And when you love to bake, Christmas is an open-ended opportunity! Who doesn’t love a gift of Christmas cookies? At the Carolina Bed & Breakfast, we make sure our guests are well-fed and one way of doing this is putting out freshly baked cookies every night for the guests to enjoy before they go to bed. I love to come down in the morning and find the plate empty with just a few crumbs lingering. It’s my version of leaving cookies for Santa.
I would like to share with you one of my families favorite cookie recipes. I wish I could accurately attribute the recipe to its owner but I am afraid it is one that I clipped out of the New York Times sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s and I lost the clipping years ago. We call the cookies “Fruit and Nut Bars”. In the photo above they are the bars shining with confectioner’s sugar. I have to be honest and tell you that these lovely bars are often left neglected on the plate because, like so many truly wonderful things, their beauty is hidden by a homely exterior. Nevertheless, once tried the cookies disappear. They are the first ones I make each year, the first ones asked for and the recipe I have to make twice!
½ cup chopped dried fruit
½ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sifted flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp. Vanilla
½ cup nuts
1. Steam dried fruit in a small amount of water
2. Mix butter, sugar, 1 cup of flour to crumbly. Packed into greased 8” pan. Bake at
350 degrees for 25 minutes.
3. Beat brown sugar with eggs, add remaining dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Blend in Vanilla, nuts and fruit, Spread mixture over baked layer.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.
6. Cool well. Cut with Knife dipped in ice water. Roll bars in Confectioner’s sugar