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Celebrate the Season - The Joy of Hanukkah

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Beef Brisket With Savory Sautéed Apples
Almond Hanukkah Cookies

(Family Features) - Celebrate the Feast of Lights by gathering family and friends for a meal of tender beef brisket accented with a sweet-tangy apple-cranberry sauce and steamed green beans. Colorful cookies cut into festive star, menorah and dreidel shapes provide a sweet ending.

Holiday Helpers

Browning the brisket is the key to a richer more full-bodied beef flavor. Gently simmering in a tightly covered pan results in melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. Cooked brisket will yield 2-1/2 to 3 servings per pound.

Holiday cookie cutters make cookie baking more fun. And colored sugars and sprinkles are an easy way to decorate - no skill required. Or, for the more adventurous, use colorful icings to frost the cookies or to pipe decorative designs.

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Beef Brisket With Savory Sautéed Apples

  • 1 boneless beef brisket, flat cut (2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cups sliced unpeeled apples, such as Fuji or Gala (about 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
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    1. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place brisket in stockpot; brown evenly. Remove brisket; season with salt and pepper.
    2. Reserve 1/2 cup onion. Add remaining onion and garlic to stockpot. Cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Return brisket, fat side up, to stockpot. Add apple cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until brisket is fork-tender.
    3. Meanwhile, heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until melted. Add apples and reserved onion; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until apples are just tender. Add cranberries and brown sugar; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until cranberries are tender and juices are thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in walnuts. Keep warm.
    4. Remove cooked brisket from stockpot; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Bring cooking liquid to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
    5. Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with reduced cooking liquid and apple mixture.

Preparation and Cooking Time
3 to 4 hours

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Almond Hanukkah Cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup margarine* or butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon clear almond extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1-1/4cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon clear almond extract (optional)
  • Royal blue icing color
  • Golden yellow icing color
  • Blue and yellow colored sugars
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    1. Combine flour and baking powder in small bowl; mix well and set aside. Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and almond extract. Add flour mixture, and if desired, almonds to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Place cookie dough on plastic wrap; shape into a disk. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters, dipping cutters in flour before each use.
    3. Place cookies on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around edges. Remove to wire rack; cool completely.
    4. Combine confectioners' sugar, water, and if desired, almond extract in medium bowl; stir until smooth. (Icing should pour easily from spoon.) Divide icing into thirds; color one third blue, one third yellow and reserve one third white. Spoon over cooled cookies; sprinkle as desired with colored sugars.

Preparation and Cooking Time
1-3/4 to 2 hours

Chill Time
1 hour

Makes approximately 3-1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
*For best results, use only the stick form of margarine for baking, not spreads in stick or tub form.

SOURCE: National Cattlemen's Beef Association on behalf of The Beef Checkoff
Wilton Industries, Inc.

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