Courtenay Collins's Favorite Holiday Recipes

“Food, glorious food! What is there more handsome?”
The musical Oliver! was on to something in its declaration of our love affair with cuisine. In the holiday season, food is king. Every family has cherished dishes they like to whip out during this pinnacle time of year. Courtenay Collins, star of “Courtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays,” shares her own favorite recipes of the season. 
Gran Jan’s Crum Cheese Cookies
This was the exact recipe my mom gave me when I moved to NYC. I actually made them and took them to parties. Cause, ya know, that’s what you do when you’re a Southern girl in the Big Apple. Don’t over-bake! (She knew her daughter. But she should have said, “Don’t leave the kitchen and start doing something else!”)
2 sticks of butter
2 cups flour, sifted
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups Rice Krispies
Red pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together (you GOTTA love that!)
3. Make small balls about the size of a marble and put on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put flour on the palm of hands to keep from sticking.
4. Dip fork in flour and flatten balls with criss-cross pattern. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Makes 50.
Captain Rodney’s Cheese Dip for Hungry Teenagers
½ cup mayonnaise
8 oz. package cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped
10 Ritz-style crackers, crushed
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup of Captain Rodney’s Boucan Pepper Glaze
1. Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar and onions until blended
2. Place in pie pan.
3. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
4. Top with bacon and Captain Rodney’s Glaze. Serve with crackers or Fritos. 
Big Mama’s Christmas (Sugar) Cookies
(usually doubled)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon salt
½ cup real butter (REAL butter! This recipe is from the 1950s)
1 cup white or brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cream or milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. Add egg, vanilla and cream or milk. Stir in flour mixture gradually. Add food coloring, if desired. Roll into a ball and chill for one hour.
2. Roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Decorate with sprinkles, etc. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned. Try not to eat them all. Leave some for Santa!

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