Favorite recipes from the bridge club

Bo & Linda Goersch's Toffee Crisps

12 Tbsps. butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Heath toffee bits (without chocolate)

Cream butter in a mixer for about one minute until pale an

d fluffy. (It can be done by hand if you have a really good spoon and a strong arm.)

Add both sugars and beat well. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Add flour, beating just until incorporated. Mix in toffee bits.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cover dough balls with wax paper. With a flat-bottomed cup or glass (make sure it is perfectly flat, with no ridges or concave shape), press each ball into a 2-inch round. Carefully remove wax paper.

Bake 6-8 minutes until edges are just golden. Transfer to cooling racks and cool completely. (Don't stack them when they are warm or they will stick together.)

These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about a week. They can also be frozen for several months. They are great to make ahead of time, freeze, and then thaw out for holiday gift giving. The recipe makes about 30 cookies and is easy to double or triple.

Billie McPherson's Recipe Punch

3 tea bags (we use Constant Comment orange)
2 cups boiling water
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 large can frozen lemonade
1 small can frozen orange juice
6 orange-juice cans of water
2 cups of bourbon

Steep teabags in boiling water. Add other ingredients and mix well. Amounts of lemonade, orange juice and bourbon can all be varied to suit your taste.

Freeze for 10-12 hours or until slushy. If mixture isn't slushy enough when ready to serve, add orange juice or a can or two of citrus soft drink (7Up, Squirt).

Jim Slaughter's Caramels

    2 cups sugar
    2 cups dark Karo syrup (1 bottle)
    1 cup cream (or Half & Half)
    1 cup butter (2 sticks)
Cook over medium heat to 240 degrees.
Remove from heat and add:
    1 cup cream (or Half & Half)
Return to heat and cook to 245 degrees.
    Remove and stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla.

Pour into buttered pan (a silicon pan offers easiest removal of the caramel mixture after it's cooled).  Cool for three hours. Cut into squares with serrated knife. Wrap squares in clear plastic wrap.

Karen's Hot Artichoke Dip

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (or 1/2 cup mayonnaise & 1/2 cup sour cream)
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of hot sauce

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and slightly brown on top. Makes 2 cups. Serve with Triscuits, other crackers or bread rounds.

Judith Liebman's Bitter Chocolate Biscuits  (makes about 4 dozen)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
dash salt
1 egg
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Process butter and sugar until light in a food processor. Add salt, vanilla and egg and process until fluffy. Melt chocolate in microwave, cool slightly, then add to first mixture and process until the chocolate is well blended into the butter mixture, with no streaks remaining. Add flour and process again until no streaks of flour remain.

Remove dough from processor bowl and chill until firm enough to pat down or roll and form "biscuits". On a floured board with floured rolling pin (or on a smooth slate or marble surface; no flour needed), roll or pat down small amounts of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with round cutter of diameter 1 1/2 inches. Put cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in moderate oven (375 F) about 7 minutes (or 350 F for 6 or 7 minutes in a convection oven). Remove cookies to cake racks to cool and store airtight.

Jim Slaughter's Tomato Pie

1 pie shell, baked
12 ounces fresh tomatoes, diced (drained canned tomatoes can also be used)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely filled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 cup light mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients and place in the baked pie shell. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-45 minutes.