Baking with Betty

Dec 07, 2012

This week's column is dedicated to all those people who take the time to make homemade cookies for Christmas.

Salty-Sweet Butterscotch Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted dry-roasted cashews

2/3 cup butterscotch-flavor pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in cashews and butterscotch pieces. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.


Vanilla Bean Angel Pillows

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise

1 cup cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup vanilla sugar ( to make vanilla sugar, in a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar and 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 week.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt. Cover and process until combined. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape pulp from vanilla bean. Add vanilla pulp to the flour mixture; add butter. Cover and process with several on/off pulses until mixture starts to cling, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl. Gather mixture into a ball. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or just until edges start to brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool for 5 minutes.

Place vanilla sugar in a small bowl. While still warm, roll cookies in vanilla sugar to coat. Cool completely on wire rack.


Peanutty Buckeye Bars

1 19.5 ounce package brownie mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup cooking oil

1 cup chopped peanuts

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl combine brownie mix, eggs and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium until combined. Stir in peanuts. Remove half of the brownie mixture and set aside. Spread the remaining brownie mixture evenly into prepared pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth. Spread evenly over brownie mixture in pan. Separate the remaining brownie mixture into pieces, flatten them with your fingers, and place them on top of the brownie mixture in pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Our thought for the week: "We have no choice of what color we're born or who our parents are or whether we're rich or poor. What we do have is some choice over what we make of our lives once we're here." - Mildred D. Taylor


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