2 medium sized butternut squash
salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
the juice of one orange (or 1/2 cup orange juice)
4 cups low salt chicken broth
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup chopped, crisply cooked pancetta to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds, rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each half individually in foil and place all 4 slices, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Roast for about 1 hour or until tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sautè onions, garlic and ginger until soft- about 5 minutes.
Scoop out flesh from squash, discarding skins, and add to pot along with orange juice, chicken broth, and smoked paprika. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Add mixture to blender. Add crème fraîche and puree until smooth.
Pour soup into cleaned pot and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings along with more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve into warm soup bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of pancetta on top.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (not runny or whipped)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (not whipped)
about 2 cups powdered sugar
2 jars (12 -14 ounces each) of maraschino cherries
In a small bowl, mix together flour and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture to butter and cream cheese and blend in just till combined. Don’t overwork the dough.
Form dough into a ball and flatten into a disk about 2 inches thick. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a cutting board or flat surface sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Using a ruler for accuracy, cut dough into 2×2 squares with a knife.
Place 1 maraschino cherry in the center of each square and fold 2 sides so that they meet and cover the cherry. Be sure to secure dough to prevent opening up during baking.
Bake at 375 degrees on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 10 minutes or until bottoms are just lightly browned. Do not over-bake.
Let cookies cool on a wire rack.
When completely cooled, sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.
Baked cookies can be stored frozen for up to 3 months sealed in an airtight, freezer safe container or freezer safe baggie.
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