Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Slice and Bake

If you have not yet developed a relationship with refrigerator cookies, I suggest you start here and now. Refrigerator cookies are a baker’s dream. The dough can be prepped a day or two in advance and then sliced and baked just in time to serve your guests cookies fresh from the oven. Slice and bake them all or only as many as you need.

My relationship with refrigerator cookies began about the time I discovered this recipe, and it has remained strong these many years. This recipe was copied into the back of my high school history notebook from some woman’s magazine, unlike many of its neighbors, it has survived the test of time. This is a straightforward, uncomplicated refrigerator cookies. It requires a little care in its preparation and baking, for which you are rewarded with a deliciously beautiful cookie.

Notes for this cookie: Use unsalted butter only, no substitutes. Pure vanilla extract only, please! Finely chopping glaceed cherries is a nuisance but it must be done. Use a sharp knife and take care with your fingers! Do not be tempted to over-bake these cookies, as they become very hard. Bake just until the edges are set and lightly golden.

Santa’s Whiskers

1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2-1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. finely chopped red glaceed cherries

1/4 c. finely chopped green glaceed cherries

¾ c. sweetened flaked coconut

In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the milk and vanilla. Blend in the flour. Add the glaceed cherries and mix just until blended in. Divide dough into two equal portions. For into two rolls 8 inches long and approximately 2 inches in diameter. Place the coconut on a sheet of wax paper. Roll each log in the coconut. Wrap and waxed paper and chill several hours or over night.

Preheat oven to 375. Have ungreased cookie sheets handy.

Remove logs from refrigerator one at a time. Remove wax paper and place the log on a cutting board. Cut ¼ inch thick slices, rotating log as necessary during cutting to keep slices round, and place on cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining log. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are golden. Middle will still be soft, but sets during cooling. Rotate sheets halfway through baking time.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

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