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I’m not sure where I will be celebrating Christmas, but I do know that I will be making cookies both to celebrate that holiday and to celebrate Hanukkah.
I will make cookies for my neighbors, my colleagues on the Board of Education, my doctors and their staff, my post office friends, and anyone else I happen to run into.
Cookies for everyone, that’s what I say.
I have been making cookies for as long as I can remember. Some are traditional (the biscotti, peanut butter ones with a chocolate Kiss on top, and those made with oatmeal so I can pretend they are healthy).
All told, I guess dozens of dozens will disembark from my condo by Tuesday, Dec. 25.
Here is a new one that might become my favorite. Susan Purdy, who lives in Connecticut, wrote this cookbook in 1999. They are simple, require no unusual ingredients, and are sliced cookies, so you can refrigerate the logs two hours or overnight, or freeze them until you are ready to slice and bake them. I have adapted the recipe just a little. And if you want a few more cookie recipes, email me at email@example.com and I will send them to you.
Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick Walnut Slices
From The Family Baker by Susan G. Purdy
(Broadway Books, New York, 1999)
Yield: 30 to 40 cookies
¼ cup walnut pieces (about 3 ounces)
½ cup granulated sugar (divided)
1 cup all-purposed flour
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut up
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, or as needed
In the bowl of a food processor, combine nuts and ¼ cup of sugar and pulse until chopped medium-fine.
Add remaining sugar along with flour, salt, and butter and pulse until dough forms long crumbs and looks lumpy (do not overcook or try to make a ball). Dump dough onto a piece of wax paper on the counter. Use hands to squeeze it into a ball; the warmth of your hands will soften the butter so it can be molded. If the dough remains too crumbly, work in about a teaspoon of water.
Divide the ball in half and roll each piece into a log about 1 ½ inch diameter and 7 or 8 inches long. Roll the logs in wax paper or plastic wrap, compressing the dough tightly, then put them in a single plastic bag and refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees.
Once the dough is firm, using a sharp knife to cut the logs into scant ¼-inch thin slices and place about 1 inch apart on an ungreased cooking sheet (using parchment or Silpat). Sprinkle a pinch of granulated sugar on top of each cookie and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or just until edges begin to look golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in airtight container.
To make peek-a-boo walnut sandwich slices: spread your favorite jam between two baked and cooled walnut slices. Or, before baking, cut a hole in each of the top cookies; when they are sandwiched you can peek at the jam in the middle.
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