Eggless Fudge Nut Drops


I often sing the praises of one of my favorite teachers Carole Walter, but it cannot be helped, she really comes up with the best tasting ,precise recipes. These flourless cookies are very candy like . They are rich with chocolate and nuts. These cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature , refridgerated or frozen.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

one 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 oz unsweetened chocolate , chopped

2 oz bittersweet chocolate , chopped

1 tbs unsalted butter, slightly firm

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 cup finely chopped sweetened flake coconut

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

3/4 cup unskinned , sliced almonds , toasted

Preheat oven to 350*F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

In a medium , heavy bottomed saucepan , combine the condensed milk and chocolates. Cook over low heat , stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat, add butter and whisk until smooth and shiny. Blend in vanilla and almond extracts. Stir in coconut, almonds and walnuts.

Drop by heaping teaspoons onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the tops are just set, but still soft to the touch. Remove from over and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes before loosening with a thin , metal spatula. Transfer to cooling racks.

Store in an airtight container.

Snowballs


When the holidays roll around and the snow starts falling I am reminded of these deicious , melt in your mouth ,cookies from Carole Walter . I think I have often mentioned my great admiration for her teaching skills and recipe precision. These cookies rolled twice in powdered sugar ,air dried and last about 3 weeks stored in an airtight container ,making them ideal for gift giving ,shipping or just a treat to have on hand.

Makes 32   1  1/2 inch cookies

1  1/4 cups pecans

2 cups all purpose flour ,divided , spooned in and leveled

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter ,at room temperature

2 tbs strained confectioners’ sugar

1 tbs cold water

2 tsp pure vanilla

1  1/2 cups strained confectioners’ sugar spooned in and leveled ,for coating

MAKE THE DOUGH

Place the pecans and 1/4 cup of the flour in a bowl of a food of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse 5 or 6 times, then process 8 to 10 seconds or until the pecans are chopped medium fine. Add the remaining 1  1/4 cups flour and the salt and pulse 2 or 3 times ,just to combine.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment ,mix the on medium low speed until creamy and lightened in color. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar., 1 tbs cold water ,and the vanillaand continue to mix on low speed, scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour nut mixture in three additions ,mixing JUST until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Remove the bowl from the mixer ,cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

BAKE THE COOKIES

Position the shelves in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 325*F. Line the pans with parchment.

Form the dough into 1  1/4 inch balls and set about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or just until cookies begin to brown lightly on the bottom. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then carefully loosen with a thin metal spatula.

SUGAR THE COOKIES

Place the 1  1/2 cups of confectioners’ sugar in a large ,shallow dish, while the cookies are still warm.,roll in the sugar ,coating each heavily. Handle gently; they are very fragile. When the first coating of sugar is complete, roll the cookies a second time. Place on wire cooling racks and let air dry for several hours.

STORAGE

Store in an airtight containerlayered in between strips of wax paper for up to 3 weeks. These cookies maybe frozen.

Peanut butter balls


Carole Walter is my favorite teacher and cookbook authors. Not only is she meticulous but she is very detail oriented. You can rest assured her recipes have been tested throughly before going to print. This particular recipe is easy to make,  requires no baking , so are great for making with kids, and make super gifts as you get a whopping 5 dozen cookies.

2  1/3 cups strained confectioners’ sugar

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter ,softened

3/4 cup chunky peanut butter

2 tsp vegetable oil

10 oz semi sweet chocolate , coarsley chopped

2 cups salted peanuts ,finely chopped

In a large bowl ,stir together the confectioners’ sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Add the butter and peanut butter and work with a wooden spoon or with your hands till throughly combined. Portion the dough into 60   1 inch balls and place on parchment lined jelly roll pans.

Combine the chocolate and vegetable oil in a medium heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over a medium sauce pan filled with simmering water and slowly melt the chocolate ,stirring occasionally.

When chocolate is melted ,remove it from the heat, but keep the bowl over the pot of water. Place about 1/2 cup of peanuts in a low flat dish ,such as a pie plate.

Using a fork (or a chocolate dipping fork ) dip one ball at a time in the melted chocolate. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to help drain the chocolate from the cookie. The coating should be thin. Roll the dipped cookie in the chopped peanuts , and coat it evenly. Place on cookie sheet to set.

Store in an airtight container ,refridgerated for up to 3 weeks.May be frozen.

Absolutely The Best Yellow Cake


One of my favorite teachers was Carole Walter. She is a genius in the baking department. Her energy and presion are so inspiring that whenever I am stumped with a recipe I refer to my notes from her classes. This is a large cake. It is baked in a 10 inch angel food cake pan ,but you may bake three nine inch cakes or cut the recipe in half and bake in a two quart pan. I usually bake up the whole recipe,in smaller pans and give some as gifts or freeze them .

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups superfine sugar

4 large eggs

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350*F. Position rack in lower third of oven.

Triple sift Flour, baking powder and salt.

Place butter,cut into pieces in a bowl of electric mixer,beat for 1 minute till creamy,start adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time,taking 8-10 minutes to blend in well,scaping sides of bowl occassionally.

Add the eggs one at a time,in one minute intervals,scape sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla..

Lower speed on mixer. Add the liquid and flour in three parts,starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just incorporated. Spoon into prepared pan ,smoothing top with the back of a spoon..

Bake in a preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top and comes away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Remove pan from oven and set on a cooling rack till cool to room temperature. Then invert the cake on to the rack. Place on a serving place and dust with confectioners sugar.

Store at room temperature under a glass dome or an air tight container for up to 5 days.