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Mushroom Cookies
- By Amethyst and the River Daughter

Fans who wish they loved mushrooms but don't will appreciate this recipe. These special cookies would have been baked for The Shire's annual Mushroom Festival.

Heat in a large saucepan over medium heat until bubbly around the side of pan:
1 1/2 c. honey

Remove from heat; stir in:
1/4 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbls. packed brown sugar
2 Tbls. real butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. ground Cardamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. each freshly grated lemon and orange peel

Measure into mixing bowl:
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Stir in honey mixture alternately with 2 Tbls. sour cream

Turn onto lightly floured board; knead dough until it is easy to handle and not sticky, about 5 minutes. Dough should be firm enough to hold impression of finger. Allow dough to rest about 20 min. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350.

After dough has rested, divide into 4 equal parts.

Make mushroom 'stems' as follows. From 1 part, shape 2 rolls, each 25" long and 3/8" in diameter. Cut into 1" lengths, reshaping ends of each 'stem' if necessary. Place the finished 'stems' 1 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until firm, about 7 minutes.

Make the same amount of 'caps' as you did 'stems'. Form 'caps' by shaping dough into " balls; make indentation about 1/2" deep on one side with the handle of a wooden spoon. Place 'caps' indented side down 1 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until light brown on bottoms, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Enlarge indentations in 'caps' with paring knife. Dip one end of each 'stem' into frosting and insert in 'caps'. Dry mushroom cap side down.

Dip each mushroom into frosting, completely covering 'cap' and underside of 'cap' or covering 'stem' and underside of 'cap'. Allow excess frosting to drip in bowl. Sprinkle frosted part with poppy seeds. Lay on side on wax paper to dry. Dry completely before storing in airtight containers. Flavor mellows after 3-4 days. Store at room temperature no longer than 6 weeks or in freezer no longer than 3 months.

Frosting:

Mix 2 c. confectioners' sugar and 1 Tbls. Water
Stir in 1 tsp. at a time 2 Tbls. water beating well after each addition


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