Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cherry Christmas Cookies


Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  I love trimming the Christmas tree, decking the halls and enjoying time with family and friends.  Like most of you,  I will be spending time in my kitchen making treats to hand out as gifts.  Let me share with you, a little a bit about the person that inspired this blog post and these cherry Christmaas cookies, my grandma.
 
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My grandmother, my dad's mom, was an incredible women.  She was a kind and gentle woman who would be quite content watching her soaps and crocheting.   As a boy growing up, she would come stay at our house for the summer.  Her visits normally started with her arriving and saying that she was only be staying for a few days, but would end up with her leaving after a few weeks.  We did not mind a bit,  we all loved her being around.

I can give you every detail about her visits.  She was a simple women with a daily routine.  She would wake up in the morning, play solitaire and eat a half a grapefruit.  If we were lucky enough to wake up early, we could join her and she would gladly interrupt her routine and play rummy with us. Again, we loved having her around.  After a heated game of cards, Grandma would quickly get back to her routine and get dressed.  Part of her dressing routine was a particular fragrance that she wore, not actually a perfume but a powder, called Charlie.  She would come out of her bedroom and I could smell it on her.  As I sit here writing this, I can still smell it.  I don't know how to explain it to you, but she simply smelled as beautiful as the lady who wore it.

One of the many things that I remember about my grandma were the cookies that she would make during the holidays.  They were all delicious, but hands down my favorites were these cherry cookies that she would make.  This is the recipe I am sharing with you today.
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The cookie itself is delicate with a light buttery flavor.  The recipe uses candied cherries, which add a little sweetness and a nice chewy texture.  It is considered a refrigerator cookie, because once you assemble the dough, you roll it into a log and place it in the refrigerator to firm up so that you are able to cut the cookie before baking. They are a snap to put together and are sure to become one of your family's favorite, just like mine.


I bake these cookies every year for my family and friends.  Each time I do, I remember my grandmother and feel blessed for everything that she did for me and everything that she taught me. Give these cookies a try and when you are in the kitchen baking them, maybe yout will remember someone who is, or was, special to you and you too will feel blessed.  Merry Christmas, all.  Grandma, this one's for you.


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Cherry Christmas Cookies
Recipe
inspired by my grandmother, Alice Marie Brotherton


Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups candied cherries, quartered.  (Red, green, or a combination of the two.)
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream butter and powder sugar together.  
  • Add egg and vanilla and slowly incorporate flour to mixture and mix well.  
  • Fold into the dough the quartered cherries and nuts. 
  •  Continue folding the cherries in the dough so that the cherries are distributed evenly throughout.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper on the counter and place approximately 1/3rd of the dough on the paper. 
  •  Using your hands roll the dough into a log shape about 2 inches round. 
  •  Once you have your shape, then roll the log in the paper and secure the ends of the parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator.  
  • Continue 2 more times until all of the dough has been rolled and placed in the refrigerator. 
  •  Allow the dough to stay in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  • Take out of the refrigerator and unroll the dough from the paper.  
  • Cut the dough with a knife into 1/4 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  •  Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until the cookie is light golden in color.  This recipe will yield approximately 4 dozen cookies.






18 comments:

  1. Oh Dan, that is so nice to honor your grandmother. I bet she is smiling at you at this very moment too! I love your photos and these cookies look so festive and pretty for Christmas, they have to be a hit! Great idea for giving them as gifts too. I hope I can find the time to do the same next week. xxoo Anna

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    1. Thanks, Anna. This is a great reciepe and it brings memories and smiles every time Scott puts it together.

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  2. I love your Grandma's routine. Playing double solitaire with my Nana is something I'll never forget. And Rummy too. Great memories Scott, thank you for sharing and for this beautiful recipe.

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    1. Libby,
      What great comments from you, it's so nice of you to dropy by and leave your kind words. Thanks so much.

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  3. I played rummy with Grandma Brotherton when she lived in Florida, she always won :) She was a very kind woman, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Carly,
      How nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing your memories. Clearly the stories of the lady behind this recipe makes them even more delcioius and special.

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  4. Just pinned this one . . . we're heading to Italy on Thursday, so no time to make these, but I love everything cherry, and these look delicious! :)

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    1. Kim,
      Thanks for the comments, enjoy your holiday in Italy. It's great to hear from you!!

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  5. Sounds awesome Dan! Love these buttery cookies with candied cherries. Can you substitute for dried cherries? I haven't seen candied cherries around my market. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Enjoy the rest of your week.

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    1. Anne,
      I think you can use dried cherries and I am sure they would be wonderful. Thanks so much for the comments!

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  6. Love this recipe, Dan! Such a wonderful expression for the love you had for your grandmother, and her for you, in this post. My grandmother made 'Ice Box' Cookies, too, or 'refrigerator cookies' as they were once called. The slicing and baking is just as fun as the nibbling! I cannot wait to try your grandmother's sweet recipe. Thanks for sharing, my friend. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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    1. Stacy,
      Thanks for the wonderful comments. These truly are wondeful cookies made better of course because of their histroy.

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  7. What a beautiful tribute to a grandma!
    These cookies are indeed gorgeous - love the use of powdered sugar in them! This year, the request for dessert for Christmas has been for me to do a cookie platter - I think these will definitely be on there! Thanks so much for sharing Scott's story and recipe, Dan!

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    1. Shashi,
      Thanks so much for the comments. These cookies could not be any better tasting - promise!!

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  8. I remember Charli! But I couldn't tell you what it smells like! Great post, Dan and a delectable cookie!

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    1. Hi Abbe. I did not remember the smell of Charlie until I started to remember the past. I hope that you give these cookies a try. I am sure that you will love them. -Scott

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  9. The recipe sounds delish! I wonder if you can also use drained maraschino cherries instead of the candied - what do you think?

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    1. Diane,
      I think those would work just fine. They would probbly add a little moistness to the cookie and I'm sure the flavor would be wonderful. Thanks so much for the comment and your question.

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