Magazine article Sunset

A Christmas Cooky Masterpiece

Magazine article Sunset

A Christmas Cooky Masterpiece

Article excerpt

This collage of Western nuts and caramel is thin, crisp, shiny It makes a beautiful dessert or gift

Looking like roughhewn jewels, Western-grown nuts are framed by these grandscale caramel cookies. Thin, crisp, and shiny, they make striking desserts or impressive gifts. Fragile to bite, the cookies are much easier to make and sturdier to handle than they look. The process is simple-but it requires some careful attention.

As the caramel around the nuts bakes, it spreads into a very thin layer 5 to 6 inches in diameter. You can bake only a few cookies at a time.

While hot, the caramel is soft. As it cools, the cookies become rigid. Tbe trick is to get them off the pan after they harden enough not to stretch and tear, but before they get so brittle they break.

Stored airtight, these cookies stay crisp. If you want to make them more than a week ahead, they should be frozen for best flavor. If you're giving them away, handcarry them-very carefully.

To create a striking visual effect and an easier-than-pie dessert, tuck a cooky vertically into a bowl of your favorite flavor of ice cream.

Nut Lace Cookies

1/4 cup (1/8 Ib.) butter or margarine

1/4 cup each light corn syrup and firmly

packed brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup mixed whole or half almonds,

hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans,

pine nuts, pistachios, and

walnuts, plain or salted (or any

combination of these nuts)

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, melt butter over low heat. …

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