From Grandma’s Cookbook

December 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm 2 comments

My Sunday has been spent baking dozens upon dozens of Christmas cookies. Many will be plated up to send off to family and friends, but of course will be lying around our house for some Christmas treats! Over the next few days, I will share some of my family’s favorite cookie recipes. Most of them are from my Grandma, and I have been making them since I could bake. I hope that you try one recipe to add to your cookie collection and enjoy them as much as my family does!

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As a kid, I didn’t understand the draw of these cookies. They were fun to make, but they were to mature for my young taste buds. I was a faithful helper, and every year I made these with my mom or Grandma, simply to get them done and move onto the “more fun” cookies. However, these have grown to become my favorite of my family’s traditional Christmas cookies. These tassies are like miniature pecan pies, with a soft, flaky crust and sweet, nutty filling. They stand out on a Christmas cookie platter, and are always a hit at parties. My Grandma always makes them with walnuts, but I like them best with pecans. Use whichever you have on hand, as either way the result is fantastic. Instead of making a whole pie this Christmas, try these cookies as a great alternative. Definitely not any healthier than a pecan pie, but at least you can enjoy just one bite! If you can only eat just one, that is… ;)

Question: Do you have any Christmas cookie recipes that have been passed through generations?

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Tassies

From an old family recipe, makes approx. 48 cookies

Pastry:

8 oz. Neufchatel cream cheese

½ lb. butter

2 ½ cups flour (can mix whole wheat and white)

Cream butter and cream cheese until well blended. Work flour into mixture by hands. Pinch of walnut sized amount of dough and press with thumb very thinly into greased mini-muffin tins.

Filling:

1 ½ cup brown sugar (half light and half dark)

3 eggs

3 tbsp melted butter

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts, or a mix)

Beat first 4 ingredients with beater. Fold into chopped nuts. Fill pastry shell 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Take tarts out and place on cooling rack close together and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Store in an airtight container.

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