A local favorite, clothespin cookies take their name from the wooden clothespins they were traditionally formed around. These days, many bakers use metal rods, available where cake and cookie baking supplies are sold.


CLOTHESPIN COOKIES

For the dough:

3 cups flour

2 tbsp. sugar

1 cup Crisco shortening

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp. vinegar

1 cup cold water

For the filling:

1 cup milk

1 tbsp. sugar

4 tbsp. flour

½ lb. margarine, softened

2 tsp. vanilla

6 tbsp. marshmallow creme

2 cups powdered sugar

To make the dough, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in ½ cup of the shortening as for pie dough, until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, vinegar and water; beat with a fork.

Add liquid mixture to flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until mixture forms a sticky dough. Wrap and chill 1 hour.

Roll dough into a rectangle about ¼-inch thick. Spread with one-third of the remaining Crisco. Fold dough in thirds letter-style, with the Crisco on the inside. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Repeat rolling, spreading, folding and chilling twice more, chilling at least 6 hours after final folding.

Divide dough into 4 balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle ?-inch thick. Cut into strips 1 inch wide and 5 to 6 inches long. Wrap strips loosely around round clothespins, overlapping the strips. Place on cookie sheets. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Remove clothespins.

To prepare filling, combine milk, granulated sugar and flour in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until very thick. Cool. Beat margarine, vanilla and marshmallow creme into mixture. Beat in powdered sugar.

To assemble: Spoon filling into a pastry tube. Squeeze filling from pastry tube into pastry rolls. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Makes 4 to 5 dozen.