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Easy last-minute Christmas cookies and praline recipe

Written By | Dec 19, 2017

FORT WORTH, Texas December 19, 2017:  It’s a week until Christmas; do you know where your holiday treats are? Have you started making candy and cookies?

If you are short on time, money, or patience here are a few recipes that will make your day.

None of these treats take up much time to create and use ingredients you probably have in your cupboards. The results will look like they’ve taken all day to create. Enjoy!

Grandma Cookies

1 ¼ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
4-6 cups of flour (just until you can handle dough)




**For Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Couple of drops of food color

Method

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream shortening and slowly add sugar. Beat another 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Sift flour and baking powder together. Next, alternate adding the flour and milk, blending well after each, and ending with the last of the flour.

Measure out dough, one tablespoon at a time. Using your hands, roll into about 2” rope and then shape into the letter “S.” Children love to help with this. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 18-20 minutes; when cookie bottom starts to brown. Cool completely.

Ice, and then allow them to dry. Yield: about 64

Cookies

Roll out one tablespoon of dough into rope and shape into an “S.”

Easy Microwave Pralines

1 ½ cups brown sugar
2/3 cup half and half, or heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups toasted, chopped pecans

Mix together all ingredients, except vanilla in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 4 minutes; then stir well. Microwave 2-3 minutes more; let rest one minute. Stir. Fold in pecans and stir until thick. Spoon onto parchment paper, waxed paper, or foil. Cool completely. Yield: about 25.
*Mine came out dry and crumbly. I added about 2 more tablespoons cream and microwaved at 30-second intervals, stirring after each, for about 4 minutes. The candy came back together nicely.

Cookies

Square ravioli cutter, pancake turner, rolling pin with 1/4″ bands on ends, and ruler make cookie making a breeze.

Simple Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ powdered sugar
2 cups flour
Colored sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325˚. Mix together with fork or whisk: salt, powdered sugar, and flour in a bowl. Cut up butter, add to bowl and cut it into flour mixture with fingers (you can also use a pastry cutter.) Bring dough together to make ball. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Roll out to 1/4” thick on cutting board into rectangle. Use a cookie cutter or, as in the photos, a 2” square ravioli cutter. You can also use cookie cutters, or roll dough into circles and cut into pie slice shapes.

Brush lightly with milk or water, then sprinkle with sugar or Christmas sprinkles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes for 2″ squares or cookie cutter slices; 15-18 minutes for triangle shapes. Yield: about 64

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Read more of Claire’s work at Communities Digital News and Greater Fort Worth Writers GroupJoin her on Twitter and Facebook

 

 

 

 

Claire Hickey

Claire Hickey was born the last year of the Baby Boom and spent the first half of childhood in Chicago. She has always loved to write but wanted to create pieces worth reading. Her curiosity and love of research lead her to create her column based on the “garbage in garbage out” theory to provide interesting and thought-provoking pieces that enrich her readers. She also believes life is a banquet and loves to learn new things. Her professional pedigree includes Cosmetology, Surgical Technology, and the Culinary Arts. When not working she loves to spend time with family and friends. She lives in Fort Worth.