Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cherry Cookies

Light & Delicate Little Gems

Aunt Rose is standing front right.
I don't really remember living upstairs from my grandmother's sister, Rose, but I sure do remember Aunt Rose.  I was her favorite and she spoiled me good!

My mom, dad, grandmother, brother, aunt and myself, all lived above her in a duplex home until I was around three.  I learned very early, that when I came along Aunt Rose had a special place in her heart for me.  If my mom tried to correct me or punish me for being naughty, I'd cry through the old register vent on the floor and call out to Aunt Rose for help...she'd come running.  And, according to my cousin, I was the only one that was allowed to play with her expensive silver tea set.  She loved me!  Hehe!

We stayed close even after we moved into our own home.  I still can taste her meatballs, and recall the softness of her hair when I would roll it onto her old wire curlers, and then, when dried, I'd brush it out and fix it for her. 

Her "cellar" had stone walls, with dirt flooring. Every so often, a big truck filled with coal, would pull up to the cellar window. It dumped a load of that pitch black coal into a bin, and we would help shovel it into the furnace. We'd also used it to draw on the sidewalk for a game of Hopscotch.  Yes, I'm old, but I have some of the best memories ever!
It was Aunt Rose that made these tender, cake-like cookies for Italian wedding trays, Christmas, or ME!  Told you she loved me!

I added the little drizzle of frosting when I decided to include them in my Christmas cookie tray, and they were wonderful.  But, don't wait for Christmas or a wedding...try them anytime!  

Aunt Rose's Cherry Cookies

3/4 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 (10 oz.) jar of cherry juice (reserve cherries)
4 eggs
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract  (*optional) 
4 c. flour (add slowly to rolling consistency)

Preheat oven to 375'F.

Beat shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg, cherry juice and extract.  Mix well.  

Add baking powder with the first cup of flour.  (Add flour in small amounts until the dough is soft, but holds its' shape when you roll them into 1 1/2" balls.)  

Cut cherries in half, press 1/2 cherry gently into the top and brush with beaten egg.  

Bake in preheated 375' oven for 8-10 minutes.  Careful not to over bake them!

1 c. confectioner's sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla
1-2 Tbsp. hot water

Beat until smooth and swirl over each cookie.  So pretty!

"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear."         -John 2:8-9

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