Also: Russian Tea Cakes
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE KISS COOKIES
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Adapted from "A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies" by Dede Wilson.
• 11/4 c. flour
• 1 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 c. smooth, unsalted, natural (not hydrogenated) peanut butter
• 1/2 c. granulated sugar, plus more for coating
• 1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• 1 egg
• 36 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt, and reserve.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and peanut butter together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and light brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and egg and mix until fully incorporated.
Reduce speed to low. Add one-third of flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing until just blended.
Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Use wrap to help shape dough into a large, flat disc, then cover completely with wrap. Refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll into balls, at least 1 hour or overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll dough between your palms into 11/2-inch balls. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar, coating them completely, and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Gently flatten dough balls just enough, so they don't roll off baking sheets.
Bake just until light golden brown on bottoms, about 16 to 18 minutes; do not overbake.
Remove from oven, gently press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie (cookies may crack; that's OK) and return cookies to oven for 1 minute.
Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container in a single layer.
Nutrition information per cookie:
Calories 130 Fat 8 g Sodium 76 mg
Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 16 mg
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 13 mg Dietary fiber 1 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 other carb, 11/2 fat.
RUSSIAN TEA CAKES
Makes about 4 dozen.
Note: Pecans are the traditional nut in the U.S., though any other could be substituted. To push the envelope, try making these with macadamia nuts. From the 1963 "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book." A photo in the book shows a variation of these cookies rolled in sprinkles instead of powdered sugar, but somehow that just seems wrong.
• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter
• 1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 21/4 c. flour
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (see Note)
Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Stir flour and salt together, then blend into butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough in 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet (cookies do not spread). Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but not brown.
While still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool and roll in powdered sugar again. Store in airtight container.
Nutrition information per cookie:
Calories 72 Fat 5 g Sodium 46 mg Saturated fat 3 g
Carbohydrates 6 g Calcium 3 mg
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1/2 other carb, 1 fat.