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Holiday Faves

Our columnist shares two family-favorite recipes for upcoming holiday treats.

by Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio

In this month’s column I’m sharing a recipe for a cookie that’s as attractive to the eye as it is delicious to your tastebuds. These thumbprint cookies filled with jam are one of my mom’s favorite Christmas cookies. And the corn fritters recipe was passed down by my grandmom, Flora Rovito Panzino, who made them for decades. No matter how many she made, it would never be enough. These fritters can be enjoyed plain or topped with jam, apple butter, and the like. My personal favorite is chilled in the refrigerator and then topped with grape jelly. I hope you enjoy these recipes, I wish you a very merry and SCENTsational Christmas!

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 1 small jar of your favorite jam (or variety of jams, if desired)
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In a bowl cream together butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix in flour and salt, just until incorporated. Roll dough into one-inch balls, and roll one at a time into the beaten egg whites, then roll into the finely chopped walnuts. Place two inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, gently press thumb into the center of each dough ball to make an indent, and then spoon your favorite jam or preserves into each thumbprint, filling to the brim. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Corn Fritters

  • 1 (15.-oz.) can whole kernel corn (liquid too)
  • 1 (14-oz.) can sweet cream-style corn
  • 1/4 cup milk (little extra, if needed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached flour
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

In a large bowl, mix the whole corn and liquid, cream-style corn, milk, eggs, and salt. Add flour a little at a time until ingredients reach a pancake batter consistency. Add more flour if mixture is too wet or more milk if too dry. In a large skillet, generously coat the bottom of the pan with oil over medium high heat. Add about 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter for each fritter into the hot oil. Fry on each side until light golden brown and cooked through.

Once done remove and place onto a paper towel lined platter to remove any excess oil. Serve warm, plain, or with your favorite jam, preserves, or apple butter. n

Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is author of Seasoned With Love, Treasured Recipes, Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II, and children’s books Snicker Learns An Important Lesson and Readers’ Favorite 5-Star rated Little Twinkle Learns Her Purpose.

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