Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bird's Nest Cookies

By Margaret Briand Wolfe

This cookie recipe is a family favorite. My mother has made them for us every Christmas for the past 50 years (several batches, actually) and now many of her eight children and grandchildren also make them.

The whole family tries to get together for Christmas at my mother’s house in Maine every other year. Everyone shows up with presents (of course) and tins of home-made cookies. Since we are a large crowd these days (the eight children have added spouses and children of their own) multiple batches of cookies, especially these cookies, are required.

There have been taste test competitions to see who makes the best Bird’s Nest. Try them and perhaps you will have found a new Christmas tradition for you and your family. However, proceed with caution: I have friends I must make them for every Christmas as well as for my extended and much loved family.

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks, unbeaten
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour (unsifted)
¼ teaspoon salt
Raspberry jam (buy good jam such as Trappist or Smuckers – I lost the competition one year because I used cheap jam)
Powdered sugar

1. Pre-heat over to 350 degrees,
2. Cream butter, gradually add brown sugar,
3. Add egg yolks and mix well,
4. Blend in vanilla, salt and flour,
5. Chill dough for several hours (until easy to handle) or overnight,
6. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1 inch apart. Bake for 5 minutes,
7. Remove from oven and depress a well in the center of each cookie, about thimble sized. (I use the flip-side of a wooden spoon to create the well. The well should be large enough to hold some jam once the cookie is cooked),
8. Return the cookie sheet to the oven and bake 8 minutes more,
9. Remove the cookies from the oven, remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire racks,
10. When cooled sprinkle with powdered sugar,
11. Fill well with raspberry jam.
Digg this

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