Recipes: 2011 holiday cookie contest winner and finalists

  • Updated: December 8, 2011 - 9:41 AM
hide

Photo: Tom Wallace, DML - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview largerrr

SWEDISH ALMOND-CHOCOLATE MACAROONS

Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Note: This recipe, also known as Choklad Biskvier, must be prepared in advance. Pasteurized eggs are recommended for food safety reasons. Our 2011 winner is from Beth Jones of Owatonna, Minn.

For cookies:

• 2 (7-oz.) tubes almond paste, cut into small pieces

• 2 egg whites

• 1/2 c. granulated sugar

For filling:

• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

• 1 c. powdered sugar

• 2 tsp. vanilla extract

• 2 pasteurized egg yolks

• 4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

For chocolate coating:

• 10 to 12 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate

• 2 to 4 tsp. vegetable oil or melted butter

Directions

To prepare cookies: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat almond paste and egg whites until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small scoop, form dough into balls (or drop by heaping teaspoons) and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Moisten the flat bottom of a glass with water, dip into granulated sugar and carefully press prepared glass bottom into dough balls, flattening dough; repeat with remaining dough. Bake until lightly brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare filling: Line baking sheets with wax paper. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks and cocoa powder, and mix until smooth, (scraping down sides of bowl as necessary) about 2 minutes. Using a small knife, spread about 1 tablespoon filling on top of each cookie, making a rounded top. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To prepare chocolate coating: Break chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (or melted butter), adding more to reach desired consistency. Let mixture cool for a few minutes, then dip cookies into chocolate mixture, holding onto almond base. Return cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate until chocolate hardens, at least 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator and serve chilled.

ALMOND PALMIERS

Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. Palmiers (pronounced pahlm-YAYs) go by many other names, including elephant ears, palm leaves and French hearts. From Kay Lieberherr of St. Paul.

• 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1/4 c. powdered sugar, plus extra for garnish, optional

• 1 (7-oz.) tube almond paste, cut into small pieces

• 1 egg

• 1/2 tsp. almond extract

• 1/4 c. granulated sugar, divided

• 1 (17.3-oz.) pkg. puff pastry sheets (containing 2 sheets), refrigerated

Directions

In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and almond paste and mix until creamy, about 1 minute. Add egg and almond extract and mix until thoroughly incorporated.

Sprinkle work surface with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Carefully unfold 1 puff pastry sheet over sugar and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Using a rolling pin, roll puff pastry sheet into a 12-inch square. Divide almond paste mixture in half. Carefully spread half of almond paste mixture evenly over top of puff pastry sheet. Starting on both sides, roll opposite sides of puff pastry sheet, from the outer edge to the middle, with rolls meeting in the center. Firmly press together, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Repeat with second puff pastry sheet.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap puff pastry logs and trim off uneven ends. Cut palmiers into 1/4-inch slices and place, flat side down and 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.

LEMON-LIME CHRISTMAS TREES

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. From Joan Hause of Lake Elmo.

For cookies:

• 3 3/4 c. flour, plus extra for rolling dough

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 11/2 c. granulated sugar

• 2 eggs

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 2 tsp. lemon extract

• 1 tsp. yellow food coloring, optional

For icing:

• 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 2 c. powdered sugar

• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lime zest

• 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

• 1 tsp. green food coloring

• Decorative sugar, optional

<>Directions

To prepare cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and reserve. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 2 sticks butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon extract and yellow food coloring, if desired, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Form dough into two discs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut out trees and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, re-rolling and re-cutting dough until all is used. Bake until cookies are set but not hard, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare icing: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and 3 tablespoons butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar and mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lime zest, lime juice and food coloring and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Ice cookies, and decorate with colored sugar, if desired.

SNOWBALL CLIPPERS

Makes 4 to 6 dozen cookies.

Note: From Becky Varone of Chaska.

• 1/2 c. flour

• 1/4 tsp. baking powder

• 3/4 c. sugar

• 1/3 c. sour cream

• 2 tbsp. butter, melted

• 1 egg white, lightly beaten

• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

• 4 c. shredded coconut

• 1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips

• 4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder, and reserve. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, mix sugar, sour cream, butter and egg white until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

Add vanilla extract and coconut and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into 3/4 -inch balls (if dough is sticky, dampen your fingers with water) and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake just until coconut begins to brown, about 18 to 22 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Line baking sheets with wax paper. Dip bottoms of cooled cookies in melted chocolate and place cookies, chocolate-side down, on wax paper. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

CHOCOLATE-DRIZZLED CHURROS

Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.

Note: From Lance Swanson of North Branch, Minn. Swanson recommends Abuelita chocolate tablets, which are available at most Mexican supermarkets and specialty food shops. Semisweet chocolate can be substituted.

• 1/2 c. plus 2/3 c. sugar, divided

• 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided

• 2 1/2 c. flour

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 3 egg yolks, at room temperature

• 11/2 tsp. vanilla extract, preferably Mexican

• 3.15 oz. Mexican chocolate, chopped

• 1 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 11/2 teaspoon cinnamon and reserve. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and reserve.

In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2/3 cup sugar and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Transfer dough to a pastry bag (or cookie press) fitted with a star or ribbon die and pipe 3-inch long sticks, 1 inch apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until they are cool to the touch. Carefully dredge cookies in sugar-cinnamon mixture and return cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

In a double boiler over gently simmering water, melt chocolate and cream (or half-and-half), stirring occasionally until chocolate is melted and smooth (if using Mexican chocolate, mixture will be grainy). Transfer chocolate to a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (or a plastic sandwich bag with one corner removed with a small cut). Drizzle chocolate over each cookie. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close