Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bon Bon Cookies

Well, I have been looking at a lot of Christmas cookie recipes trying to find something tasty as well as festive.  If you are familiar with my blog, you will know that I like cherries.  I have done quite a number of baked goods with that flavor/fruit.

This recipe has been around for some time.  In fact, it was one of the Betty Crocker's favorite cookie between 1955-1960.  This recipe comes from that red Betty Crocker cookbook that was published in 1963.  There are are lot of great recipes in this book, some old standards and some I have never seen made before.

These little bon bons are a great cookie that lends themselves to a variety of ways to make them.  The above type is the plain vanilla ones filled with a candied cherry.  The recipe has instructions to make chocolate and even penuche ones and suggests various fillings: nuts, dates, chocolate pieces.  However, with todays array of chips,candy pieces and sugared nuts, the options are many.  I am thinking that the chocolate ones could be filled with a peanut butter chip or andes mint chips. I do have plans to play with the variety a little more.

These basically taste the same as any of the butter/powder sugar cookie recipes.  They are not as rich and crumbly as Russian tea cakes, so the sweet filling inside adds just what the dough needs.

I did try the chocolate ones, but they do not come out very pretty.  Be aware that they are a light milky brown, not a rich brownie color.  However, the dark chocolate icing does dress them up a little.

These are easy to prepare and the recipe does not make that many, therefore you can easily make several varieties without having to burn the midnight oil. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Bon Bon Cookies
adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookie Book

1 1/2 cups of flour
1/8 tsp of salt
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 pieces of your choice of filling (nits, chocolate, candied cherry, dates..etc)
food coloring (optional)

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbs and 1 1/2 tsp of heavy cream
1 tsp of vanilla
food coloring (optional)
decorative topping (sprinkles, colored sugar, nuts, etc)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift together flour and salt, set aside.  In another bowl, cream together the butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and, if desired, 2 drops of food coloring or more depending on your preference.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour mixture into the batter.  If dough is too dry add cream until desired consistency is achieved.   Then evenly divide dough into 24 pieces.  Take each piece and surround 1 piece of the chosen filling, rolling it into a ball.  Place on ungreased baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.  Bake until set, but not brown.  This should take about 12-15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet and transfer to rack to cool.  While these are cooling, you can make the icing.  Place all icing ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth and all is evenly distributed.

Once cookies have cooled, dips tops in icing and sprinkle top with chosen decorations.

For cookie variations:
Chocolate-melt 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate in double boiler and follow the above directions, adding the chocolate after butter and sugar are creamed together.

Penuche-follow directions for regular cookies above, only replace the confectioners sugar with 1/2 cup packed brown sugar.

For chocolate icing variation:  follow instructions for icing above, but add 1 oz melted unsweetened chocolate and use a total of 3 tbs of cream instead of the amount originally stated.
                                   **LAST YEAR: Frangelico Ice Cream**