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CHRISTMAS COOKIES!

CHRISTMAS COOKIE Recipes

Amy Boyett | Executive Chef at Southern Coffee Services

‘Tis the season for caring, sharing, and baking all the yummy things for everyone you know. The words “Christmas” and “cookies” belong together just as much as “morning” and “coffee” and we have quite a few recipes we’d like to share with you. Some of these recipes carry memories from childhood while others are more recent discoveries that just envelope the spirit of the season and we’re eager to pass them along so you can whip up a batch for you loved ones too!

I can (vaguely) recall my third or fourth Christmas decorating sugar cookies for the first time with my mother and younger brother. I think we used a more simple method of colored sugar and candy, but nevertheless, it was such fun and of course the best cookie I had ever had to date. Over the years my technique has strengthened a bit, but I still find the same joy that started in that country kitchen in Brandon, MS.

cupcakes

A spin on the southern classic - REcipes Below

Decorated Christmas cookies come in many shapes and flavors. In addition to the crowd pleasing sugar cookie we always like to make a batch (or five) of chocolate and gingerbreads every year. I’ve also recently adapted my sugar cookie recipe to include peppermint, and it might be the best thing since buddy the elf! Add some creative touches with your icing and sprinkles and you’ve got yourself a Christmas masterpiece!

A more recent addition to my Christmas cookie routine is espresso shortbread. My sister got married a couple of days before Christmas and for her wedding favor we made espresso shortbreads dipped in chocolate. We made far too many and were eating them for Christmas...and probably New Years too. But needless to say, they made an impression and the rest is history!

It’s sweet (pun intended) how a flavor or scent can make a memory come rushing back. Some of the very best cookies (and memories) didn’t involve sprinkles or decorative frosting. “Fig Cookies” (Cucidati) from my best friend’s Italian Momo, and wedding cookies from the neighbor’s excessive bake sessions come to mind. Post shopping Biscottis from the local coffee shop dates with my mom, Linzer cookies from nana’s not-so-hidden stash of neighbor’s gifts as well as her own batch of cowboy cookies she made for our visits. And the most decadent chocolate covered macaroon from the gift shop lady that adored me and let me choose a Christmas ornament from her store every year.

We love tradition and it’s a joy to share some of our own with you. We wish you and your’s many blessing as you celebrate this Christmas season.

HOW TO MAKE EM'

Sugar Cookies

• 1.5 Cup 10x sugar
• 1 Cup softened butter
• 1 egg
• 2.5 cup All Purpose Flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• (For peppermint option add up to 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to taste)

Cream butter and sugar together, and then add egg. Combine dries just until well mixed and allow dough to rest for 20-30 minutes on counter. Roll out on floured surface to cut, and then bake at 400 for 7-8 minutes.

Coffee Shortbread

• 1 Cup soft butter
• 2 Cup All Purpose flour
• 2/3 Cup 10x sugar
• 2 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 Cup fine ground coffee such as Heritage Roast from Southern Coffee Services.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, salt and coffee and mix well. Add flour 1/2 c at a time and mixing between additions. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 300, roll and slice dough and bake 20-25 minutes. Once cooled drizzle or dip in melted chocolate.

Gingerbreads

• 5 Cup All Purpose Flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 Tablespoon ginger
• 2 t cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon clove
• 1 Cup soft butter
• 1 Cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 Cup molasses

Sift dries into bowl and set aside. In bowl to standing mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and mix until combined. Add molasses and mix until combined. Gradually add in dries until dough forms. Divide dough into 3 disks and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or over night. When ready to roll out dough, preheat oven to 350. Roll and cut dough and bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 8-9 minutes.

Chocolate Roll Out

• 1 Cup soft butter
• 1/4 Cup shortening
• 1.5 Cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 2/3 Cup cocoa powder
• 3 Cups All Purpose flour

Cream fats and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add cocoa and mix slowly until well combined. Slowly add flour until well combined. Wrap tight and chill for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375 and then roll and cut out. Bake on parchment covered cookie sheet 7-10 minutes. Cool completely before decorating. **

Icing for decorating
• 4 c 10x sugar
• 4 T meringue powder
• 4 T water
Mix on low speed until combined and then turn up speed to whip a bit. If it’s too thick add water 1 teaspoon at a time. Until toothpaste consistency.

Coconut macaroon

• 4 egg whites
• 1/2 Cup sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 4 Cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment.  In a large bowl add whites, sugar, salt, and vanilla and beat until thick and frothy.  Add coconut to egg mixture mixing by hand until combined.
With a small cookie scoop, place portions about “ apart on sheet and bake roughy 25 minutes or until golden brown

Fig Cookies (Cucidati)

Dough
• 1/2 Cup unsalted soft butter
• 1/4 Cup sugar
• 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 3/4 AP flour

Filling
• 1 Cup dried diced figs stem removed
• 1/2 chopped pitted dates (raisins will work in absence of dates)
• 1/2 Cup orange juice
• 1/3 Cup candied orange peel
• 2 Tablespoon sugar
• Zest 1/2 lemon
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/3 Cup blanched almonds chopped fine
• 2 T Dark spiced rum

Beat butter on med high speed for 1 minute, add sugars and baking soda and mix until combined. Add egg, vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Scape sides of bowl down and mix again for a moment to assure all is combined well. Add flour in three doses and mix slowly until well formed. Divide in half and wrap in plastic. Place in cooler for several hours or over night.

For filling:
In a saucepan combine figs, dates, OJ, candied orange, sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest.Bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until fruit is soft and liquid has thickened. Remove from heat and add almonds and rum. Set aside to cool to room temp.

Preheat oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment. Remove dough from cooler and allow to rest 10-15 minutes. on a lightly floured surface roll one block of dough to 10x8” rectangle and cut into two 10x4 rectangles. Place 1/4 of filling along middle of each rectangle. Bring one side up and over, followed by second side forming a tube and slightly overlapping at top. Carefully transfer to prepared sheet, seam side down, and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and slice each strip immediately, using a thin sharp knife, into 1” pieces. Place on a rack to continue cooling.

Cowboy Cookies

• 3.5 Cups oats
• 2 Cup All Purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 Cup butter
• 3/4 Cup sugar
• 3/4 Cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 Cup milk chocolate
• 1 Cup dark chocolate
• 1 Cup chopped pecans (optional)
• 3/4 Cup coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment. Mix dries in medium bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and mix until well combined. Slowly add dries until just incorporated then add chocolate, nuts, and coconut and mix well. Scoop onto cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes.

Snowball/Mexican wedding cookies

• 1 Cup unsalted butter, softened slightly
• 5 Tablespoon granulated cane sugar
• 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
• 2 Cup AP flour
• 2 Cup finely chopped walnut
• 1.5 Cup 10x sugar, for dusting cookies twice

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour; beating after each addition. Stir in the nuts; mix until fully incorporated. Divide dough in half and refrigerate in plastic food wrap for approximately 45 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Place confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Measure dough using a small, 1-inch spring-loaded scoop making sure each scoopful is level. Roll dough between palms of hands to achieve a small rounded ball.

Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire racks for approximately 2 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets using a metal cookie spatula. While cookies are still warm, gently roll them in the confectioners’ sugar. Place the sugar-coated cookies on wire racks to cool completely.

Roll cookies once again in the confectioners’ sugar.

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

• 2 Cups flour
• 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 Cup sugar
• 1/2 Cup melted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 Cup pistachios
• 3/4 Cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 and line a rimless baking sheet with parchment. Sift first three ingredients into a bowl and set aside. in brown of a stand mixer add sugar and eggs and beat on medium speed until light in color and thick. Beat in melted butter, vanilla, and almond on low speed. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Stir in nuts and fruit by hand.

The dough will be soft and sticky. Scoop half of the dough onto half of the prepared baking sheet forming a log about 10” long and 3” wide, and then repeat with remaining dough to make a second log. With damp fingers you may gently smooth surface of logs before baking.

Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden on surface. Inside will still be soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300.

Transfer logs one at a time to cutting board and slice 1/2”-1” and return to baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until cookies are crisp.