Saturday, December 19, 2015

princess cookies

My grandmother on my dad's side always made these cookies at Christmas time. I'm not sure where she got the recipe, but it is an unusual one.

A buttery cookie with a meringue puff and a walnut half on top.  I have looked around online trying to find  recipes similar to this one, but I didn't come up with any.

When I was a youngster, my parents would sometimes bake huge batches of these cookies. I got to help a few times as we formed a cookie making assembly line.
Someone rolling and cutting cookies, someone dobbing on the meringue, another person adding the walnut, someone swapping out the baking pans in the oven.

If my memories are correct, hundreds of cookies were made and stored in gallon size glass jars. I will have to ask my parents and see if they remember it that way too.

Now, I usually make them every Christmas.  I believe the recipe was given to me with some of the ingredients listed in pounds, rather than cups.  I converted it either for convenience or to make a smaller batch.  This recipe makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies...depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

Princess Cookies

3 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 cups butter, softened
4 egg yolks, beaten
4 Tbsp. cream (half & half will work but cream is better)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 or more cups flour

4 egg whites
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 lb.shelled walnut halves

I like to make the meringue topping first, while my mixing bowl is clean.
Separate eggs...

Beat the whites until stiffened, then beat in 1 ½  cups powdered sugar, a little at a time. 

Set meringue in the fridge for now while you prepare the cookie dough.

Cream together butter and 3 ½ cups powdered sugar. Add egg yolks (you see I forgot to beat mine), cream and vanilla. Mix well.

Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Dough should be stiff and a little sticky.  If you aren't using a stand mixer, you will have to work the flour in by hand.

If your dough is too sticky you can chill it for a few minutes.
 On a floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to roughly one quarter inch thick. Cut out circles of dough and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Add the trimmings back to the main dough and refrigerate until you roll out the next bunch.

Put about one heaping teaspoon of meringue in the middle of each cookie. Top with a walnut half.

Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them. The meringue should be just lightly brown, and the edges of the cookies beginning to brown.

I just let mine cool on the counter. Wire racks would probably work better...but I don't have any.

Here is something goofy I did...forgot to add the meringue on a whole pan of cookies. Just slid them right into the oven without it.  We will be forced to eat those ourselves...can't serve them to guests like that!

I need to pay more attention to what I'm doing. See anything wrong in the picture below?

one of these things is not like the others!

The evening before, when I was getting ready to go to the quilters Christmas party, I forgot to polish one of my thumbnails.
I didn't notice until I was washing my hands before starting on these cookies. I wonder if anyone else noticed? They didn't say anything.

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