12/18/12

Recipe: Tri-Cornered Cream Cheese Cookies with Jam Filling

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I have approximately a billion cookie cookbooks. This recipe is a variation found in the September 1994 Cookies Galore Pillsbury magazine. These are far more fussy than most of my usual cookies, since I'm more of a  drop cookie/bar cookie fan. But for Christmas, I make these for my husband who adores them. The dough can also be used for a sugar cookie dough that you can cut with cookie cutters. Baking times should be adjusted based on the size of the cookies.

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 (3oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
jam in various flavors: I use blackberry, seedless raspberry, and apricot
powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour and salt; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours for easier handling. I refrigerate mine overnight. I also put any scraps BACK in the fridge before re-rolling, because this dough gets soft really quickly.

Heat oven to 375F. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough at a time to 1/8" thickness; refrigerate remaining dough. Cut into 2 1/2" circles with cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased sheets. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam onto center of each round. Shape into triangles, folding 3 sides in without covering jam; pinch corners to seal.


Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.


To make cutouts, follow the recipe above, omitting the jam and powdered sugar.  Cut with floured cutters. Bake similar sized cookies together, carefully watching the time. They tend to over bake quickly.  If your cookies have detailed designs, you might consider chilling the cutouts before baking.

12/3/12

Review: Good Earl Hunting by Suzanne Enoch

Format: ebook
Pub Date: November 6, 2012
Size: 211KB
FTC: Purchased myself

A group of well known authors recently launched a site for short stories called Lunch Hour Love Stories. It features stories that are quick and mostly inexpensive,  all in one easy-to-find location. My first purchase was a short story by Suzanne Enoch called Good Earl Hunting.

I'm a long time fan of Ms. Enoch's, so it's no surprise that I bought this on name alone. She's an expert at characterization, which really helps in this shorter format. And it helps that this is one of my favorite themes in all of romance: the overlooked, less beautiful sister.

My only complaints are all largely a result of the short format. While the two main characters are lively and believable, everyone else is a bit thinly sketched. They are there, but don't do very much, and we never really get more than a fleeting description. The romance also happens extremely quickly here.  So quickly, it strains the believability for me just a little. This story would probably have worked better as a novella, with at least another 10-15 pages added on for the romance.

Overall, it's a cute, quick read, with some very memorable moments.

My Grade: B-

The Blurb:

Geoffrey Kerick, the Earl of Vashton, has had marriage-minded ladies flung at him for the past two years—since he inherited his brother’s title and wealth—which is much less amusing than when they were simply flinging themselves into his bed for fun.

However, this particular invitation for a country house party in Devonshire he accepts with alacrity; because this time someone has caught his eye.

Theodora Meacham is resigned to being second; a second daughter, second in beauty, and a distant second in charm. Knowing that the irritating Lord Vashton is coming to Beldath Hall to woo her sister, Theo is, for once, quite happy to remain detached from the silliness. But Lord Vashton isn't precisely the boor she expects. Even more surprising, he seems determined to ignore her sister…in favor of her!

Can two people who are perfectly ill-suited find that two wrongs do make a right?

Gifts for the Baker