Friday, December 19, 2008
Spot on Family Recipe, Berry Butternuts!
~The little vignette above is displayed in my father-in-laws' home. His home is Christmas Town, pretty much all year round. He missed his true calling as Santa Claus, but I think my Hubby is following that jolly siren song. Anyway, my father-in-law really just goes nuts at Christmas. He bakes special desserts, and I mean DESSERTS! Hubby's family believes dessert to be the main course and everything else except the gravy and butter are just filler you have to get out of the way before dessert. My father-in-law used to be a baker, and never quit baking. When Hubby and I were first married I did not have to compete with his Mother's cooking, but the line " Well, my Father makes it better, or my Father makes the best..." and although Hubby learned very, very soon NOT to say those lines, he was right. His father is a great baker and cook. (Hubby is too but don't tell him I said so). ~Hubby's father (above) is into his 8th decade of life and doing quite well. He still makes great peanut brittle and Berry Butternuts. Hubby is carrying on the tradition of baking the cookies, and he writes, "This is a recipe my father conceived in 1949 while working at Federal Bakery in Tacoma, Washington. He took Scottish shortbread and jazzed it up a bit. He entered the recipe once in Better Homes and Gardens and received Honorable Mention. Our father made these cookies every Christmas and they are one of our favorite Christmas cookies."
~Berry Butternut Cookies~~Take a fist size ball of dough and roll it into a 1 inch thick log and then roll that into the walnuts, coating the dough; it should be about 3/4 inch thick now. Cut the dough into 3/4 inch pieces and place onto a baking sheet. ~Using the unsharpened end of a pencil, make an indentation in the center of the cookie, about 1/2 inch deep and fill with jam. ~These are some of the very best cookies. There are never any left over cookies and we know it is Christmas when the Berry Butternuts are being baked. These cookies are best if stored in a sealed container(we use glass gallon mayonnaise jars ) for a day or two before eating. But hey, who waits. You have to have at least a half dozen with a good cup of coffee before you put the jar of cookies away . ~These cookies are a family tradition. My husband and his brother and 4 sisters grew up with these as a Christmas memory they continue to this day. My father-in-law is still baking them and delivering them too! See Knock, Knock! the 12/16/2008 post on our daughter's blog to read more about this tradition.
1 pound unsalted, room temperature butter 1 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 large egg 4 to 5 cups flour raspberry or lingonberry jam finely chopped walnuts, about 2 cups ~~~Cream together butter, sugar and salt.Mix in egg and vanilla. Add 4 cups flour, mixing in 1 cup at a time, then as much of the 5th cup until the dough can rolled into a ball without sticking.