I offered to organize a reception in honor of the five people in our congregation that were Confirmed earlier this week, so I spent most of today baking. I started by making lemon cookies, which you can read all about here. So far, I have only made the cookies and will make the filling later, so this is a photo of a previous batch:
I also made my Grandma Nomie's icebox cookies, which have passed through at least six generations of my family. Here's the recipe:
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. chopped nuts (I usually use pecans, but I left them out this time because some people have nut allergies.)
1 dash salt
Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and blend with the other ingredients just until they are mixed. Stir in nuts.
Divide dough into two rolls on a floured board. Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and put in the refrigerator or freezer for at least an hour or until you want to bake the cookies. Slice into 1/4 inch pieces and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 6 to 10 minutes. They should be "set" but not too browned.
I accidentally baked mine at 400 degrees, which is the temperature in the original recipe, even though my Grambi told me that it should be 350. So, mine are a little darker than usual:
These cookies are great with lemonade and/or ice cream in the summer.
Next, I made Mother of Ken's cheese wafers--the recipe is below, but I only made half this time.
2 sticks butter, plus 1 tbsp.
1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 c. pecans (I left the nuts out of these as well.)
Roast pecans on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool, then chop finely. Combine cheese, butter, flour, pepper, and cooled nuts. Divide the dough into two rolls on a floured board, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm. Slice into 1/4 inch wafers and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Salt to taste (I used grey sea salt this time).
I had to try a few to make sure the amount of salt was correct:
I also made my Grambi's coconut macaroons, her "most requested recipe."
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
2 extra large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine milk, coconut, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat egg whites and salt on high speed until medium-firm. Fold into coconut mixture.
Drop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment or Silpat (you have to do this or they will never come off). Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Leave on baking sheets until they have cooled slightly and then complete cooling on wire rack.
Last, but not least, I made Prolos. This recipe came from Leah, who got it from someone at work, I think. This is easy to do:
1 bag "snap" pretzels
1-2 bags of Rolos (depending on how many you want to make)
Cashews, pecans, or any other nut that you prefer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels in a single layer on a baking sheet and place one Rolo on each pretzel. Rolos in the bags are wrapped, so you have to unwrap them before you do this. Rolls of Rolos are not wrapped, but you will need a lot of them to get the same amount of candy that comes in the bag. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the Rolos have softened. Then, remove the baking sheet from the oven and top each Rolo with one nut (I used pecans this time, but I also like cashews), smashing it slightly. The chocolate and caramel oozes into the holes in the pretzel. Cool on cookie sheets.
Here are my ingredients--I used two bags of Rolos, which yields a little over 100 Prolos.
Pretzels on the baking sheet:
Rolos on top of pretzels:
When Grandmother of Ken helps us make these during the holidays, her job is to unwrap the Rolos. She eats every other one, so if you have a 91 year old grandmother who can't be trusted around chocolate helping you, buy three bags. I think that by the time you are 91, you can eat as many Rolos as you want to eat and everyone else needs to work around you.
Here they are after I smashed the pecans into the Rolos:
I have a few other things to put out on the table as well, including these pretty flowers that I bought at the Farmer's Market this morning:
Now all I have to do is get everything set up tomorrow morning, but I have helpers, so it shouldn't be too bad.