Here are two of the recipes my family makes for Christmas, as promised. Nothing exotic, but delicious.
Apricot bars (makes 8x8 pan - double for 9x13) 32/64 cookies, more if you cut them small. They are rich.
2/3 C dried apricots
1/4 tsp (+) salt (double if butter is unsalted)
1-1/3 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/4 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C chopped walnuts
preheat oven to 350F.
put apricots and water to barely cover in a saucepan, bring to boil and simmer gently, covered, approx 10 min til softened. Allow to cool. The liquid should be mostly absorbed. Chop when cool by hand or processor.
for shortbread pastry: mix butter, half of salt, white sugar and 1 C flour (you can cut together with pastry blender or process briefly in food processor) and pack into greased pan; bake for 25 min or until golden.
Topping: Mix remaining flour, salt and the baking powder. Beat eggs, beat brown sugar into beaten eggs, add flour mixture, chopped nuts and chopped apricots. Spread over baked layer and bake for 30 minutes or til done. I always have trouble deciding - Top should spring back some but not be rubbery - if you wait til a toothpick comes out clean it will be overdone.
Cool in pan than cut and roll cookies in powedered sugar. I recommend keeping these cookies in the pan (covered) and cutting and sugaring them only as you need them - they stay fresher uncut.
Mrs Ofsties Ginger Cookies
3/4 C butter (orig called for shortening); I often use a mixture, say 1/2 C butter and the rest shortening, for texture
1 C sugar
4 tbsp molasses (unsulphured)
2-1/4 C sifted flour
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Cream shortening and sugar, add egg, beat well, then add molasses. Beat in dry ingredients sifted together. Chill dough well and form with your hands into small balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar and flatten onto cookie sheet (ungreased, I think, tho I use silpat sheets or teflon usually for these) with a the bottom of a glass or other flat object which has been dipped in the sugar (the glass will stick to the cookie if it is not sugared). the dough will not be sticky if it is cold enough. Cookies should be flattened as flat as possible(it takes several passes with the glass) and spaced, say 1/2 in apart. They spread some while baking.
Bake at 375F for 10-12 min - transfer from sheet immediately to cooling rack with thin spatula. Pack into tins when completely cool. These cookies store well.