Here’s the short version of why this blog died for awhile: got a new job, got married, got injured, got better, and am, finally, getting back on the horse (he galloped away from me for awhile, the gosh darn so-and-so). Hopefully, laziness won’t encourage me to put another 18-month blogless black hole under my belt anytime soon. May the force be with me.
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Merry Christmas! This is my last holiday food coma post and I am looking forward to taking a nap. Not only because finding the perfect, most fabulous recipes for this fine piece of internet literature is exhausting, but also because my dear sister decided to text all of us at 5am to inform the masses that she was unable to sleep for most of the night and if we opened presents without her she would be emotionally wounded beyond all repair. So it goes.
I hope everyone who tuned in has enjoyed the holiday-themed goodies! This one was my attempt to come up with a tasty party snack that I envisioned being shuffled around elegantly on shining silver platters by waiters in bow ties and white gloves who would whisper seductively: “Tartlet, madame?”. In reality, they were slapped down on the kitchen table by yours truly with a gruff “Eat and tell me what you think.”
The response was much more promising than my introduction, luckily, so here it is!
Cheesy Onion Tartlets
1 roll crescent dough
5 shallots, diced fine
2 T butter
4 T cream cheese
2 T grated parmigiano
dash red pepper flakes
S&P to taste
1/4 c chopped arugula
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a mini muffin pan. Roll out the crescent dough into a 12″ x 8″ rectangle and cut into 12 uniform squares. Place the squares into the muffin pan, pushing down into the creases so that it forms a small cup. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and cook until soft and brown, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, parmigiano, S&P, and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl. When the shallots are done caramelizing, remove from heat and let cool a few minutes. Mix into the cheeses until thoroughly combined. Spoon about a tablespoon into each muffin cup and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 20 minutes, remove from pan, top with arugula, and serve warm.
Also known as: Mexican wedding cookies, cocoons, snowballs, and probably twenty-seven different other names the world over, but to me they are just “Further proof that lots of butter means a tasty, delicious snack.” No one really seems to know where they actually come from, but the fact remains: they are one of the most popular holiday cookies across Amuuurica and most definitely my favorite (hint: you may make them for me. In double batches. Thanks much.)
If you’re looking for a simple, easy cookie that will have you covered head-to-toe in powdered sugar goodness and a grin from ear-to-ear, you’ve come to the right place. Not so much if you have a nut allergy– then you’ll be lying in anaphylactic shock on floor gasping for Benadryl.
My mom and I do a big holiday baking extravaganza every year and I usually end up sneaking about 12 of these when she’s not looking. I think I’m super clever, but powdered sugar face always gives me away in the end.
Russian Tea Cookies
3 sticks butter, softened
3 T powdered sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 t salt
3 c flour, sifted thoroughly
2 c finely chopped pecans, walnuts, or your nut of choice.
For finishing: 2-4 c powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a standing or electric mixer, cream the butter and the 3 T sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the flour, salt, and nuts and mix until combined and no flour remains. You may have to turn the mixture over with a spatula, to get any wayward flour up from the bottom of the bowl. With your hands, form 1″-balls and place on the baking sheets, about 2″ apart. (As you can see from the above, I did some in the “cocoon” shape before switching to balls, which were much easier and didn’t fall apart). Press down slightly with the palm of your hand and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges. Be careful not to over cook them– they burn quickly! Prepare another baking sheet by placing the finishing powdered sugar on it in a single layer. When the cookies are done, let them cool for a minute or two and then place them on the powdered sugar baking sheet. Turn each cookie to coat in the sugar and then let sit for about 15 minutes. Turn once more to coat again, adding sugar if necessary. Eat with gusto.