Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Holiday Gift to You: Buttersweet Cookie Recipe

Oh yeah.
This evening a friend is hostessing a retro-themed Christmas potluck: Jell-o molds, cheese balls, and all. What to bring? It's the perfect excuse to trot out my grandma's buttersweet cookie recipe.

The secret to this recipe is no secret, use real everything, no "healthier substitutes". My Grandma Peters did not cook often, but when she did her desserts were amazing because she had no qualms about fat or calories. These little guys are rich and filling, though always a hit. I've only made the recipe twice, but on my first attempt a couple of years ago, they blew away the competition at my office cookie contest. Never underestimate the power of butter, sugar, more butter and sugar, coconut, nuts, cream cheese, and chocolate in one bite. Om, nom nom. 

My gift to you readers this Christmas is her old recipe, modified to modern proportions. If you do give it a go, let me know how they turn out. :) On a sidenote, I'm also bringing deviled eggs to the party this evening, so I hope there is a defibrillator on the premises.

"Read more" for recipe.
Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Creamy Nut Topping*
12 oz. cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
6 Tb. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Tb. butter
4 Tb. water

Soften cream cheese. Blend in confectioners sugar, flour, and vanilla. Cream well. Stir in nuts and coconut. Set aside.

Cream butter with hand mixer; add sugar, salt and vanilla. Cream again. Gradually add flour; do not over-add to the point that dough starts crumbling. Shape by teaspoonfuls** into balls. Place on greased cookie sheet and press a hole in the center of each with your thumb or tip of a spoon (very important to hold the topping onto the cookie). Bake at 350° for 11 to 15 minutes or until edges are barely golden. Top with creamy nut topping while warm. Let cool completely, then drizzle chocolate frosting over top.

Melt chocolate, water, and butter over low heat in a double boiler, stirring occasionally (I used my usual makeshift set up of a mixing bowl over a large soup pot). Remove from heat. Spoon over each cookie. Keep cookies in fridge until shortly before serving or until chocolate hardens if you plan to package these.***

The retro version from grandma's cookbook,
and a 1960s Land o' Lakes Cookbook.
* Just FYI, the topping recipe makes more than you need. You can probably halve the recipe, but would it really be so bad to have a leftover cup? Breakfast snack! ;) The original recipe's proportions were just crazy, like, 3 oz cream cheese for 3 cups of dry ingredients in the topping, so this go-around I spent some time finally finding the proper proportions (to my taste of course!). Experiment a bit with the sweetness and consistency of the topping as you might enjoy it! It's hard to find a wrong way to combine these ingredients.

**The cookies will expand; however, I think teaspoon-sized balls are too little. Try quarter-sized.

***Finally, this recipe makes a crisper cookie. They need to be sturdy to hold up the weight of the toppings. If you prefer slightly softer cookies, try keeping them in the fridge until and hour or so before serving them. It will soften the cookie and keep the chocolate from melting.

1 comment:

  1. As you know these are one of my favorites. Grandma also had some scale busting recipes for chocolate silk pie, peanut butter pie and cheesecake. And if you think her recipes are bad you have seen the ones from your great-grandmother. The prime ingredient in most of her dessert dishes was lard. It did make for excellent tasting pie crusts though. Those were the good old days.