Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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The revision is slow . . .

But the cookies are coming along very nicely, thank you!

Here’s one if you like a not-too-sweet but very rich cookie . . . if you like fig newtons, you’ll probably like these, though they really aren’t at all similar. Except for the figs, obviously.

Fig Shortbread Cookies

1 C butter (no substitutes)
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C ground pecans
1 C ground dried figs
2 C flour

With a cookie this simple, each ingredient shines forth pretty brightly, which is why you should use butter and not margarine. Makes a big difference in this cookie! So cream the butter and sugar (yes, it’s only 1/4 C), then beat in the vanilla, then stir in the pecans and figs and flour.

Shape into little torpedos and bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, until set but not browned.

I’d say the above are an adult-type of cookie, probably not going to be a huge hit with the kids. This following recipe will be the ones the kids will love!

Chocolate Thumbprints

1 C butter or margarine
1 1/3 C sugar
2 eggs, separated
4 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
2/3 C cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 C toasted ground walnuts or other nuts

Filling:

1 1/2 C powdered sugar
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
3/4 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chips

Like always, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla. Combine four, cocoa and salt and beat that in. Chill at least 1 hour.

Shape dough into 80 balls. Dip each into beaten egg whites and roll in ground walnuts. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Indent each cookie with the tip of your finger. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Make the filling — combine all the ingredients until smooth. Spoon or pipe a little filling into the indentations of each warm cookie. (Piping is much faster.) Place a chocolate chip in the middle of the filling and press down lightly so each chocolate chip is surrounded by a ring of white filling.

There you go! Very tasty, but definitely on the fiddly side; if you’ve got kids handy that are recruitable, that’d be a real plus for this recipe.

Now, one more, not a cookie but so good I’m throwing it in anyway!

Coconut marshmallows

3 env. unflavored gelatin
1 C cold water, divided
2 C sugar
1 C corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
1/2 tsp vanilla

Ground toasted coconut

Line a 13 x 9 pan with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray.

Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 C water in a LARGE bowl and whisk quickly to break up the gelatin. Set that aside.

Combine the other 1/2 C water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, stirring only until the mixture comes to a boil. Bring to 240 degrees (use a candy thermometer, for heaven’s sake! They’re wonderful to have even if you don’t use them all that often.)

Once the syrup has reached 240 degrees, gradually pour the hot syrup mixture into the bowl with the gelatin, while the mixer is running. Then continue beating on high for 10 minutes or so, until the mixture is white, thick, and trying hard to climb up the beaters to the mixer. Beat in the coconut and vanilla flavorings.

Pour and spread into prepared pan. The mixture will be VERY STICKY, so don’t bother trying to get ever bit of it out of the bowl. The kids can clean some of it out for you and then you can run hot water in the bowl to dissolve the rest.

Anyway, let the marshmallows sit, uncovered, in the pan, for six hours or so. Although I’ve rushed it with no ill effects, so I think four hours is enough, probably.

Lift the marshmallow mixture out of the pan with the foil, lay it upside down on a cutting board, peel off the foil, and cut it into squares with a pizza cutter sprayed with cooking spray. Roll each square as you cut it in the coconut.

Store at room temp in an airtight containger. Stores just fine for weeks, but they’re not likely to last that long.

I’ve also done this to make chocolate marshmallows: add 2/3 C cocoa powder to the gelatin before you beat in the syrup, then roll the finished marshmallows in a mixture of 1/3 cornstarch and 2/3 cocoa powder. Also very good!

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