Tuesday, December 3, 2013

By Lynn R. Hartz

Lydia was burned out by her work as a midwife until destiny called her to be an aid to the birth of Jesus. A moving, beautifully-written book about a witness to one of the most important periods in religious history.

Melt in Your Mouth Christmas Cookies

Melt In Your Mouth:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup (60 grams) 10X confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)


 In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth (about 2 minutes).

Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the batter for an hour or two, or until firm. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

When batter* is firm, form into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10 - 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack that is placed over a sheet of parchment or wax paper.  

Put the confectioners sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the sugar.


*Note, this batter works well in a cookie press if you like fancy-shaped holiday cookies. Skip the refrigeration step and load the batter directly into the press. Press the shapes onto the parchment paper. They can be topped with colorful sugar sprinkles (as above), or with powdered sugar.

These cookies store very well. Place in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper and they will keep a couple of weeks. 

If desired, just before serving, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with confectioners sugar.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

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