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New Classes Added, Zoom Benefit Class Thursday PM

By Jane Butel  February 9, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day!  We have just added some new classes for the Spring.  On April 8, we are adding our ever popular Barbecue class, just in time for the beginning of  cookout season.  With days warming and lengthening ,  barbecuing beckons with thoughts of yummy barbecue sauces and finger lickin' fun.

When I wrote my Finger Lickin', Rib Stickin'. Great Tastin' Hot and Spicy Barbecue book, I did some research just to see what the history of barbecue or barbeque was.  One history from our American South was that Bernard Quayle, who  had a huge spread of land  that he called  the "BQ".   He began throwing large parties where his guests would sit at long tables and dine on feasts of whole sheep, hogs and steers.   His parties were so extensive and unusal that the name of his ranch became an expression for pit cooking and outdoor eating : The--(bar)BQ.

Two other histories were discovered, the Spanish word barbacoa , which ws derived from an American Indian word for the framework of green wood on which meat or fish was cooked over a pit of coals.  Others think the French should be credited , because when the Caribbean pirates came stateside, they roasted animals barbe-a-queue, or head to tail.

I am also adding two  additional weekend classes for July 16-18 and August 20-22, 2021.

Thursday evening, February 11 at 7:30 PM to benefit the "Make A Wish" Foundation, I am presenting a special "Galentine's" demonstration of Hot Spicy Chocolate Mousse.  Tickets can be purchased at http://site.wish.org/goto/galantines.  Or, you may call 505-888-9474.

Last week, I mentioned making heart shaped cut out cookies would be great fun for Valentine's Day and I found a blog I did about 10 years ago baking cookies with my daughter, Amy and her baby daughter, Miri.  The old fashioned sugar cookie recipe is in this following article.  I thought you might enjoy it!


Cooking MakingThere is nothing  more fun than making cut-out cookies with little kids.  Actually I think it brings out the little kid in each of us.  Go ahead and try these, even if you do not have any young children around. 

So many of us make cut-out cookies at Christmas, but do not get around to making them other times of the year.

I love the whole romantic idea of hearts and flowers.  We have frequently made heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day and then sometimes made cookies with a hatchet cutter for George Washington’s birthday, which of course is in February.

The following recipe is loaded with nostalgia.  It is one of three sugar cookie recipes in my Mother’s favorite recipes file box—a tan steel box with each recipe neatly typed and organized into sections.  My, what  organization.  (On the other hand, my Mother-in-law’s recipes were laid disorganized, handwritten, on the back of checks and whatever was handy in a shoe box.  I guess it is the difference in priorities.)

This yummy cookie is different than the usual sugar cookie.  To me it has more flavor.  The recipe was from Germany and was the recipe of Grandma Amos, our neighbors when we lived on our Kansas farm.  (As an aside, the father of the family had the same birthday as mine.  So I always got one of her wonderfully delicious homemade angel food cakes with caramel frosting—what a treat.)

These cookies had very loose measurements.  Grandma Amos used an old white Miriporcelain coffee cup for measuring and the recipe did not have a recommended amount of flour—just enough flour to roll.

Fitness Plan for the Best Cut-Out Cookies:

1. Use flour control.  Either sift or fluff the flour by lofting spoonfuls into the air and then carefully spooning into the measuring cup and leveling.

2.  Always chill the dough.

3.  Roll the dough between layers of waxed paper to prevent getting “floury” cookies. 

By the way, on this recipe, my Mother marked it “Excellent”.


Originally made with lard and sour milk, they are also good with butter, margarine or solid shortening such as Crisco and sour cream.  Lard makes them more  moist and actually has less cholesterol and saturated fat than butter and no trans fats, and is less expensive. 

Yield: 6 dozen cookies

Temperature: 350 F
Baking Time: 10 to 12 minutes or until firm to touch

¾ cup shortening—lard, butter, solid white shortening, or margarine
1 ¼ cups sugar
½ cup sour cream or sour milk
1 egg, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon lemon zest
3 ½ to 4 cups sifted flour*
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 recipe butter cream frosting, follows
Red food coloring
Red sugar sprinkles
Candy red hots

1.  Place shortening in large mixer bowl and beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides two or three times.

2.  Add the sugar and beat well on medium speed.  Add the sour cream or milk, egg, vanilla and lemon zest.

3. Meanwhile combine 3 ½ cups of flour with the soda, salt and baking powder.  Then add the dry ingredients, ¼ at a time and mix on lowest speed to combine well after each addition.  When completely mixed, check for  consistency of dough.  It should be firm and dough should come away from the sides of the bowl.  If dough is sticky, add flour a Tablespoon at a time until firm.

4. Place dough on one end of a 40 inch piece of waxed paper, pulling the remaining side up and over and pat together.  Chill until firm, then roll one-half the dough at a time, keeping remaining dough cold in the refrigerator.  Before rolling dough, preheat oven to 350F.  Using a rolling pin, roll between the folded over piece of waxed paper to a thin dough, slightly thinner than ¼ inch.  Dip cutters in a shallow bowl of flour and cut and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until firm to touch, about 10 to 12 minutes.

*Either sift the flour or lightly spoon it to fluff, then lightly spoon it into a Mary Ann or dry measuring cup and level with a spatula.  Stir in the soda, salt and  baking powder.

Frost as desired with the following butter cream frosting.  I like to tint one-third pink, one-third red and leave the remainder white.




This flavorful frosting is a basic for decorating cookies or even frosting a cake.    Use a frosting gun for decorating as well as red hots, colored sugar and even chile flakes such as caribe.  (If you do not have a frosting gun, use a small plastic bag such as a sandwich bag, fill to desired level, then take a tiny snip off one corner and use for decorating.)

Yield: about 2 ½ cups, enough for above recipe of cookies or 1, 2 layer 9 inch cake
1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup butter (2 sticks)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon or more freshly grated lemon or orange rind, optional
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
2 to 3 Tablespoons milk or to create desired consistency

1.  Combine the sugar, butter and salt together using an electric mixer on lowest speed.  Add rind, vanilla and milk as needed to make a thick frosting.






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