NEW ALBANY —
Let’s face it. There are certain times during the year when even a BBQ writer has no choice but to focus on things other than meat smoked over hardwood charcoal. Christmas and New Years is just such a time.
So, I am going to share with you today two recipes that have been showcased in our family traditions for generations, specifically on Liz’s side of the family. If I had to pick my favorite between these two recipes, I would give the slightest of nods to the Doris’ Butter Spritz cookie. (My mother-in-law’s recipe). It’s sweet, delicate and buttery. In fact, Liz still thinks her mom’s is better than hers, and she can’t figure out why. On the other hand, the Pecan Tassies are so good. It’s like a mini pecan pie in a unique and cheesy crust. It’s like picking who my favorite child is, ya know?
Doris’ Butter Spritz
4 cups of flour; 1 1⁄2 cup of sugar; 1 lb. of unsalted butter (room temperature); 2 egg yolks; 1 Tbs cream; 1 tsp. real vanilla extract; 1 tsp. salt
Before you get started, it’s important to know that you need a cookie press to make these cookies. It looks like a caulking gun. I guess you could try it without, but you won’t have the fun shapes. Also, be prepared to do a lot of mixing. We happen to have a Kitchenaid mixer, which makes it a lot easier.
In the mixer, place the room temperature butter and the the sugar. Mix until the sugar is fully dissolved. Otherwise, the cookies will be grainy. Now, mix in the cream, the egg yolks, (save the whites) vanilla and salt. As the mixer is on slow (very important unless you want a flour explosion on your hands) gradually add the first cup of flour. Once mixed in, slowly add the second cup, then the third cup, and finally, the fourth cup. IT should now be a pretty thick consistency.
Place the mixture in the fridge for a half hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, stuff the tube with the cool cookie dough. Start “pressing” the cookies out of the gun onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spry according to the instructions, using the cookie design disc of your choosing. For a festive look, mix some water into the egg whites and brush lightly on the cookies. Sprinkle with the glitter sugar of your choosing. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, but do not walk away. These babies can burn quick. Once you see them turning slightly brown on the edges, they are done. Remove from tray and allow to cool. Go ahead and try one first. They are so good while still warm.
1 3-oz. package of cream cheese, softened; 1 cup flour; half-cup of margarine; 1 egg; three-fourths cup brown sugar; 1 tsp real vanilla extract; three-fourths cup chopped pecans
I don’t know where we found this recipe, but we make these every Christmas. So easy and so good.
Place the softened cream cheese and margarine in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Now, add the flour and again mix until fully incorporated. Chill in fridge for a half hour or so. Get a teflon miniature muffin pan. Divide the flour mixture into 24 equally sized balls. Press the balls into each muffin area, making sure the sides are covered as well. They should look like mini pie shells.
Combine the egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Stir well. Now, stir in the pecans. Spoon the mixture into each mini pie shell until three-fourths full. If you want to get fancy, drop a couple chocolate chips at the bottom of each shell before spooning in the mixture.
Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they turn slightly brown. Remove from pans and allow to cool. Enjoy! (Makes 24)
Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. You can contact Dave with your BBQ and grilling questions at www.BBQ-My-Way.com.