Jil’s Whipped Shortbread

You can do this with a wooden spoon, but it's much easier with a
mixer.

1 pound butter
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour

Cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy. Mix in the remaining
ingredients and beat until fluffy. Form balls (about 1 tsp) and
flatten slightly (I like to put colored sugar on top to make them
look nice). Bake for 20 minutes at 325ºF.
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Ginger Spice Cookies

From my friend, Meg, who is a cooking diva.

2 cups all purpose flour – sifted
2½ teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
½ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
¼ cup molasses (i use dark, i like the flavor better, but you can use lite)
I also grated a bit if fresh nutmeg in, mainly because I had some.

Turbinado/Demerara Sugar for rolling the cookies in combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. Using electric mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour, spices and and baking soda that have been sifted together and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Spoon sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into 1 ¼-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool.

Baby Ruth Cookies

½ cup butter, softened to room temp.
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
6 mini Baby Ruth candy bars, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla. Sprinkle soda and salt on top of batter. Slowly mix in flour.

Stir in chopped candy.

Wet hands, form rolls of dough about golf ball size. Place on cookie sheet 2” apart. (On a large pan there will be 12 cookies.) Bake until edges are lightly browned and tops are cream colored. Remove from oven. If pan is lined with either Silpat or Parchment paper, slide liner (and cookies) off pan to counter. Allow to cool slightly. Use sharp-edged metal spatula to place on cooling rack.

Jan says this is her husband’s favorite cookie.  She always keeps them in the jar for him.

GF Coconut Macaroons

From Elana’s Pantry

Coconut Macaroons

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk egg whites and salt until stiff
  2. Fold in agave, vanilla and coconut
  3. Drop batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, one rounded tablespoonful at a time
  4. Pinch each macaroon at the top (like a kiss)
  5. Bake at 325 350° for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned*
  6. Serve
Makes 48 macaroons
Note: In response to some comments below, to prevent agave from sinking and messing up the balance in the batter, continue to gently re-mix batter as you go along.
* Please note, I edited this recipe on 3/28/08, modifying the baking temperature; the macaroons are more moist when baked at a higher temp for one or two minutes less.

Almond Crescents

My mother used to make these at Xmas time.  I loved them and looked forward to them. I could never convince her to make them other times of the year.

Cream 1 c. butter2 tsp. vanilla and ¼ c. confectioners sugar together.  Add 1 Tbsp water and 2 c. flour.  Stir in 1 c slivered almonds.  Form into crescents on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.  Roll in confections sugar while still warm.

Benne Wafers

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar.

Add egg.

Add dry stuff.

Add vanilla and seeds. I get the seeds from an Asian market because they are much less costly there.

Drop by teaspoon or less on greased cookie sheet. Cookies are meant to be the size of a nickel and the batter spreads a good bit.

Cook quickly at 325°F.

Allow to cool 1 minute before removing from pan.

Yields about 100 cookies.

This is a traditional Charleston recipe. Benne (pronounced bennie) is a West African word for sesame.