« Funny Girls | Main | Fired Before Christmas »

December 16, 2006

Heart of Tartness Online Recipe Exchange

Welcome to our First Annual Online Goodie Exchange!

We don't have the techonology to actually exchange cookies and cheesecake and ginger bread houses - YET - so we're doing it by exchanging recipies.

Any and all recipes are welcome as long as they are, to quote the great Dick Button, luscious.

And I like tofu as much as the next gal, but this is strictly the stuff that might be bad but tastes so good you don't care.

We interrupt this Goodie Exchange for an urgent gingerbread update!

Michele here to report that the gingerbread house is making good progress.  What?  You thought it would be done by now?  It's only been a week since I started!  Roofing and all other exterior work are now completed.  The farmhouse pattern cried out for white walls, so I applied exterior paint in the shade Royal Icing.  Hershey's famous windows and doors were used, as well as many fine peppermint and gumdrop roofing materials. Lanscaping is slated to begin this weekend.

A record in pictures:

Dsc03379 Dsc03386 Dsc03389

Now back to our regularly scheduled Goodie exchange.

So let's see your favorites - I need to make a grocery list!


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Heart of Tartness Online Recipe Exchange:


I do cookies, but the ones my family loves aren't anything special - basic frosted sugar cookie cut-outs, peanut butter with the Hershey kiss on top, chocolate thumbprint with raspberry jam (those are yummy), snickerdoodles.

However, I do have a recipe for Irish Cream Fudge, made with Bailey's. It has proven quite popular when I give it as gifts, so I'll share it here. When I went out to get the Bailey's this week, I saw they now have a Bailey's with a "hint of caramel", so I got that one to try. If the fudge doesn't work out, I also very much enjoy using the Bailey's in hot chocolate or over ice cream. :)


1 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)
4 cups sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup light corn syrup
6 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Irish Cream liqueur
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

Spread nuts in bottom of greased 8x11 pan. Grease sides of a large stockpot. Combine sugar, evap milk, corn syrup, butter, honey and salt in pot and cook over med-low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in hot water, wash down any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Do not stir while boiling. Cook until temperature reaches soft ball stage (234-240 on candy thermometer). Remove from heat. Add liqueur. Do not stir until syrup reaches 110 degrees. Add chocolate, and beat until no longer glossy and thickens. Pour over nuts. Allow to cool completely. Cut into 1-inch squares, store in refrigerater.

I have two favorites. The first is my grandmother's chocolate sour cream cookies. These are light and not too sweet, and call for gallons of cold milk. Or possibly Bailey's. I suggest making a double batch :) The other is my Mom's version of thumbprint cookies. Her trick was to use red currant jelly. The tartness of the jelly against the toastiness of the nuts and the buttery cookies is still a favorite.

Grammy Chris's Chocolate Cookies
1/2C soft shortening
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
2 squares melted baker's chocolate
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 C sour cream
bunch of walnut halves (one for each cookie)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream the sugar, shortening and egg. Add the rest of the ingredients & combine thoroughly.

Drop by rounded spoonfulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Top with a walnut half.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Cookies should be a little soft, but cooked through.

My Mom's Thumbprints

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1/2C butter
1/4C brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
1C sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt

chopped nuts (~3/4 C for one batch)
slightly beaten egg white
jelly, jam, or candied fruit (but you should really try the red currant jelly!)

Mix all ingredients (except for the nuts and egg white). Roll into 1" balls. Dip in egg white and roll in nuts. Place on cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven, press thumb in each to make a dent (make it kind of deep, because it will puff up during baking). Return to oven for 8 minutes.

Remove from oven, add jelly, jam, or candied fruit. Enjoy.

I am in favor of large amounts of cookies made easily. So here one that's kinda toffee-like that you bake in a 9x13 pan and cut up into 2-bite pieces:

Mija Cookies:

1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt.
1 cup chopped pecans
1 bag milk chocolate chips.

Cream butter, margarine, sugar, egg and salt. Add flour, then the nuts. Pour into 9/13 pan and bake 30-35 minutes in 325 degree oven. When edges are turning brown, remove from oven and dump the bag of chocolate chips on the top. They melt, and you spread it like a frosting. Let cool before cutting. (In fact, I put them into the fridge for 15 minutes so the chocolate isn't too gooey to cut.) The best news is that the edges are too well-done or funny looking to put on a plate for your guests, so you have to eat them yourself.

My new favorite cookie this year is a cheat. Get a bag of that sugar cookie mix. (Believe me, you'd better buy 3.) Mix as directed, but add a teaspoon of almond extract and a quarter cup of flour. (Don't forget the flour in the versions below or they spread out too much.) Then add some dried cranberries. Bake as directed.

Version #2. You can also add peppermint extract and some crushed candy canes.

#3. Or some dried cherries and the almond extract.

#4. Or some white chocolate chips and any dried fruit. (Red is the cutest, though.)

#5. Or dried cranberries and some pistashio nuts because they're red & green, but I can't keep pistashios in the house with Jeff around, so I wait until the night before company comes to make these.

#6. You're a creative person who can come up with your own combo!

You are going to LOVE these.

And OMG, Michele, the gingerbread house is astonishing! Is it finished? Or are you still decorating the landscape? I am in awe.

Every year, my sister-in-law has a giant gingerbread house party. She bakes all the parts of the house plus about a million other things (like landscape and people) and then invited an enormous number of people of all ages to come decorate. When they've all gone home (with plenty of cookies), she puts the whole house together and it serves as the centerpiece for xmas dinner. Pictures become the invitation for the following year's party. It's oodles of fun.

Anyway, let's see, my favorite cookie recipe. I have about a million of them. But I think the one people find hardest to make is lace cookies. So here's my recipe:

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 pound butter, melted
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter, let cool. Mix dry ingredients. Stir in butter, then egg and vanilla. Cover cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Drop batter on foil by 1/2 teaspoon, about 3 inches apart. Bake at 350 F until deep golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cool, lift off foil. Store in airtight container.

Yield approx 6 dozen

Two really important things about this recipe:
1) Don't leave off the aluminum foil! If you don't cover the cookie sheets with foil, you'll never get the cookies off!
2) You really only need a half teaspoon of dough for each cookie and you need to leave PLENTY of room to spread. I kid you not. There's a reason these are called lace cookies!

I'm weeping into my Crisco here. My husband has a gluten allergy, so I have to make everything with rice flour and some xantham gum, for stick-to-it-iveness, but there are some cookies that never work. Like spritz. Sugar cookies. Shortbread of any kind. Mexican wedding cakes.

Please keep my sad story in mind when you fall in love with a man with celiac disease.

Michele, you ARE the I.M. Pei of gingerbread.

Margie's Really Easy Wreaths

Get a box of corn flakes and a box of Rice Krispies

Eat the Rice Krispies, then use the box for the Rice Krispie Treats recipe, except use lots more butter and corn flakes instead of Rice Krispies.

But before you put the Corn Flakes in, mix green food coloring in with the marshallows and butter.

After the Corn Flakes are all green and sticky, shape them into wreath shapes and then put those little cinammon candies on them to look like berries or whatever.

Wash your hands before you do anything else because that green color is hard to get out - or off of things. It seems really funny to put it places at the time, but then you have to look at that green for awhile, so pass on the food play for this one.

Oh Harley,
Am I the person for you. You can make great cookies with gf flours. I have celiac too and it hasn't slowed me down much. I take a cake into work every week so that I can have one slice of cake that I can eat and make brownie points with all my coworkers.

Ok, truth is that I havent' tried spritz. But I've gotten some recipes. You will have to branch out to some other flours than just rice. Contact me and I will give you as much info as I can.

And does he miss beer? I just found the Bard's Tale gf beer made from sorghum. It's good! http://www.bardsbeer.com/

Harley and Hollygee - thanks for the tips - my nephew has Celiac and my sister is always looking for new recipes.

This weekend has been a zoo so far, so I'll be back later today with my recipe. I've already printed out the ones here - they look great!

I'm with Kathy on the crazy weekend gig, but I'll contribute, tardily. The other recipes look yummy. Fudge! A recipe with shortening! Yippee. And Michele--wow. The house is gorgeous.

So anyway, with everyone else doing sweets, I usually bring protein to add to a party menu. There's a story behind the name, but I'd have to tell it in person.

Freaking Good Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1 whole chicken (It can be organic, free range, or from a farm worthy of a 60 Minutes expose. Doesn't matter--chickens are nasty creatures, wherever they live, and you're just going to boil the hell out of it anyway.)

Good quality Mayo
White pepper
Pepperidge Farm Thin Sliced white or wheat bread (no subs)

Step 1: Prepare yourself a Mimosa.

Step 2: Boil the hell out of the chicken. I add one onion, peeled and halved, some celery stalks, a halved lemon, a few dashes of Worchestershire sauce, and some garlic salt. Depending on the size of the bird, it'll take hours.

Step 3: The chicken should fall off the bone, which means you have to have some kind of strainer to get it all out of the pot. Be sure to find the neck and throw it away. Give the innards (heart, gizzards, liver) to your dog, as a treat for having to smell boiling chicken for hours.

Step 4: Pulverize the chicken, celery and green onions in a food processor. You may need to do it in steps and you may need to add some broth to keep it from clogging. It should end up pasty.

Step 5: Add lots of mayo and lots of white pepper. Don't bother fretting about the calories with the mayo. That dog quit hunting at Thanksgiving.

Step 6: Decide whether or not you want crustless sandwiches. Adults think that's cute, but teenagers don't give a hoot. If you're going crustless, do that first. Your dog is once again rewarded with the discards.

Step 7: Top off your Mimosa. Slather smooth chicken salad onto the bread. Cut diagonally. That's not a choice. If you see a chicken salad sandwich halved down the middle, don't eat it. There's something wrong with the cook.

Step 8: Chill sandwiches for an hour or so, until the bread gets cold and soft. To serve, arrange on a holiday plate, or if you are Nancy, a pretty cake stand.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

My father has this thing about gingerbread men that I won't get into. But he loves ginger snaps and gingerbread cookies. I try to make him some every year. So here is the recipe I use. It's from The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas.

3/4 cups butter
3/4 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water

Cream butter and brown sugar. Beat in molasses and lemon juice. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add cold water until a dough is formed. Knead until dough holds together. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.
Roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface.
Cut the cookies out with a gingerbread man or woman cookie cutter. Arrange figures on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
You can decorate if you wish. I don't because my father doesn't go for all that fancy or kiddie stuff. Remember I wrote about him in an earlier blog. He is a stick in the mud at Christmas.

Celiac cookbook--

This one http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-free-Gourmet-Makes-Dessert-Wheat-free/dp/0805072764/sr=8-8/qid=1166388755/ref=sr_1_8/102-4376852-8315334?ie=UTF8&s=books is pretty darn good. Though the cakes are better than the cookies (the cookies sometimes need a bit of fiddling).

Just saw a funny cartoon - tried to cut and paste it but the punchline is:

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, but if we run out, I'll drink red."

Kathy, I am immediately creating a poster for my wall using this punchline.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site