It’s the season for last minute shopping, last minute cards to be sent out, and the most fun of all—last minute baking,
Sharing a few recipes to complement your sweet table. These can be enjoyed any time of the year, so if you don’t have time before Christmas, you can whip them up for New Year’s, PJ Weekends, any time is a good time to bake and fill your home with the sweet essence of home-baked goodies made with love.
Italian Christmas Cookies
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsps. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), sifted
6 tsps.lemon juice, freshly squeezed from a lemon
Preheat oven to 375 F
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease your cookie sheet.
Place a piece of wax paper underneath your cookie cooling wracks.
In a bowl sift icing (confectioner’s) sugar, and add lemon juice. Mix well together, until smooth, and not too watery. You can thicken it with more icing sugar if you need to. Set aside, while you make your cookies.
In a big bowl bowl cream together, eggs, butter, vanilla extract and sugar, until creamy.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt together and mix well.
Slowly add flour mixture to creamy mixture, and knead well to form a non-sticky dough.
Sprinkle working surface with some flour, and turn dough onto your surface and roll the dough to form a log.
Slice into two inch pieces, then twirl into shape.
Place each cookie on the baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes, then dip each cookie into the lemon icing sugar bowl, and top with sprinkles. Then transfer onto a cooling rack.
Maple Pecan Tarts
1 cup pure Maple Syrup
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped (you can toast them ahead of time, or use them as is)
48 miniature uncooked tart shells, or 24 large tart shells, or if you want to make a pie, 1 uncooked pie shell. You can purchase pre-made ones (saves time) or you can make your own.
Pre-heat oven to 350
Tip: To keep the edges of any pie or tarts from burning, place a small bowl of water in the corner of your oven. Just use a oven-proof glass bowl, add about 1 cup of water and put in the corner. Helps to add moisture and not burn your crust. I do this for cakes as well, and makes cakes nice and light.
In a bowl add: maple syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt, lemon juice and vanilla, mix well until smooth and creamy.
Distribute pecans evenly to each tart shell.
Fill tarts with creamy mixture to the top.
Bake tarts for 18 – 20 minutes (for pie, bake for 45 – 50 minutes)
They’re done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out dry.
Best wishes from our home to yours.
Whatever special holiday you are celebrating;
May you be dashing through the snow (or sand or grass) with laughter.
May your star on your tree, the twinkling lights in your world shine bright with blessings.
May your bells jingle with music, whether you can carry a tune or not.
May your homes be filled with warmth, love, laughter, candy, good health, kindness, peace and harmony for you, your families, friends, community, country during the holidays and throughout the year….the world is always a better place when it’s filled with love, laughter and light.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa,
Happy Pancha Ganapati, Bright Yuletide
Happy Holidays to all!