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Holiday 2009


Holiday Cookies to Box and Gift
Feature by Annette M. Rose-Shapiro
Recipes by Chef Lorilynn Bauer
Photographs by George Ross

Click photo to see a gallery view of treats.


[boxed cookies]

ORANGE AND CHOCOLATE MANDELBROT COOKIES

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • ¾ cups bittersweet chocolate chips

In large bowl whisk flour, salt and baking powder.

In a second bowl, beat eggs, vegetable oil, orange zest and vanilla until combined.

Add the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stir until blended. Stir in hazelnuts and chocolate chips. The dough will be crumbly. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured counter. Knead until the dough forms.

Divide the dough into 4 sections. Form each section into a 2 x 10-inch log. Arrange 2 logs, 2 inches apart on a large nonstick sheet pan.

Bake at 350 from about 20 - 30 minutes. Remove cookies from oven, let cool for 5 minutes on sheet pan.

Transfer logs to cutting board and cut crosswise with a large serrated knife into ½" wide slices. Arrange back on sheet pan. Bake cookies in oven about 10 minutes until golden all over with firm centers. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 50 cookies.


SFRATTI

Pastry

  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sweet wine

Filling

  • 1 cup honey
  • 2½ cups toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Egg wash (1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

Preheat oven to 350, line sheet pans with parchment paper, spray release or Silpat (silicone non-stick baking mat).

Pastry

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Add oil and wine. Mix with a fork to moisten. Dough should be moist and hold together. If too moist, add more flour.

Divide into half. Flatten into discs, wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.

Filling

In a medium saucepan, bring honey to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat hold until mixture is cool enough to handle, but not set. Pour onto a floured surface, divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 14-inch long stick shape.

Flour the counter. Take a pastry disc out the refrigerator; leave it at room temperature until workable but not soft. Cut the disc into a 14 x 12-inch rectangle shape. Cut rectangle lengthwise into 3 equal rectangle shapes.

Place a filling stick near a long side of each rectangle and roll up from the filling side. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Place seam side down on baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between cookies. Brush with egg wash.

Bake until golden, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool. Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to two weeks.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


LINZER COOKIES

  • 1½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon hazelnut extract
  • 3 cups hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 4½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12 ounces raspberry, cherry or peach jam
  • Confectioners' sugar

Use mixer with paddle attachment to cream butter. Add sugar and continue beating. Add egg, lemon zest, vanilla and mix. Add nuts and mix. Add dry ingredients and mix to blend. Form into two disks, wrap and refrigerate.

Flour work surface. Roll out dough with floured rolling pin to 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out 2-inch disks with cutter. Using half the disks, cut out centers with a cutter in the shape of your choice. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Chill cut out dough.

Bake at 350 for about 10 - 12 minutes or until edges turn golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Heat jam and spread on solid disks. Glue on the lids by pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar then fill the holes with more jam if needed.

Note: Use ground almonds with peach or raspberry jam, hazelnuts with cherry. All combinations are delicious. See the resource list at the end of this section to find Linzer cookies cutters.

Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies.


MEXICAN WEDDING CAKE COOKIES

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped

Topping

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together in medium size bowl. Add flour and pecans, mix until combined.

Shape cookies into balls and refrigerate for one hour. Remove cookie balls from refrigerator and gently press between palms of hand to flatten top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until cookies are pale and golden on top. Remove from oven and cool on rack.

Mix powdered sugar and cinnamon together and lightly toss cooled, cookies with mixture to coat.

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