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These treats will keep the family happy even after the holidays have passed

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 4:24 p.m.

Here are a couple of ideas that you can do ahead and keep in an airtight container for a week or two and have on hand.

The first recipe is a simple yet, delicious one that even the little ones can assist with.

You will want to make a few extras for the coworkers and the jolly guy in the red suit.

Sweet Pastry Twists

(makes about 45 twists)

1 egg

11/2tablespoons sugar

1/2cup milk

2 cups plain flour

1/2teaspoon salt

oil, for deep frying

1 3/4cups powdered sugar

Beat the egg with the sugar in a bowl, then stir in the milk.

Sift the flour with 12 teaspoon of salt and mix to form a stiff dough, adding more milk if necessary. Roll out on a lightly floured work surface.

Cut into strips about 4-inches long by 1 ½-inches wide. Make a slit along the length, down the center, like a button hole. Tuck one end through the slit and pull to make a twist.

Fill a deep, heavy based pan one-third full of oil ( or, use a deep fryer if you have one).

Heat the oil to 350 degrees, the oil is ready when a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds.

Fry 3 to 4 of the pastries at a time, until golden brown on both sides.

Remove from the oil and drain on crumbled paper toweling. Sift the powdered sugar over the pastry after it has drained, but before it gets cold.

These will keep in a dry, airtight container for up to two weeks.

You can refresh them before serving with a light sprinkle of some more sugar, if needed.

Here's a favorite cookie that goes great with coffee and will be a perfect after dinner treat.

Caster sugar, also known as superfine sugar, is finely ground white sugar.

It dissolves very easily and is especially good for use in custards and sauces.It is readily available in the baking supply section of major markets.

Amaretti

(makes about 40 cookies)

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 tablespoon corn flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3cup caster sugar/superfine sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange rind

1 cup ground almonds

2 egg whites

1/4cup powdered sugar

Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Sift the plain flour, corn flour, cinnamon and half the caster of sugar in a large bowl and then add the lemon rind and the ground almonds

Place the egg whites in a small, dry bowl. With electric beaters, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Add the remaining caster/superfine sugar gradually, beating constantly until the mixture is thick and glossy, stiff peaks form and all the sugar has dissolved.

Using a metal spoon, fold the egg white into the dry ingredients.

Stir until the ingredients are just combined and the mixture forms a soft dough.

With oiled or wetted hands, roll two level teaspoons of the mixture at a time into a ball.

Arrange on the prepared tray, allowing room for spreading during baking. Set the tray aside, uncovered, for one hour prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the powdered sugar liberally over the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crisp and lightly browned.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two days.

Refresh powdered sugar prior to serving, if needed.

As always, enjoy!

David Kelly has worked as a chef for more than 40 years. He has shared his recipes, tips and experiences in Culinary Corner for 21 years.

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