Monthly Archives: December 2017

White Christmas Pie

I love vintage cookbooks and probably buy more of them than I should.  I recently found and purchased this vintage Betty Crocker cookbook: Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book published in 1950.

This cookbook was published as prosperity came to the USA.  There were a lot of cookbooks on the market, but this one became the leading cookbook.  The Chicago Sun Times described it as a “cookbook that has everything.”  Betty Crocker is, of course, a fictional person.  She is the iconic image of the General Mills Company, a US based food company.  Betty Crocker products can be found in the USA as well as markets worldwide.

Included in the cookbook is a recipe for White Christmas Pie.  It sounded just perfect for a Christmas dessert.  It is described as a  “pure white heavenly concoction”.  The original recipe uses uncooked beaten egg whites.  I adapted the recipe to use cream cheese and additional heavy whipping cream to replace the egg whites.  With cream cheese, whipping cream and sweetened coconut in the pie, I can state with confidence that it is a “pure white heavenly concoction”.

The pie is very easy to make and made even easier by using a store-bought pie crust.

White Christmas Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 pre-baked pie shell
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (such as Knox)
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup boiling water
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup sweetened coconut

In a small bowl sprinkle the envelope of unflavored gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water.  Let stand for one minute.  Add 1/4 cup boiling water, stirring constantly until granules are completely dissolved.  Set aside while preparing the filling.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese until smooth and light.  Add a little bit of the cream, and beat to loosen.  Beat in the remaining cream and sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture almost holds stiff peaks, occasionally scraping the bottom of the bowl.  Beat in the salt, vanilla and almond flavorings. Add the gelatin to the whipped cream mixture.  Continue to beat until stiff.  Fold in the cup of coconut.

Spoon the filling in the prepared pie crust and spread to fill the corners.  Chill for several hours.  If desired, pie can be garnished with additional whipped cream and coconut.  

Notes:
1.  I used the wire whip attachment on my KitchenAid stand mixer to beat the cream cheese and whipped cream mixture.
2.  I used a Wilton Star 2D tip to pipe whipped cream on the top of the pie and served the pie with a raspberry sauce.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

 

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

I like to try a new cookie recipe every year for Christmas.  The new cookie I baked up this year is a Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint cookie. These thumbprint cookies are rich and buttery.  You can taste the buttery flavor with each bite. Then, there is the raspberry jam adding a hint of a fruity sweetness to the cookie.

These thumbprint cookies do not have any eggs or any kind of leavening agent in them.  I didn’t know until I did some research that shortbread consists of three basic ingredients: flour, butter, and sugar.  Also, shortbread is a traditional Scottish baked good.

The recipe calls for a glaze to be drizzled over the cookies.  The glaze is optional, and I left it out because  of the extra sweetness.  See the original recipe at Land O Lakes that includes the directions for the glaze.

We had our first snowfall today, making for some pretty Christmas scenery, and a good day to be baking Christmas cookies.

Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Combine butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy.  Add flour, beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.  (Mixture will be crumbly at first but it will come together.)  Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart onto ungreaseed cookie sheets.  Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly).  Fill each indentation with about 1/4  teaspoon jam.

Bake 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Let stand 1 minutes on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack.  Cool completely.  Makes approximately 36 cookies.  

Notes:
1.  It only took the cookies I baked 12 minutes to reach a light brown color.  Recommend checking after 12 minutes to prevent over baking.
2.  To prevent the cookies from spreading during baking, refrigerate the prepared cookies before baking (for about 15 minutes).
2.  Store cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or cookies can be frozen.