Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies by Betty Crocker [free pdf e books]


  • Full Title : Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies
  • Autor: Betty Crocker
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Betty Crocker
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544166647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544166646
  • Download File Format: epub

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A Merry and Delicious Collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas and baking go hand in hand. With this must-have holiday collection, the whole family will want to help out in the kitchen. Find all the season’s favorite cookies, from fun and filled goodies like Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies to inspiring decorated treats like Snowflake Mittens and delicious drop varieties like Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies. Plus, a chapter on special bars and brownies provides festive sweets that are easy to make and share, such as Holiday Toffee Bars. Bakers of all ages and experience will turn to Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies throughout the entire holiday season.

 

About the Author

With more than 63 million cookbooks sold since 1950, Betty Crocker is the name readers trust for reliable recipes and great ideas. For over 75 years, Betty Crocker has provided advice to millions of Americans through cookbooks, magazines and television.

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ng as that of Irish whiskey. But be it

known that the people of Ireland were distilling

whiskey at a time when the Picts, the predecessors of

the Scots (who came from Ireland in the first place),

were still smearing their bodies with blue paint and

stealing cattle in the Lowlands.

xi

Much of the history of Ireland contains events

unpleasant and disappointing to the Irish, which is yet

another reason God gave them the whiskey—so that

they could endure strife. It was one such unpleasantness

that gave the outside world its first taste of the Water of

Life. In the 1100s, King Henry II of England sent his

soldiers west to invade Hibernia—the first of many

unwelcome visits by the Crown. They burned and loot-

ed and inflicted the usual pain on the Irish people, but

they also discovered that the locals enjoyed something

they called uisge beatha. The British soldiers were not

cunning linguists and could not properly mouth the

Gaelic, so they bastardized the first word a few times

and, eventually, it came to be pronounced “whiskey.”

They also discovered that they enjoyed drinking it and

brought some home with them, to the delight of their

countrymen, and even became promoters of this saintly

liquor on their travels around the globe.

The rest of the history of Irish whiskey reads just like

the history of the rest of the world: the efforts of the gov-

ernment to suck taxes out of the people. By the 1500s,

the government in Ireland was English, and England

was ever in search of sources of revenue with which to

support its imperialistic expansion. Levying of punitive

laws and fees on illicit stills and distillers, and even on

raw materials used in making whiskey, increased over the

xii

next several centuries. The stills went underground, out into the bogs, ever farther from the eye and reach of the

exciseman. It is safe to say that every village, and many

a farmstead, had an operating still. The “poteen” was

often wicked—clear spirit, unaged, impure, highly alco-

holic, but satisfying to the rebellious Irish soul.

In 1608, in County Antrim in what is now

Northern Ireland, the first legal distillery was born on

the banks of the River Bush. The fact that it was called

“Old Bushmills Distillery” gives ample indication that

the making of whiskey had gone on for some time in

the village of Bushmills. It is told that in 1276, Sir

Robert Savage, the local landlord, fortified his troops

with uisge beatha before they took to battle. The 1608

license was granted to Sir Thomas Phillips by King

James I, and the whiskey soon became a favorite

among the nobs of London society. Its popularity

spread and, within the next two centuries, the whiskey

made at Old Bushmills became a favourite in the

Western Hemisphere to the extent that most of the

distillery’s product was exported.

Fire destroyed the Old Bushmills Distillery in 1885,

gutting all but one building. The loss was devastating.

But the world needs whiskey, and the entire complex

was rebuilt and operating within three years. In 1897,

the distillery announced a special issue for Queen

xiii

Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee: ten thousand bottles of its Pure Old Malt whiskey.

Two other great Irish distilleries were established in

Dublin, Ireland’s capital, in the late eighteenth century:

John Jameson & Son in 1780, and Sir John Power &

Son in 1791. Jameson is now the best-selling Irish

whiskey in the world. By the end of the 1800s, it is esti-

mated that more than four hundred registered brands of

Irish whiskey were available in the United States alone.

Meanwhile, the poitin men still operated in the back

country, smuggling in raw materials and smuggling out

their unlicensed whiskey. The uncountable little stills in

the hills and bogs gave rise to an army of excisemen and,

for more than a century, blood was shed on both sides

over the unlicensed distillation of uisge beatha.

The quality of the whiskey two hundred years ago

probably was not as high as it is today, because competi-

tion among distillers was causing them to push the prod-

uct out into the marketplace. Good whiskey must be

made slowly and with care, but the probable coarseness of

the whiskey back then was considered by the growing

anti-alcohol contingent to be a contributor to the social

ills. A government act in 1823 succeeded in placing strict

controls on the distillation process and, while this meant

more regulation and higher tariffs, it also meant a slower

distillation and a whiskey of higher quality.

xiv

Booming though it was, the nineteenth century saw the beginnings of a long period of difficulty for the distillers of

Irish whiskey. This led to a dramatic decline in the twenti-

eth century from which the whiskey’s popularity had bare-

ly emerged. Though production remained high in the

1800s, several factors combined to start the slide. The con-

tinuous increase in duties on spirits was only one of them.

Another was competition from other intoxicating

beverages. Rum was a force to contend with, both in

England and in the Americas. Cognac and other

brandies were making inroads, and wine was well estab-

lished in Britain. A third factor was famine. Nothing

drove the Irish people from their homeland the way the

potato famines did. Couple that with the evictions from

their native soil by the landlords and it is not surprising

that in 1847, more than two hundred thousand Irish left

the island. Within a few years annual emigration was

more than a quarter million.

But the greatest of threats to pot-distilled Irish

whiskey was homegrown, born in the mind of Aeneas

Coffey of Dublin. For many years, Coffey had been an

exciseman, rising eventually to become inspector gener-

al of excise. After he resigned from government service

in 1824, he put his wits to work and invented what

became known as the Coffey still. This remarkable

invention allowed for continuous production of grain

xv

spirit that was just shy of pure alcohol. It remains nearly unchanged in design to this day.

The Coffey still incensed and disgusted the Irish

whiskey distillers. The big companies rejected it as an

adulteration. But across the water in Scotland and

England, the continuous still found a home. Soon the

production of grain whiskey began to flood the market

of the empire, but what was most offensive to the pot-

whiskey distillers was that the grain spirit was being

blended with a small amount of pure Irish whiskey and

sold, both abroad and at home, as the real thing.

Elsewhere in the British Empire, blended Scotch whisky

began its long rise in popularity, further dampening sales

of the Irish product.

For more than half a century, the Irish distillers and

their supporters fought against the blenders. Even doc-

tors came out on the side of the pot distillers, railing in

professional journals against health risks from consump-

tion of “fermented liquor…made from damaged grain,

rotten potatoes, refuse molasses, or other waste.” The

cause in favor of whiskey purity was joined also by some

distillers of fine Scotch, who saw the blending craze

diminish their business as well.

Though the traditional distillers never won the blend-

ing war, two laws were set down in the first part of the

twentieth century that gave some benefit to the distillers

xvi

and consumers of fine whiskey. The first was that, hence-forth, Irish whiskey could be made only in Ireland, and

Scotch whisky could be made only in Scotland. The

second was that all whiskey, whether distilled in the old

copper alembics or in the Coffey contraption, must

mature for a minimum of three years in wood. The

Coffey still people didn’t like that much, for it set back

their production three years, but the result was—and

is—a much better whiskey.

The early years of the twentieth century brought

Ireland its independence from England (1916), but not

without great cost. The 1919 partitioning of Ireland into

north and south gave rise to two years of civil war, followed

by economic war; England and Ireland closed their mar-

kets to each other. That shut off sales of Irish whiskey to

Canada, Australia, a great deal of Africa, India, New

Zealand, parts of the Far East, and parts of the Caribbean.

It is estimated that Irish whiskey sales in the British Empire

amounted to 25 percent of the whole business. That nice

slice of the economic pie went to Scotch whisky.

As if that wasn’t enough, the silly government on the

other side of the Atlantic shut off the legal trade in liquor

for fourteen long years, something they called Prohibition,

which turned out to have done more harm than good both

in the U.S. and abroad. Bootleggers had a picnic, and went

so far as to promote inferior products as “Irish whiskey,”

xvii

which damaged the reputation of the real thing. And when the Prohibition ended in 1934, the producers of Irish

whiskey did not have enough product on hand to reenter

the U.S. market at once. Whiskey takes a long time to

mature. Stocks were low, and the Irish suffered again.

Irish whiskey languished, and the number of distill-

eries gradually shrunk to a handful. But lo, along comes

a trade endeavour to stir sales. Between 1966 and 1972,

the remaining five distilleries formed the Irish Distillers

Group, aiming to revitalise the global market for the

original Water of Life.

Since 1987, old distilleries have reopened and new

distillers are being opened as I write. New blends and

many more new and exciting products are coming from

this great land—Ireland.

Today we are comfortable with blended whiskey,

with the single malts, and with the assurance that we

can buy and savour fine Irish whiskey, the best that

Ireland has to offer. The Divine Distiller has done, and

continues to do, his part in blessing us with Irish

whiskey. The Irish, with their music and their stories

and poetry, have conquered our hearts, and with their

uisge beatha they have banished our thirst.

I hope the following pages of information will help

you enjoy the spirits of Ireland.

Slainte!

xviii

Publisher’s Note: This book and the recipes contained herein are intended for those of a legal drinking age. Please drink

responsibly and ensure that you and your guests have a des-

ignated driver when consuming alcoholic beverages.

The author and Sourcebooks, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information in this book.

xix

Irish

whiskey

A Little Bit of Information

Bushmills

The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim,

Ireland, is located in the heart of a lush barley-growing

area and along the banks of St. Columb’s Rill, a tribu-

tary of the River Bush.

The oldest licensed distillery in the world, the Old

Bushmills Distillery was founded in 1608, but even before

that date there was evidence of magic in the air; in 1276,

Sir Robert Savage, ground landlord of Bushmills, fortified

his troops before battle with “a mighty drop of aqua vitae.”

The Old Bushmills Distillery has always used the

agricultural riches surrounding it to produce a very spe-

cial spirit—and today it is the birthplace of four distinc-

tive whiskeys: Bushmills Premium Irish whiskey, Black

Bush Special Irish whiskey, Bushmills 10-Year-Old

Single Malt Irish whiskey, and Bushmills 16-Year-Old

Rare Single Irish Malt whiskey, a single malt Irish

whiskey finished in three different woods.

Like its production process, Bushmills’ ingredients

have stayed the same over the centuries. First there is

barley, which is examined, graded, and cleansed to per-

fection as malt. The malt is then dried in a closed kiln

kept separate from smoke; exposure of the barley to heat

brings a special smoothness to the spirit.

After the malt has mellowed for several weeks, it is

milled into grist. The grist is mixed with water from St.

2

Columb’s Rill at various temperatures and yeast is added to the resulting mixture. Because the river flows over

beds of basalt, the water imparts a unique sweet flavour

to the distilled spirit.

All whiskeys produced at the Old Bushmills Distillery

are distilled three times in authentic copper pot stills.

The primary and secondary distillations remove impuri-

ties, while the third distillation helps create a smoother,

cleaner spirit and ensures the quality of the whiskey.

Bushmills Premium Irish Whiskey

The original and best-known whiskey from the Old

Bushmills Distillery is Bushmills Premium Irish whiskey.

Malt whiskey reserved for Bushmills is aged seven years

in oak casks specially selected to bring out the light, del-

icate characteristics of the whiskey. When mature, this

malt whiskey is blended with a single Irish grain that has

a light aroma and hint of sweetness. The result is golden

in color, smooth in texture, and delicate in flavour.

Black Bush Special Irish Whiskey

Black Bush Special Irish whiskey is a rich, dark blend that

is comprised of a high percentage of pure malt whiskey.

Malt whiskey that becomes Black Bush is aged nine to

eleven years in selected sherry-seasoned oak casks before

being blended with a small portion of a special single

3

grain whiskey to enhance the character of the malt.

The combination is then returned to the cask for

“marrying.” As the whiskeys mellow together, producing

a uniquely rounded bouquet and rich amber hue, the

distinctive taste of Black Bush is born.

Bushmills Single Malt Irish Whiskey—10 Years Old

Possessing a warm, sweet aroma and well-balanced

flavour, Bushmills Malt is a delicate whiskey crafted

from 100 percent malted barley.

The malt used to make Bushmills Malt is deliberate-

ly dried in closed kilns. This prevents the malt from

absorbing the fire’s smokiness (hence, no smoky flavours

are imparted to the final distilled spirit), while still

retaining the character of the malt.

Unlike its brethren Bushmills Irish whiskey and

Black Bush, Bushmills Malt is a single whiskey that,

after aging ten years, finds its full flavour, character, and

dark, rich hue. A blender’s skills are never needed to

enhance Bushmills Malt; its flavour and character evolve

naturally over time in the carefully selected American

bourbon oak casks in which it is aged.

Bushmills Rare Single Irish Malt Whiskey

16 Years Old

Bushmills 16-Year-Old Malt is a single malt Irish

4

whiskey finished in three different woods for unparalleled taste quality.

Unlike any other Irish single malt whiskey, Bushmills

16-Year-Old Malt is finished in bourbon, sherry, and port

woods. To the already clean, non-smoky taste of fine

Bushmills Irish whiskey, the woods add elements of depth

and flavour. The result is a rich, smooth old malt with a

wonderful complexity of sweet, spicy, and woody flavours.

Connemara

Pot Still Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

The Connemara Pot Stilled Peated Single Malt is a unique

product, being the only peated single malt on the market.

Its name, Connemara, hails from the famous

Connemara region in the west of Ireland. A region of wild

beauty, with majestic mountains, soft rain, mist, lakes,

and pure water carried eastwards by the Atlantic winds.

The Connemara Pot Stilled Peated Single Malt cap-

tures the natural beauty of this majestic region of peated

lands and mountains.

The mash of pure clear spring water and peated

malted barley gives the Connemara its unique and dis-

tinctive flavours. The natural ingredients and tradition-

al distilling methods are employed to create a whiskey

which, after slowly maturing for long years in oak

casks, is simply unique.

5

The secret of the Connemara’s special peated taste is in the drying process where the newly germinated malted

barley is dried over a peat fire with smoke rising through

it to add a famed and distinctive peaty flavour and aroma.

Connemara Tasting Notes

Nose: Intense peatiness for an Irish whiskey yet less

smoky than an Islay, with a heathery bouquet and

inklings of honey.

Taste: The sweetness of honey and spices gradually gives

way to a smooth rise in the peated malt flavour, a good

balance is struck with neither being overpowering.

Finish: The honey diffuses in the mouth as the peat

lingers on. There is a delicate taste of vanilla and a

sense of the matured oak. Intricate and amazing.

Comment: Unique in being Ireland’s only peated malt, this

is a mature, top class peat whiskey with a bright future.

John Jameson

In the eighteenth century, Dublin was the Second City

of the British Empire and the seventh largest city in the

world. Irish whiskey had already acquired a reputation

for greatness, but among Irish whiskeys, the Dublin

6

whiskeys were particularly prized. During the latter half of the eighteenth century, many famous distilleries

were founded in Ireland’s capital.

Among them was John Jameson. In 1780, during the

golden age of Irish whiskey, Jameson founded his distillery

in Bow Street near to the heart of Dublin. He quickly

acquired a reputation for making the finest Irish whiskey

in the world, a position Jameson still has today.

Jameson 1780 12-Year-Old Irish whiskey is the direct

descendant of the liqueur whiskey which confounded

Monsieur Hennessy in the 1920s, and will confound

experts as surely in the twenty-first century. Its reputation

as a digestive is as solid today as it was then and, despite

the Irishman’s love for brandy, a well-matured whiskey like

1780 has as sure a place as any fine cognac at the end of a

good dinner.

John Jameson first established his distillery in Bow

Street, Dublin, in 1780. From the earliest days he com-

mitted himself to producing the finest whiskey possible.

By the end of the nineteenth century, his products had

established a reputation for top quality all over the

world. This was partly due to his commitment to the

traditional pot still method of distillation which contin-

ues to this day. The cheaper whiskeys from Scotland

were blended with substantial quantities of column still

whiskey which, although quicker to make than pot still

whiskey, had little flavour of their own.

7

Jameson Irish whiskey is made from pure Irish water and choice native Irish barley. Part of the barley used is first malted but, unlike their cousins in Scotland who dry their malt

over an open peat fire, which gives a smoky flavour to the

final whiskey, the distillers at Jameson dry their malt in a

closed kiln, so that the smoky flavour is deliberately absent.

The art of the distiller is to separate and retain exactly

those elements of the alcohol family which, when mature,

will make a perfect whiskey (or brandy), and to discard

those elements which are undesirable and give a poor

flavour. In John Jameson’s opinion, only three separate dis-

tillations in a pot still will achieve this perfect balance of

flavour congeners. Only Irish whiskeys are distilled more

than twice. Thereafter, the whiskey must mature for twelve

years in specially selected oak casks in dark, aromatic ware-

houses. During this time, strange, almost magical things

happen to the spirit: some of the higher alcoh

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