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Sales, Menus & Recipes: More Holiday Cookies
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11 December 2019  

More Holiday Cookies

Even though Christmas is two weeks away, you can have an array of cookies to serve your friends and family without a frenzy of last minute cookie making. This week we are exploring what I like to call the “hockey puck” method. Many kinds of drop cookies (think chocolate chip) can be made ahead. Simply mix up the batter, spoon out appropriate portions, roll each into a ball, set them on a baking pan (close together is fine), slightly flatten each ball, and pop them in the freezer, over night is good. When they are frozen, put them in plastic bags (being sure to mark the bags with the name) and keep frozen until you are ready for fresh cookies. You can cook them from frozen or let thaw slightly first. 

National Days this Week

12/11—Noodle Ring Day
12/12—Ambrosia Day AND Gingerbread Day
12/13—Cocoa Day
12/15—Lemon Cupcake Day
12/16—Chocolate Covered Anything Day (Just go into any food store and look around.)
12/17—Maple Syrup Day (See the Bonus video at the end of the column)

Sales This Week

Fry’s—The Buy 5 Save $1 on each continues with bargains like Keebler Cookies, $1.79/bag, Doritos or Ruffles, $1.99/each and General Mills or Chex cereals $1.79/each. A 3 Day Digital Sale features Kroger Cheese $.99/each. 

Safeway—The special just for U Coupon this week is Pictsweet Frozen Vegetables for only $.25 each (first four). There is also a $5 Friday this week. Whole Rotisserie chicken, 30 oz for $5. Also Campbell’s Chunky soup $1/each (first 5) and Ham or Turkey Breast $5/lb (cooked in store)

Sprouts—Get 25% off the full lines of products by Garden of Life, Kyolic, Natrol Derma E, and Paradise Herbs. If you reserve Centerpiece meats, holiday meals or party trays, you will get 10% off your entire grocery haul upon pickup.

Suggested for Pre-Holiday Eating

Main Dishes

Baked Ham 
New York Strip Roast
Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers
Easy Egg Casserole
Shrimp Fried Rice

Salads And Sides

Lemon, Herb Cous Cous Salad
Noodle Ring with Spiced Cooked Broccoli
Green Salad
Mandarin Orange Composed Salad
Sweet Potato Fries (from frozen)
Avocado, Corn and Tomato SaladHasselback Potatoes

Desserts

Ambrosia
Gingerbread
Lemon Cupcakes
Chocolate Covered Anything (especially if it’s dark chocolate)

Videos and Recipes

Baked Spiral Sliced Ham
Particularly good because of the many possible derivatives.
Very complete Instructions and an interesting glaze. 

New York Strip Roast

Reverse Seared

Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers

Use rice, quinoa or cous cous.

Easy Egg Casserole
Good for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Substitute meatless crumbles for the sausage and—vegetarian.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Lemon Herb Cous Cous Salad

Noodle Ring

A Blast from the Past

Mandarin Orange Salad

Do as a composed salad for 1 or 2, or on a platter for many.

Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad

Trader Joe’s Roasted (frozen) corn is good for this. Just let it thaw and put it in.

Desserts

Ambrosia

Ginger Bread

Lemon Cupcakes

Tired of all the spicy chocolaty Holiday fare? Try a refreshing lemon cupcake.

Bonus Recipes

Cocoa

I’m assuming that by that they mean hot chocolate to drink.

Things to do with Mandarins or Clementines (Clementines are the smallest variety of Mandarins, and are seedless.)

Make a fruit salad with orange sections, blueberries, pineapple and grapes.

Put sections on your fruit, cheese and nut dessert platter.

Serve a plate of sections, strawberries, and shortbread cookies alongside a bowl of chocolate dipping sauce.

Chocolate for Dipping

On Sale This Week

Meats

Pork, Spiral Sliced Ham—$1.47/lb @Fry’s. $1.99/lb @Sprouts.
Pork, Loin, Roast—$2.99/lb @Safeway. $BOGO @Fry’s
Beef, New York Roast—$4.97/lb @Fry’s. 
Chicken, Bone In Parts— $.97/lb @Fry’s, drums, thighs, whole chicken $1.99/lb @Sprouts, drums thighs.
Chicken, B/S—$1.47/lb @Safeway, breasts. $1.99/lb @Sprouts, tenders or thighs
Shrimp—25% off All Shrimp from the seafood dept. @Sprouts.  $13.94/2 lb bag @Fry’s, Colossal . $13.98/2 lb bag @Safeway

Fruits and Vegetables

Mandarins/Clementines— $2.47/3 lb bag @Safeway. $2.49/3 lb bag @Fry’s.  $2.50/2 lb bag @Sprouts.
Oranges, Navel—$.98/lb @Sprouts. $5.99/8 lb bag @Fry’s
Berries—$1.25/box @Sprouts, blue or black $1.50/box @Fry’s, raspberries 3/$10 @Safeway, blue, black or raspberries
Grapes—$1.99/lb @Fry’s, red, black. $2.48/lb @Sprouts, red, (O)
Pears—$.99/lb @Safeway, Bartlett. 
Apples—$.99/lb @Safeway, Gala, Granny Smith. $1.79/lb @Fry’s Envy Kanzi. $1.48/lb @Sprouts, Honeycrisp, Kanzi, Snap/dragon.
Apples, Organic—$1.99/lb @Fry’s, Fuji.Gala, Granny Smith, $2.49/lb @Fry’s Honeycrisp. $2.98/lb @Sprouts, Fuji Gala, Pink Lady. 

Salad Mixes—$2.50/bag @Sprouts. $2.50/bag @Fry’s. $10/3 bags @Safeway, must but 3, otherwise $3.99/each
Avocados—$1.25/each @Sprouts, Jumbo. $2.50/5 ct bag #Safeway. 
Tomatoes—$.88/lb @Sprouts, Roma, $2,50/box, Sunset Snacking tomatoes. $BOGO @Safeway, Cherubs
Bell Peppers—$.77/each @Fry’s, red, yellow orange. $1.50/each @Sprouts (O) red, yellow, orange. 
Cucumbers—$.77/each @Fry’s, English
Squash, winter—$.99/lb @Sprouts, Acorn, Butternut, Spaghetti, all organic.
Potatoes—$.99/lb @Safeway. red, gold. $3.88/3 lb bag @Sprouts, red, gold, (O)
Mini Carrots—$.99/1 lb bag @Safeway
Celery—$.99/bunch @Safeway

Other Good Deals

Eggs—$2.50/dz @Safeway, Egglands Best or Open Nature Cage Free. $5.99/18 count @Sprouts, Vital Farms Pasture Raised.

Sugar—$2.50/4 lb bag @Safeway, C&H

Cream Cheese—$>99/each @Fry’s, Buy 5 or more sale.

Dried Cranberries or Turkish Apricots—$2.49/lb @Sprouts (bulk)

Cinnamon Rolls—$1/4 ct @Safeway

Artisan Bread—$2.99/each @Fry’s, La Brea

Frozen Vegetables—$1.50/each @Sprouts, Sprouts Brand

This is a little different—But really interesting.

Making Maple Syrup

And you wonder why maple syrup is so expensive.

Here are two recipes that can use the “hockey puck” cookie making technique.

Mad Batter Cookie Base
Thanks to Ginny King

Preheat oven to 350 ºF

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening 
1/2 cup butter, soft but not melted
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons flavoring liquid, usually 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon  brandy or coffee. If you are using almonds, try to obtain almond baking essence, maybe Spice Traveler (use a little less than a whole teaspoon.) The original recipe used 1 teaspoon of butter flavoring.
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mix ins (see below for suggestions)

Directions

Place flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Mix and fluff with whisk.

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter and sugars. Add flavorings. Mix. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add flour mixture to shortening mixture in two additions, mixing after each. Do not over beat, mix only until fully combined. 

I frequently divide the dough into 2, 3, or 4 parts so there will be smaller numbers of different tasting cookies. Use different mix ins, maybe add some spices. Try to keep the proportions of mix ins to dough. for 1/2 dough use 3/4 c. For 1/3 use 1/2 c. and for 1/4 use 1/4 c minus a Tablespoon.

Stir in mix ins.

Drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets. 

For large cookies, use 1/4 cup (3 oz) dough per cookie, 6 to an 18” x 13” pan. Bake about 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully. They should be golden brown around the edges but only lightly colored in the middle. Cool a few minutes in the pan, until they can be safely moved to cooling racks. 

For medium cookies use 2 oz. dough, bake about 8 minutes.

For small cookies use 1 oz dough, bake about 6-7 minutes 

You know your oven. If it bakes faster in the back, turn cookie sheets after 1/2 of the time. Check your oven to ensure cooking temperatures are correct, then adjust up or down a few degrees to compensate. If the cookies spread too much, make sure cookie sheets are completely cooled between batches. Consider increasing heat  a few degrees.  

Mix Ins (should total 1 1/2 cups. If there are not enough, the cookies will spread:

Chocolate Chunk, Pecan Pieces, Dried Tart Cherries
White Chocolate Chips, Dried Cranberries, Chopped Macadamia Nuts
Chopped Andes Mints, Toasted Almonds (try to use almond essence or almond extract)
Hermits—Use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove, 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom. Whisk into dry ingredients. 
Use all brown sugar, 1 1/4 cup. 
Add 2 tablespoons molasses with the eggs.

For mix ins use 1/2 cup pecan pieces, 3/4 cup chopped dates (the baking kind are fine) and 1/4 cup chopped mixed dried fruit with some candied orange or lemon peel if you like it.

Spicy Hermit Cookies

My recipe is a little different, but this is a good recipe. I like to add some dried tart cherries and dried sweetened pineapple.  You might try mixing the fruits with a little brandy to hydrate them somewhat. This also helps with the clumping she mentions.