Monday, January 31, 2011

Strawberry Kisses

Riding into the North Pole on his trusty reindeer, the Kissing Bandit Elf both terrorized and delighted the town.  His enigmatic presence was a welcome diversion for all the single ladies and a pain in the neck for all the single guys.  With a pocket full of flavored Chapstick, Ethan Elf was prepared to meet any osculatory need. A cherry kiss on the cheek?  You betcha!  A minty peck on the nose?  No problem!  A strawberry smooch on the lips?  Coming right up!
Ethan Elf takes his job pretty seriously at the North Pole.  He has always been an equal opportunity kisser, although after last week and the Big Beulah Elf incident, his kissing rampages may be tempered a bit.   Big Beulah is a rather large elf who works in my North Pole Kitchens.  I first assigned her to make pastries and breads but after a few weeks and a few samples too many, I noticed that Beulah was putting on even more weight.  I moved her to the salad division.  She looks a little leaner but let’s just say that a salad consisting of 3 pieces of lettuce laden with cheese, bacon bits, olive oil and garlic croutons with a generous pouring of salad dressing isn’t exactly a lower calorie replacement for her earlier snacking.
On the day of the Big Beulah Elf Incident, the ladies in the kitchen were excited because Lydia Elf had seen a trail of used Chapstick tubes leading right to the kitchen door.  The Kissing Bandit Elf must be near.  Upon hearing the news, Beulah pushed herself to the front of the room and got out her own tube of chapped lip relief.  She slathered it on and waited impatiently at the door.  Soon, we all heard a noise outside.   Beulah threw open the door and planted a big one on poor Ethan Elf.  He didn’t see it coming and he was now hopelessly trapped in the sticky embrace of Beulah.  Perhaps it was the combination of Chapsticks or just the mere size of Beulah and her mighty lips, but Ethan Elf could not escape her grasp.  He turned a vibrant shade of blue, then purple and then finally lurched free from her smothering kiss.  He turned and ran out the door and took off down the lane gasping for clean, fresh air as he went. 
Ethan is a little more careful in his kissing jaunts.  He tends to stake out the place before he enters these days.  And Beulah has worn a rapturous expression ever since her exuberant encounter.  She asked to be transferred back to the pastry division so she could make these cookies to help commemorate her fabulous encounter with Ethan the Kissing Bandit Elf.

Strawberry Kisses

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup strawberry preserves
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix together butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla.  Beat well.  In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder; add to egg mixture.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 10 X 14-inch rectangle.  Spread preserves over dough and sprinkle nuts over preserves.  Beginning with the long side, roll cookie dough.  Chill for 3 hours.   To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a cookie sheet.  Slice the dough into ¼ inch slices and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Take cookies from oven and remove from cookie sheet immediately to cool on wire racks. 

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