The first recipe is meatless mincemeat pie. I understand that way "back in the day" mixing meat and fruit was both a flavor preference and a way to help preserve the meat. Those folks were much more accustomed to the savory flavors of meat and fruit, and in some situations I like it too. But as a dessert, it just doesn't work for me to mix meat, suet, and fruit. So this meatless mincement works just fine for me:
1 large orange
1 small lemon
15 oz raisins (I mix both golden and regular)
1 cup dried apricots (add more to taste)
8-9 medium tart apples cored (peeling is a personal preference...I prefer them peeled, my mom always left the peels on)
1 1/2 cups apple cider
3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tspns each of powdered cinnamon and nutmeg
3/4 tspn ground cloves (more or less to taste)
Remove seeds and skins from orange and lemon. Chop orange, lemon, and apricots in food processor. Peel (or not, as you prefer) and core apples, and either chop in small pieces or send them thru the food processor, too.
Put fruit and raisins in a pot with the apple cider. Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add sugar and spices and simmer for 20 minutes longer or until thick. Makes enough for two 9-inch pies. Can either be frozen for future use, or baked immediately in a double crust pie.
The second recipe is for Peppermint Pinwheel cookies. The dough rolling sometimes gets a little unwieldy in this project, but the cookies are well worth it.
2 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1 c butter, soft
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn mint extract
1 tspn vanilla
red food coloring
Beat butter and sugar together in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Mix in the flour and other dry ingredients a third at a time blending well after each. You may need to add a little extra flour to make dough stiffer and less sticky. Divide dough in half. To one half add red food coloring and mint extract. Mix until the dough is dark pink.
Between sheets of wax paper or parchment, roll out each half of the dough to approximately 16x10 inches. Peel top sheet of wax paper or parchment from each half of dough. Invert one half and place on top of the other half, then peel off the wax paper or parchment that is now on top. Tightly roll the dough, jelly roll fashion. Wrap in foil then chill or freeze dough. Take out of freezer 1/2 hour before baking. Unwrap dough and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday, no matter how, where, or with whom you celebrate!