - Specifically the recipe from The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book by Richard Sax . I used to love regular fruitcake. Olde fashioned fruitcake is awesome when an experienced cook (like my mom) makes it, but about fifteen years ago I got tired of having eight metric tons of fruitcake around the house after the holidays. So when I saw this recipe, I knew it was for me. The only bad thing is that they are not keepers unless you freeze them.

Chocolate on Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
- This is a new one that I am trying from Maida Heatter's Brand New Book of Great Cookies. (I picked up both her older book of cookies and her newer book of cookies at Half-Price this past year. And yes - they are different.) The thing that really intrigues me about this recipe is that you make dough logs as in a typical refrigerator cookie recipe, then put chocolate between two slices of raw dough and bake it all together. I figure it will be a love 'em or hate 'em situation with the folks on the receiving end - but they should remember they are getting them as a present and if they bitch, I will put the smack down on them!

Pecan Diamonds - I lost my favorite recipe a few years back. Isn't that always the way? I had photocopied it out of a book and laminated it so I could reuse it in the kitchen. All that time and effort - POOF!! Gone! Of course that is the way it always works. I can't even remember the book they came out of, since it was over twenty years ago when I found it. (OMG - I just wrote that and felt sooooooooooo freakin' old.) This past year, Gail found me a recipe in an old magazine that she had used before and gave it to me. It is turned out pretty damn good. Here is the recipe in case you want to try them.

Pecan Diamonds

Prep: 25 min. Bake: 12 + 20 min.

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup shortening 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons whipping cream

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15 x 10 x 1inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan; set aside. In large bowl, combine 1/3 cup butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and the shortening; beat on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg, vanilla, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat in as much of the flour as you can. Stir in any remaining flour. Pat dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven about 12 minutes or until top is set.

2. In saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup butter, the brown sugar, honey, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bring to boiling over medium heat; boil gently 3 minutes. Add nuts and cream.

3. Spread hot nut mixture onto crust. Bake 20 minutes; filling will still be soft but bubbly all over. Cool in pan on rack. Use foil to lift from pan. Place on cutting surface. Using sharp knife, cut lengthwise into six to eight strips, then cut diagonally to form diamonds. Makes about 40.

TO STORE: Layer between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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