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Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

These cookies, once baked, get a triple dose of powdered sugar.

4-H foods teach good
kitchen techniques

By Betty Shimabukuro

LEARNING to cook is only the half of it. To be a true success in the kitchen you have to understand your ingredients, shop, test, serve, present -- and, finally, be able to pass on a recipe.

Each year, Oahu's 4-H clubs challenge members to do all of that in a Food Show competition.

Participants are judged not just on their final products, but also the recipes and understanding of their ingredients. Each year the competition takes a different ethnic theme; this year's was Mexican and Pacific Island cuisine.

The aim for the 28 years of the Food Show has been to teach meal-planning skills and expand culinary and cultural horizons.

All the entries are published in a simple, spiral-bound cookbook. "Food Show Cookbook 2001" sells for $5, or $8 with postage. Write the Wahiawa Extension Service, 910 California Ave., Wahiawa 96786, or call 622-4185. Past year's cookbooks with their various ethnic themes are also available.

Recipes run from Ono Lobster Curry with Haupia (Pacific flair), through Arroz con Chorizo (Mexican), through Passion Fruit Squares (just for the yumminess.

Kraft Food is a major sponsor of the event, so one section is devoted to dishes made with Kraft products. Lots of easy cheesecakes and Jell-O specialties here.

These Mexican Wedding Cookies are the creation of Kerrin Shimizu, who was the winner in the intermediate age division. Judging was Saturday.

Mexican Wedding Cookies

1-1/2 cups butter or margarine, at room temperature
3/4 pound powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or other nuts
3-1/4 cups flour

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tablespoons sugar, egg yolk, vanilla and almonds. Gradually add flour, beating to blend thoroughly.

Pinch off pieces of dough the size of large walnuts and roll into balls. Place 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Slightly flatten each ball. Bake at 275 degrees until very lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheets until lukewarm.

Sift half the remaining sugar. Roll each cookie gently in sugar. Pack more sugar onto each cookie with your fingers, to a thickness of 1/8 of an inch. Place cookies on a wire rack and dust with more sugar. Cool completely. Makes 3 dozen.

Nutritional information unavailable.*

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