Christmas Eve in the kitchen

Happy Christmas Eve!  If you are still in the kitchen whipping up all your favorite family traditional goodies, you may try one of these recipes.  I spent my morning making Jam Thumbprint Cookies and Pretzel Hugs.  These are two of our family traditional baked goodies.

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Jam Thumbprint Cookies:

2/3cup butter/margarine (I like to use slightly softened unsalted butter)

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 slightly beaten egg whites

1 cup finely chopped walnuts if desired

1/3 cup of strawberry preserves

1. Grease a cookie sheet; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar and beat till combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in eggs yolk and vanilla till combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in remaining flour.  Cover and chill dough for about an hour or till easy to handle.

2.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll balls in egg whites, then in walnuts.  This recipe can be done without the walnuts.  Place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet.  Press your thumb into the center of each ball.  This is a good time to get the kids involved and allow them to press their thumbs into the center of the ball.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or till edges are lightly browned.  Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool. Once cool fill centers with jam.

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Pretzel Hugs:

Simply place pretzels on a lined cookie sheet (lined with wax paper.) Place a piece of chocolate on pretzel.  I like the Bliss white chocolate.  Place in oven on 350 degrees for 10 to 20 seconds.  Just long enough for the chocolate to glisten.  This is the start of the chocolate softening.  Take out of the oven and place a second pretzel on top of soft chocolate and push down.  Let cool and enjoy!

Share your family favorite Christmas recipe!

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