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Raspberry Gems

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter (no substitutes)/additional butter as needed for frosting.
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted 10x confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans or hazelnuts, ground or finely chopped
  • red food coloring
  • 1 cup seedless red raspberry preserves

Directions

Veronica Mitchell of Park Hills Kentucky

Cream butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar until well-blended in a large bowl; stir in flour, vanilla, and ground nuts. (Dough may be chilled for half an hour for easier handling.)
Roll dough, 1 level teaspoonful at a time, into balls between palms of hands.

(Tip: Uniformity is important for an attractive tray presentation.)

Place balls 2” apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

Lightly butter the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup and dip into 10x sugar; press over each ball to flatten to about a 1” round.

Bake in moderate (350°) oven 10 minutes or until golden on edges.

Remove gently from sheets and cool on wire racks.

 

Beat remaining 1 cup of sugar with a few drops of water and two tablespoons butter (optional) until smooth in a small bowl; tint pink with a drop or two of food coloring.

Gently spread approximately 1/2 teaspoonful of red raspberry preserves over flat side of half of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies to form a sandwich.

Attach a writing tip to a cake-decorating set; fill pastry tube with pink frosting.

Beginning at center of cookie, form a spiral with rings continuing to rim of cookie.

Press an edible pearl in center of spiral.
Servings: 3 dozen sandwich cookies

 

MITCHELL writes, “I began a tradition of baking Christmas cookies 47 years ago, always trying at least one new cookie yearly. This modified recipe dates back to that first season and is the indisputable favorite of cookie recipients. I began the ‘bake-off’ with my two sisters, baking through the night as my first child slept. As the years rolled by, my sisters gave up the effort, leaving me to the task. I annually bake approximately 100 dozen cookies of about 13 different varieties. I’ve threatened to give up the tradition, but my son, now 47, won’t hear of it!”

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