Wednesday, February 4, 2015


There are two of us in our house and making desserts is a challenge. We both like sweets but neither of us NEED them around for days on end. Cakes are too big, pies too time consuming ( you KNOW how I hate to make pie crust!) so cookies are usually my fall back. Most cookie dough freezes well allowing you to take out a few and have freshly baked, warm cookies in just a few minutes. That also allows for "portion control".  Form drop cookie dough into portion size pieces, freeze on a cookie sheet and when frozen toss into a freezer bag. Take out the number needed (ok, desired!) and bake adding a minute or two to the baking time.

One of my very favorite cookies is a "slice and bake" Pecan Sandie. The dough is rolled into a log and frozen, then sliced and baked! How easy and how convenient. I make these for funeral receptions at our church and several people have come to expect them. They are definitely a favorite wherever they are served.

Pecan Sandies (aka Funeral Cookies)
1 cup butter, softened (you can use butter flavor Crisco or even 1/2 butter, 1/2 Crisco) 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup frimly packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl of mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir in pecans.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, stirring well. ( I use lowest speed on mixer.)
Divide dough in half; shape each half into a log 2-inches in diameter ( or smaller to make more cookies). Wrap in waxed paper; chill until firm. ( I put them in the freezer overnight. If you skip this step they will spread and be a different texture.)
Cut into 1/4-inch slices with a SHARP knife. Place 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool on wire racks. Yield: about 5 dozen, depending on size of logs. 

The following recipe is on my "to try" list, but I thought you might like to experiment with it along with me! I'll report back on my results, meanwhile give it a try and let me know if you think it's a keeper.

Lemon Butter Cookies
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the flour until incorporated. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the tines of a fork, make cross marks in the cookies to slightly flatten them. Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until cookies are set on top and slightly golden on bottom. Transfer to cooling rack and immediately dust with powdered sugar (sugar will melt into cookies from the remaining heat). Once completely cool, dust cookies again with powdered sugar.

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