How was your Thanksgiving? Still eating leftovers? One of the advantages of a large family is that even HUGE amounts of holiday leftovers get scarffed down pretty quickly! LOL
2 cups butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour. Mix well.
Sprinkle board with the remaining flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 3x1 inch strips. Prick with fork and place on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Basic truffle ingredients
8 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (high quality, 62% cacao or higher), well chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional base flavorings:
Mint leaves (1 bunch, stems removed, chopped, about 1 cup)
Cinnamon and cardamon (1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom pods)
Amaretto (1-2 tablespoons)
Almond extract (1 teaspoon)
Finely chopped walnuts
Finely chopped almonds
1 In a small, heavy saucepan bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer (this may take a while, be sure to stir and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula every few minutes).
If you are using one of the other recommended flavorings, stir it in with the cream (and ignore vanilla in the next step). If adding mint or other solids, after the cream simmers, remove from heat and let seep for an hour. Then strain away solids, and return the cream to a simmer and proceed with recipe.
2 Place the chocolate in a separate bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, and allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until smooth. (This chocolate base is called ganache.)
3 Allow to cool, then place in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove and with a teaspoon roll out balls of the ganache. Roll in your hands quickly (as it will melt from the heat of your hands) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
4 Roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts and serve, or place back in the refrigerator until needed.
Makes 30-40 chocolate truffles
These are pretty cookies and the kids love them. I have never used Jolly Rancher candy. I always prefer Life Savers...the regular kind.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors
1 Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
2 In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.
3 Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days.
4 Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet to crush candies.
7 If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking.
8 Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.
Makes 2 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.
If you have any other great cookie or candy recipes I'd love to hear them! I have several taste tester ready to get to work!