Sabtu, 04 Desember 2010

Christmas Cookies

It is an old German tradition to bake Christmas cookies every year. When I was little my mother used to bake with some of her friends at our local school kitchen and then she would hide the cookies from us in our house. We were not allowed to eat them until Christmas day came. Nevertheless we knew exactly where they were and stole some cookies out of those tempting boxes every now and then. When Christmas day came and we were actually allowed to eat them, nobody wanted to anymore because we had all had our share already. This is why I tend to bake them early so that you can enjoy them during the whole Advent season. I am always glad when my boxes are empty on Christmas day.
This year I also baked together with a group of friends. This way it is easier to try new recipes and offer a lovely plate of different cookies. 

Ciambelle (Lemon Wreath)
(Martha Stewart)

We didn't form the cookies into a wreath but in small balls to make it a little easier.

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups confectioners' sugar
7 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemon
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white nonpareils, for sprinkling
Read more at Christine's Lemon Wreath Cookies - Martha Stewart Recipes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cookies: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Pulse sugar and zest in a food processor until combined, about 2 minutes.

Beat sugar-zest mixture and butter in a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until combined.

Scoop 1 tablespoon dough (or use a 11/8-inch ice cream scoop), and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 4-inch rope. Bring ends together, overlapping slightly, and press together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer rings to parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart, as you work. Bake until pale golden on the bottoms and around the edges, about 18 minutes. Transfer to wire racks, and let cool.

Make the glaze: Whisk together confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth. Dip the top side of each cookie into glaze, letting excess drip off. Return cookies to wire racks, glaze side up, and sprinkle with nonpareils. Let dry completely.

Decorated cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Cranberry Coins
(Martha Stewart)
Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

Beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add flour and salt; stir just until combined. Stir in dried cranberries. Divide dough into quarters.
On parchment, shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. Wrap logs tightly in parchment or plastic. Chill 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (Dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen up to 1 month.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Rotate log as you cut to keep it from flattening. Place rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges just begin to turn golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Jam Thumbprint's
(Martha Stewart)

Inside, butter's the key to fast, five-ingredient cookies; outside, ruby-red jam dazzles. If the dough is too soft to shape into balls, refrigerate it for a few minutes, until firm enough to handle; the cookies will spread as they bake, so leave plenty of room between them.

Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes


24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup jam (any type) (I like red currant jelly)

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, and beat until completely combined. With mixer on low, add flour, and mix just until incorporated.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each). Place on baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart.
Moisten thumb with water, and gently press the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1/2 inch wide and inch deep. In microwave or on stove, heat jam until liquefied; spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. If storing, place in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Pepita Spice Cookies
(Martha Stewart)
makes 8 dozen

Note: This dough is very delicate, don't use too much flour

3/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups AP Flour, plus more for work surface

Heat a heavy skillet, such as cast iron, over medium-low. Add pepitas and shake skillet gently to move seeds around so they toast evenly and do not burn. TOast seeds until they are aromatic and barely take on color. Allow them to cool slightly. Pulse seeds in a food processor just until finely shopped.

Beat butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until  pale and fluffy,3 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt and chopped pepitas, and beat until well combined. Reduce speed to low, and gradually mix in flour, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Divide dough into 2 disks, and wrap in plastic. Chill 90 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 325 F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll 1 disk of dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and chill 1 hour. Repeat with remaining disk. Using a 2-inch almond-shaped cookie cutter (we used several shapes), cut out shapes. Reroll scraps of dough, and cut more shapes. Transfer shapes to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart, and chill 15 minutes.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through until golden brown around edges, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Dust lightly with confectioners' sugar. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to a week.

Please email me at if you'd like to have one of the following recipes

Corn Flakes Cookies

Linzer Cookies

Poppy Seed Cookies


Cappuccino Sables

Red Currant Stars

Eggnog Spritz Cookies

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