Braille Monitor                                                    December 2008

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Recipes

This month’s recipes come from members of the NFB of Pennsylvania. They thought briefly of collecting healthy recipes for holiday vegetables and appetizers that you can graze on and never gain a pound. Then reality set in, and they decided to provide their favorite holiday cookies and desserts, reasoning that everyone loves to try a brand new cookie recipe. So, if you are among the virtuous who can pass up tempting holiday treats, you too can safely enjoy reading the following collection of Pennsylvania favorites.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies
by Pat Antonacci

Pat Antonacci is the wife of NFB of Pennsylvania President Jim Antonacci. She is one of those people who are always in the background helping to further the NFB’s mission. Her father was a professional baker, and these goodies are from his files.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add slowly. When these are totally incorporated, stir in chocolate chips. Divide dough in half and press each part into a greased eight-inch round cake pan. Bake twelve minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool, remove from pans, and cut.

Oatmeal Chippers
by Pat Antonacci

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

Method: Cream together butter and shortening. Gradually add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in sifted dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by rounded spoonfuls two inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Bake in pre-heated 375-degree oven for nine to twelve minutes. Remove and cool. Makes eight dozen.

Sour Cream Apple Pie
by Pat Antonacci

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cups cooking apples, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith preferred)
1 unbaked pie shell
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Method: In large bowl beat eggs and sour cream. Stir in sugar and mix well. Add salt and two tablespoons flour. Mix well. Stir in apples. Pour into pie shell. Mix butter, brown sugar, and remaining four tablespoons of flour to make crumbs and set aside. Bake pie for fifteen minutes at 375 degrees, then sprinkle crumb mixture on top and bake an additional twenty-five minutes, till apples are tender when pierced with a table knife. Cool on a rack and serve.

Holiday Touch Brownies
by Chuck and Esther Morgenstern

Chuck is the treasurer of the NFB of Pennsylvania, and Esther operates her own Randolph-Sheppard vending stand.

Ingredients:
1 package Betty Crocker brownie mix
3/4 cup Hershey's mint chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Method: Prepare brownies according to package directions, but add mint chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Bake as directed.

Gingerbread Cutout Cookies
by Chuck and Esther Morgenstern

Ingredients:
1 box of gingerbread cake and cookie mix
1/4 cup hot water from tap
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl stir together box of cake and cookie mix and one-fourth cup hot water. Stir in flour and margarine or butter using spoon until homogeneous dough is formed. Divide dough in half. Place half on a floured, cloth-covered surface. If dough is too soft to roll, cover and refrigerate for about one hour. Roll dough to one-eighth-inch thickness for crisp or one-fourth-inch for chewy cookies. Cut into your favorite holiday shapes with floured cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for six to nine minutes or until edges are firm. Do not overbake. Cool one minute before removing from cookie sheet. Decorate with prepared icing.

Butter Pecan Balls
by Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson is the secretary of the NFB of Pennsylvania and the president of the Erie County Chapter. Connie is also employed full-time by the Social Security Administration.

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped medium fine
2 cups sifted flour
Confectioner's sugar

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter or margarine in mixing bowl and mix until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Add pecans and stir well. Add flour, a quarter cup at a time. Dough will be stiff, but do not add liquid. Shape into one-inch balls and place one-and-a-half inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for fifteen to eighteen minutes, or until cookies have browned lightly around the edges. While still warm, roll in confectioner's sugar. Yields five dozen cookies.

Crackle Top Molasses Cookies
by Connie Johnson

Ingredients:
3/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar

Method: Combine first five ingredients in mixing bowl. Gradually blend in one cup sugar, mixing well after each addition. Beat in molasses and egg. Stir in flour, a half cup at a time. Chill dough two to three hours, overnight, or until dough is stiff enough to handle. Shape dough into three-fourth-inch balls. Dip the tops in granulated sugar. Place balls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for ten to twelve minutes or until bottoms have browned lightly. Yields about three dozen cookies.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
by Connie Johnson

Ingredients:
1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 to 4 cups quick oats

Method: Combine first four ingredients and allow to boil for one-and-a-half minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper. Cool and enjoy.

Pumpkin Muffins
by Lynn Heitz

Lynn Heitz is the first vice president of the NFB of Pennsylvania and a two-time NFB national scholarship winner. She is employed with the Office of Long Term Living of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ingredients:
2 medium eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Method: Mix all ingredients together. Fill muffin tin cups almost to top. Bake at 325 degrees for twenty-five minutes. Makes about fifteen muffins.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
by Lynn Heitz

Ingredients:
1 9-inch pie shell
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup cooked pumpkin
2 medium eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, eggs, and sugar together until mixture is smooth. Add pumpkin. Stir in flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Beat well. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and bake one hour or until table knife comes out clean when inserted in center.

Caramel Apple Tart
by Sue Wilcox

Sue Wilcox has been a volunteer reader at the NFB of Pennsylvania for many years. She is a retired rehab counselor from the blindness system.

Ingredients:
1 unbaked packaged refrigerated piecrust. (Let stand according to package directions.)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 medium tart green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup caramel apple dip
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup apple jelly
Powdered sugar

Method: In a bowl combine granulated sugar, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Add apple slices, tossing to coat. Place unfolded piecrust on a large baking sheet. Spread caramel apple dip over crust to within two inches of edges. Place apple mixture on top of caramel. Sprinkle with nuts. Fold edges of crust two inches up and over apples, crimping edges as necessary. Bake in preheated 425-degree oven twenty minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are just tender. Meantime, in a small saucepan melt apple jelly over low heat. Brush melted jelly over entire tart and edges. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake for one hour. Serve warm. Makes eight servings.

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