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Peach cookies, a New Year's treat

December 28, 2008|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The time has passed for peppermint. No more room for tree-shaped sugar cookies and other confections sprinkled in festive red and green.

Christmas is over. We need a party cookie.

A conversational piece all on their own, Bonnie Line's peach cookies might work well on any New Year's party menu.

This ain't no chocolate chip. These cookies are super sweet and look like bite-sized peaches, color and all. Dry peach and cherry Jell-O Gelatin mix gives the peach cookies color and flavor. Their insides are filled with peach preserves.

"I got the recipe from an Italian woman," said Line, 36, who lives near Mercersburg with her husband and four young boys. "It was an ex-boyfriend's aunt. She didn't have any kids so she didn't do anything but work and bake. And bake. And bake."

For those considering whipping this up as a last-minute addition, it's a good-news, bad-news scenario.

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The recipe calls for non-seasonal ingredients that you might already have on hand or could easily get a grocer. That's the good news. But, start to finish, Line said to expect to spend at least four hours making the cookies.

A lot of this time is spent assembling the cookies and allowing them to dry once they've been dipped in egg whites and then into the dry gelatin mixes. Once you've made a basic dough and formed small dough balls on a cookie sheet, it only takes 10 minutes to bake.

If you've got older kids who can manage in a kitchen, you can create an assembly line. One kid in charge of scooping the middles, one in charge of adding the filling and another in charge of dipping.

The Herald-Mail recently chatted with Line as she assembled a batch of peach cookies. The two sons who joined us were too young to help out, but they did offer Mommy moral support.




Q&A with Bonnie Line



So how often do you make this recipe?
Pretty much all the time. Probably at least once or twice a month.

You mentioned it took you some time to master this. What are some things you know now that might help someone attempting this for the first time?
You just learn. It's something that you just have to do. You figure stuff out. I added a little of this, I took away a little bit of that. It's not really something you can really explain to someone, you just have to do it and you'll get it eventually.

Anything you can do to change or tweak this recipe?
You can buy edible leaves, I'm sure. I've found some plastic stems with leaves on them that you can just put on top of the cookie.

Any tweaks to the ingredients?
Well it calls for peach flavoring, so you could use probably whatever you wanted. I've used orange extract before. There's a gourmet shop on Pennsylvania Avenue that sells some different types of flavoring (including) gourmet peach flavoring there. I'm sure you could use brandy.

So what are some other cookies you like to do?
Chocolate chip, sugar cookies.

Is there any such thing as a bad cookie?
Yes. Those little fruit-bar things. Disgusting.

So, the best cookie in the world is?
Chocolate chip. Homemade chocolate chip.




Peach cookies



For cookie:

1 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Drop of yellow food coloring
1/2 teaspoon peach flavoring
5 tablespoons peach or apricot preserves; you may use a combination of both

For coating:

2 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
1 package peach Jell-O Gelatin mix, dry. Do not use sugar-free.
1 package cherry Jell-O Gelatin mix, dry. Do not use sugar-free.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar, flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, food coloring and peach flavoring.

Mix together the wet and dry ingredients.

Form the dough into balls roughly the diameter of a quarter. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool.

Starting from the bottom, scoop out the center of the cookies; take care not to dig all the way through. Preserve the crumbs in a bowl.

To create the filling, mix the preserves with the bowl of crumbs and spoon the filling inside the scooped-out part of the cookie. Assemble two cookies so that the filling is in the center. The jam mixture should hold the cookies together. The combined halves should resemble a peach.

To create the coating, combine the egg whites and the water. Place the peach and cherry Jell-O mixes in separate bowls.

Dip the cookies in the egg whites to moisten, then coat the cookie in the peach mix to give it color. Dab each side of the cookie into the cherry mix to create a "blush."

Allow the cookies to dry for at least an hour.

Yields around 4 dozen.

- Courtesy of Bonnie Line

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