Sep 15, 2019
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Cooking 101: Seasoned greetings

In this holiday episode of Cooking 101, host Toni Martinez prepares a festive version of traditional sugar cookies and a healthy casserole dish fit for holiday parties.

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Candy Cane Cookies

* 2 ½ cup all purpose flour
* ¼ tsp. salt
* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 1 large egg
* ½ tsp. vanilla extract
* ¼ tsp. red food coloring
* Optional: ½ tsp. peppermint extract, and ½ cup crushed peppermint candy

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix butter and sugar until creamy (2-3 minutes) in mixer. Add egg and vanilla (peppermint extract optional) mix until creamy again (2-3 minutes). Add dry ingredients a little at a time (flour and salt; crushed peppermint candy is optional) and mix another 15-20 seconds. Be careful not to overmix so you don’t make the dough tough.

Separate the dough in two, leaving slightly more in a bowl and the rest in the mixer. Add the food coloring and mix an additional 15-20 seconds, or until the color is throughout the dough. Again, be careful not to overmix.

Form the two doughs into tablespoon balls. Hand roll the dough to about ½ inch. Because it is a butter dough, it melts at 85° F so if you feel it melting simply put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Lay the red and white rolled dough next to each other and braid them together. Techniques, shapes and sizes can vary; be creative and have fun!

Can make 12-24 cookies depending on the size of the dough ropes.

Serve the cookies plain, or with melted chocolate or coffee for dipping!

Christmas Veggie Bake

* 1 bushel asparagus
* 2 vine ripened tomatoes, medium dice
* 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese
* ¼ cup olive oil
* 3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
* 2 ½ tsp. salt
* 1 ½ tsp. pepper
* 6 leaves of basil, shiffonade (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Break off the woody ends of the asparagus (about 2-2 ½ in off the bottom). If the asparagus is larger, peel slightly. Lay the asparagus in the baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add 1 ½ tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. pepper to ricotta cheese in a bowl (basil can be added to the cheese if you decide to use it). Dollop the cheese on the asparagus.

Add 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper to tomatoes and garlic in a bowl. Layer the tomato mix on top of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is a light golden brown on top.

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