Three Sisters' Cookies One bite of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies and I'm a child again. Outside, it's cold and snowy. Inside, it's warm and all the wonderful smells of Christmas are whirling around my sisters and me: the roasting of the turkey, pumpkin pies hot and steaming out of the oven, and the pine scent of a Christmas tree. Other cookies may have come and gone, but these cookies were always on the table Christmas Day. Now, my sisters and I continue this tradition with children of our own and hope that they, too, will have the same wonderful memories. Lee Cavender, Long Beach, NY Dough: 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature 1 cup butter or margarine at room temperature 2 cups all-purpose flour
Filling: Jam, preserves, or any prepared filling (mincemeat, date and nut, or poppy seed) Powdered sugar
Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Dough will be sticky. Wrap in waxed paper and chill overnight or at least six hours.
Divide dough into two parts. Keep one chilled while working the other. On a well-floured surface pat dough into a rectangle and roll out to approximately a 10- by 16-in. rectangle 1/8-in. thick. Cut dough into two-inch squares.
Place one teaspoon of filling in the center of each square. Taking diagonally opposite corners, pinch corners together to form a small bundle around the filling (a little water will help stick the dough together).
Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake in preheated 375-degree F. oven for 12-15 minutes until cookies are puffy and the bottom are lightly browned. When cool, sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar. Makes five or six dozen cookies.
Upon marrying a soldier and moving away from Philadelphia, I missed the delicious cinnamon buns the bread man used to deliver to our front door, which the bakeries there carried in such abundance. The bakeries on the West Coast never made them the same way. Then I found this recipe, which is now a traditional treat every Christmas morning. Joan Nickerson, Oakhurst, Calif.
3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste) 1/2 cup margarine 2 packages dry yeast 1 egg 4 cups sifted flour
Scald milk; stir in sugar, salt, and margarine. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg, and half the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in rest of flour to make stiff batter. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate at least two hours or up to three days. When ready to shape dough, assemble the following ingredients: 1/2 cup brown sugar (for pans) 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1/4 cup dark corn syrup 1 cup chopped pecans 1 tablespoon melted margarine 1/4 cup brown sugar (for dough) 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup raisins
Into each of two 9-inch (round or square) pans, put half the brown sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, and pecans, distributing these ingredients as evenly as you can across the bottom of the pans.
Divide dough in half. On lightly floured board, roll each half into 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with melted margarine and sprinkle with brown sugar mixed with cinnamon and raisins. Roll up tightly into a 9-inch long log, and cut the log into 1-inch slices. Place cut side down in pans. Let rolls rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Makes 18 buns. Apple Sauce Cake
Marjorie Smith is the lady who gave me this recipe, but her daughter baked the cake - with applesauce her mother made from apples from a big old tree in the backyard. (I wish I could tell you the name and type of apple. I do not know. But sour apples make the best applesauce for this cake.) Lucille Tanner, San Mateo, Calif.
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 egg 1 1/2 cups applesauce - cold and unsweetened 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 tablespoons cocoa 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/2 cup walnuts chopped fine 1 cup raisins rolled in flour vanilla to taste
Cream butter and sugar. Beat egg and add. Add soda to applesauce, then add applesauce mixture to butter, sugar, and egg. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, and other spices. Add to batter. Add raisins, nuts, and vanilla to taste (a teaspoon, perhaps), and mix until blended.
Grease and flour three small loaf pans. Divide batter into pans (loaves will be shallow if standard bread pans are used).
Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven for about 45 minutes, or until done.
This was served at my parents' wedding reception in 1951. My mother realized that everyone loved it, so she asked the lady in charge of the reception for the recipe. Five years passed before my mother tried making it. It has become her trademark at all family and other special gatherings. A lot of our friends have asked for the recipe, but few have tried making it themselves, thinking it is difficult to make.
It does look intricate, but it uses basic cooking skills. The more my mom made it, the easier it got to make. Mary Samardzija, DeKalb, Ill. 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoons cinnamon 1/2 cup finely ground walnuts 1 1/2 cups margarine (I prefer 1 cup margarine and 1/2 cup butter) 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 envelope dry yeast 1 tablespoon sugar 4 extra-large eggs, room temperature 8-ounce jar of apricot preserves 4 tablespoons superfine sugar
Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts; set aside.
Cut margarine into flour and salt as for pie crust. Separate eggs, setting aside whites. Beat yolks and add to flour mixture. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water with 1 tablespoon sugar, and add. Mix together, and form dough into a smooth ball.
Divide dough into three equal parts. On a floured pastry cloth, roll one part into sheet to fit an (ungreased) 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread 1/2 cup apricot jam on top of the first layer.
Roll out second part, and place atop first. Spread this layer with the sugar-cinnamon-walnut mixture. Roll out third part and put on top of second layer. Spread 1/3 cup apricot jam on top.
Let rise 1/2 hour in a warm place. Put in preheated, 350-degree F. oven and bake until light brown (about 25 or 30 minutes).
Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add 3 or 4 tablespoons of superfine sugar. Spread meringue on top of torte and return to oven for 5 minutes more or until lightly browned. Cut into 36 squares while torte is slightly warm.
A day or two before Christmas, I mix up a batch of ``goo'' while my husband pops the corn. The boys set out the cookie sheets and fill a pan with cold water. As soon as the syrup is ready I pour it over the popped corn. We're ready! Everyone dips his hands into the cold water, takes a handful of gooey corn, and squeezes it into a ball. After the balls have cooled overnight, they're wrapped in waxed paper. Then we wrap them in tissue paper tied with red or green ribbon and display them on a table.
Christmas night, everyone has his first taste - but we always save a ball to have with the New Year's Day football games! Judith A. Beyer, Fairfax, Va. 30 cups of popped corn 1 1/2 cups molasses 1 1/2 cups corn syrup 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar 4 1/2 tablespoons margarine salt
Pop corn and sprinkle with salt to taste. In Dutch oven combine molasses, corn syrup, and vinegar; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it boils. Then stir constantly, until a little bit dropped in cold water forms a brittle ball.
Add margarine, stirring only enough to mix. Distribute popped corn into several large bowls and pour syrup over. Dip hands in cold water, then shape corn into balls. Place on waxed paper to cool. When thoroughly cool and dry, wrap in waxed paper, then in tissue paper. Tie with ribbon. Makes about 22 balls.
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