Introduction: Auntie Mae's Christmas (and Solstice, Too) Cookies
Being an Instructable on the topic of baking, in which the secret holiday cookie recipe created by RavingWife's distant ancestor "Auntie Mae" is divulged for the whole internet to see. And there was much rejoicing.
Seriously, this is the best cookie ever. Make some.
Step 1: You Will Need
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (aka 2 sticks or 1/2 pound) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda (not baking powder)
1 cup crushed pineapple - drained
1 cup maraschino cherries - drained and chopped
1/2 cup green candied cherries
1 cup nuts - slivered almonds work very well
1/2 cup amarretto liqueur (optional)
1 cup raisins, figs, or other dried fruit (optional)
NOTE: This is a very forgiving recipe. Feel free to adjust amounts and ingredients to suit your own tastes. More or fewer cherries, different nuts, another kind of liquor - go crazy. It'll turn out fine.
Step 2: Prep the Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Drain the excess juice from the pineapple, reserving it for later use. Drain and reserve the marachino cherry juice as well. Roughly chop the maraschino cherries and the green candied cherries using the chopping method of your choice. I like the food processor. because I'm lazy.
Step 3: Assemble the Batter
In a large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and eggs with an electric mixer. Add the flour and baking soda and mix well until a stiff batter forms. Add the amaretto too, if you're using it.** If the batter is too stiff, add some of the reserved pineapple or cherry juice (or more amaretto). If the batter is too runny, mix in a little more flour.
Fold in the remaining ingredients until well combined.
** By all accounts, Auntie Mae was a very sweet and proper little old lady who is probably spinning in her grave like a Buttered Cat Array at the thought of liquor being used in her cookie recipe. All I can tell you is that it is a very tasty addition, and the vengeful shade of Auntie Mae has yet to show up at House Raving to exact her gruesome revenge. YMMV. You have been warned.
Step 4: Make Cookie Blobs and Bake Them
Drop the batter by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat until you run out of cookie batter. Cookies will be soft and cakelike. Makes about 5 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookie blobs.
Here at House Raving, we celebrate both Christmas and the Winter Solstice, so we go through a lot of cookies. A lot. 5 dozen is a good start, though.
Step 5: Om Nom Nom Nom....
They go quite well with milk. Or eggnog, or cider, or mulled wine.
Happy Religious-Or-Secular-Holiday-Celebrated-On-Or-About-The-Winter-Solstice of your choice, everybody!