Northwest NEWS

November 29, 1999

Home & Garden

Dining In: 'Visions of sugarplums...'

Festive Triangle Tarts

Festive Triangle Tarts Pastry:
   1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. sugar
   1/4 tsp. salt
   1/2 c. softened butter
   1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
   3 Tbsp. cold water

Filling:
   1/2 c. jam or preserves
   3 Tbsp. finely chopped nuts
   1/8 tsp. lemon or almond extract

Glaze:
   3/4 c. powdered sugar
   1/4 tsp. lemon or almond extract
   3 to 4 tsp. water

   Combine flour, sugar, and salt in large mixer bowl; add butter and cream cheese. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2 to 3 minutes). Add water; continue beating just until dough forms (20 to 30 seconds). Shape dough into ball with hands. Divide in half; flatten each half and wrap well in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (at least 3 hours or up to 3 days).

   Stir all filling ingredients together in small bowl; set aside. Heat oven to 375. Roll out one half of dough on lightly floured surface (keeping remaining dough refrigerated) to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut dough with floured 2-1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Spoon 1/2 tsp. filling in center of each round. Lift up edges of each circle at 3 points; pinch points together firmly forming a triangle and leave center open. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Tarts will open slightly as they bake. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely. Combine powdered sugar and lemon extract in small bowl, adding enough water for desired glazing consistency. Drizzle on tarts. Makes 3 dozen tarts.

   Tip: If desired, cut large pieces of fruit in jam into smaller pieces.

Santa's Sandwich Cookies

Cookies:
   1 c. softened butter
   3/4 c. sugar
   2/3 c. firmly packed brown sugar
   2 eggs
   1 tsp. vanilla
   2 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
   1 tsp. baking soda
   1/4 tsp. salt
   Decorator candies and sugars

Filling:
   3 c. powdered sugar
   3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
   2 Tbsp. softened butter
   2-3 Tbsp. milk

   Combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed (1 minute). Reduce speed to low; add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Cover and refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours). Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place candies in small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in candies to coat one side. Place candy-side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set. Do not over-bake. Let stand 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Combine powdered sugar, peanut butter, and 2 Tbsp. butter in small mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often and gradually adding enough milk for desired spreading consistency. To make sandwiches, spread about 2 tsp. of filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, flat side down. Repeat with remaining cookies. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Almond Amaretto Loaf

   4 to 4-1/2 c. all purpose flour
   1/4 c. sugar
   1 envelope yeast
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1 c. milk
   2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
   1/4 c. ammaretto liqueur
   1 tsp. lemon juice
   1 large egg
   1/2 c. chopped almonds, toasted
   1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
   Amaretto Glaze (recipe follows)

   In large bowl, combine 1 c. flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat milk, butter, amaretto liqueur, and lemon juice until very warm (120 to 130 degrees). Gradually add dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed with electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg and 1/2 c. flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in chopped almonds and enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Roll dough to 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Beginning from short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place seam side down, in greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack. Drizzle with amaretto glaze and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

   Amaretto Glaze: Combine 1 c. powdered sugar, sifted; 2 Tbsp. amaretto liqueur; and enough milk (1 to 2 Tbsp.) for drizzling consistency.