Last night I went to a cookie exchange party with a group of friends. We've been doing this for about 7 or 8 years now, and it's always a fun time of gabbing and laughing. The cookies are the least of the attraction! Last night we had tortilla soup (YUM!) with all the trimmings before we launched into cookies.
This year, I didn't make cookies. Instead I made these, and they are GOOD! I hadn't made candy in a long time. I used to make several kinds for Christmas, but decided to stop that and focus more on cookies. I don't know what made me change this year. The recipe came from Woman's Day magazine.
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 cups (8 oz) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Line 3 baking sheets with nonstick foil.
2. Bring sugars, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees F (or when a small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a 2 in thread). Add pecans; stir 10 seconds or until bubbling subsides. Return to a boil; boil 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F (of when syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball, which flattens when removed).
3. Remove from heat (take extra care not to spatter the hot sugar mixture) and stir vigorously 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and turns from clear to opaque.
4. Working quickly, drop tablespoons at least 1 in. apart onto prepared baking sheets. (Stir briefly over low heat if mixture gets too thick.) Cool completely.
I haven't launched into cooking baking mode, and it may be that this year is a year for just a couple of types of cookies. I did, however, make two of this recipe yesterday afternoon. They will be gifts in cute cans for our next door neighbors on both sides. The recipe originally came from our local newspaper, I believe. It's a good recipe for when you need something FAST.
Crisp Little Lemon Cookies
1 (18.25-oz) pkg Pillsbury Moist Supreme Lemon Cake Mix
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all ingredients; blend well. Form into 1-inch balls, pressing firmly. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.
3-4 dozen cookies
Note: Sometimes, depending on the size of egg, the dough seems a little too dry and doesn't hold together well. Adding 1 tablespoon of water may be necessary in that case. Add water a little at a time if you do! It doesn't take much!