Friday, December 16, 2011

Use Up Those Leftovers!

I am frequently faced with conflicting ideals in my kitchen....while I really like to practice frugal living, I also like to cook and serve healthy foods to my family. Part of what frugal living means to me is not wasting food or other resources. If a recipe uses only a portion of something I've bought, I am usually pretty good at coming up with some way to use the remainder before it spoils. This has led to some memorable (not always in a good way!) dishes. Fortunately, this habit has also led to some awesome recipes that I either found or created. One that comes to mind is a dish (it's so simple that it can hardly even be called a recipe!) that I fashioned one summer day to use up leftover antipasto ingredients--Italian cold cuts and cheeses--that weren't enough for a meal. I just cooked up some pasta, julienned the meats and cheeses, whipped up a light lemon vinaigrette to dress it all with, tore some basil over just before serving, and voila! Dinner!

In that same vein, it irks me to throw away the perfectly good egg yolks that are left over after making the delicious Almond Macaroons of my last post, so, although they are certainly not the healthiest cookies I make, I did find a "companion" cookie recipe. As Christmas cookies are a once a year treat in our house, I don't feel TOO guilty about serving them. And they ended up being one of my husband's favorites. 

Hand Grenade Cookies
Makes about 30 cookies
Oven Temperature: 350°

2 sticks butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. almond extract
8 egg yolks
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
slivered almonds for garnish

Cream butter with salt and sugar. Add remaining ingredients except almonds. Roll 1” balls of dough and placed on ungreased cookie sheets. Stick slivered almond into top for hand grenade effect. Bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. This dough can also be rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. Bake thin cutouts for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Notes & Pointers:
About the name.....they were originally called, I believe, "Egg Yolk Cookies" or something like that. I stuck the almond sliver into the tops of the cookies just to dress them up a little for Christmas (I probably had them leftover from something else...), but they quickly got the reputation of “exploding” if you don’t eat the cookie fast enough after removing the nut! (I don’t know why!) However, I have never personally witnessed this. Ever since, they have been known as "Hand Grenade Cookies."

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