Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let the Cookie Making Begin! Peanut Butter Blossom and Mexican Cake Cookie

Here in Wisconsin it's been unseasonably warm. I just can't get into the holiday spirit without snow! Either the world is going to end in 20 days or we will make it to Christmas. I am betting on Christmas! One way to jump start my Christmas spirit is to begin baking Xmas cookies.

I have an affection for Reese's peanut butter cups and this recipe incorporates plenty of peanut butter flavor along with the delicious milk chocolate of the peanut butter cup. I use a mini muffin tin to make the perfect cookie. Not everyone may look perfect but those can be cooks treat! I store both my flour and cookies in a huge Tupperware "Thatsabowl." The cookies will keep for about 3 weeks in a sealed container if your family doesn't eat them all!
kinda looks like snow?

Reece's Peanut Butter Cup Blossoms Yields: 3 dozen cookies

You can either make this recipe the traditional way, with Hershey's Kisses smooched into the middle or this way.

1 pkg. Reece's mini peanut butter cups unwrapped
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 stick softened butter or 1/2 c.
1 tsp vanilla (or one cap full)
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar reserved for dusting.

Cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar,along with the vanilla and egg using an electric mixer. Gradually add in the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar into the butter and mix until incorporated.

Roll a teaspoon of the dough into balls and roll into the reserved sugar. Place the balls  into greased mini muffin tins.(no need to press down) Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and  push one peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie. You may have to push them down more than once. Use a spoon to help you remove the cookies from the tins.

Next I made the Mexican Wedding Cake Recipes. I prefer the Paula Deen recipe. It's the closest to what my Grandmother made. I like that she uses Pecans rather than walnuts.(walnuts make me itchy) I get my love of cookie making from my Grandmother. Each year she would spend weeks making cookies. I only wish she would have left me the recipes. She would make spritz cookies in the shape of Christmas trees and other shapes. That is my next task. I also plan on making peppermint bark. I will post that as soon as I make it.

Paula Deens' Mexican Wedding Cookies Yields 3 dozen      

1 cup of unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
1/2 c. confectioners sugar plus extra for dusting the cookies in
1 tsp vanilla extract (or one cap full)
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour *plus extra for dusting hands
1 cup pecans * I hit mine with a rolling pin a few times in a Zip loc

Preheat oven to 275. Baking time is 40 minutes.
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together along with the vanilla. Add in the flour little by little. You may have to pull the mixer out of the dough and spin a few times to clear the beaters. Fold in the pecans with a spoon.
 Flour your hands and take one teaspoon of the dough. I roll mine into a circle first and then form into crescents. Try to keep the size consistent so they bake evenly. You don't need much room between each cookie since they will not rise. I use one baking sheet for all of them. Be sure to flour your hands between each cookie. After the 40 minutes sacrifice one of the cookies to check for doneness. *The dough is also safe to eat raw because there are no raw eggs in it! Let cool for a few minutes and roll in the reserved confectioners sugar.The cookies should still be warm, but not hot! Store in an air tight container.

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