It's the most wonderful time of the year. Especially when cookies
are shared and exchanged with family & friends.
For the dough:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
For the nut filling*:
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
For the topping:
1 egg, beaten
1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a food processor (or mix with mixer); cream until thoroughly combined.
2. Add the flour and sugar, and pulse until combined.
3. Divide the dough in half and flatten. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
4. To make the filling: place the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins in the food processor, and pulse until combined.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°.
6. On a well-floured surface, roll out each half of the dough into an 8 - 9 inch circle. Sprinkle each circle with half of the sugar-nut mixture.
7. Cut each circle into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Starting at the wide end of each piece, roll it up toward the point. Place on a parchment lined (or greased) cookie sheet.
8. Mix the egg and milk together and brush on the cookies. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the cookies.
9. Place in oven and bake for 16 - 19 minutes, until golden brown.
For the fillings below, I always sprinkle a little granulated sugar/cinnamon mixture over the fruits and preserves.
The Ultimate Sugar Cookie --
These tender sugar cookies have a delicious buttery flavor with a hint of almond or lemon. For an extra festive touch, put a little food coloring in the dough.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1. In a medium bowl, sift or stir the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whip butter until creamy. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and almond-or-lemon extract until well combined.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
4. Divide the dough and form into two disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a cookie cutter. With a pastry brush, brush excess flour off of the cookie and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
6. If not icing the cookie, sprinkle with granulated sugar.
7. Bake at 350° for 7 - 8 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden on the bottom.
8. Place cookies on a cooling rack. Wait until they are completely cooled before icing.
9. Frost cookies and decorate as desired.
Ultimate Cookie Icing
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Blend with a mixer until creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 5 Tablespoons of cream. Mix until incorporated. If the icing is too thick and needs to be thinned, add an additional Tablespoon of cream (if too much cream is added, add a little more powdered sugar).
Chocolate Espresso Cookies --
Fill your cookie jar with these fudgy, crackle-topped cookies that are chock-full of chocolate, with a hint of coffee!
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place 1 cup of the semi-sweet chips, the unsweetened chocolate and the butter in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture melts. Take off of heat, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for 3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, whisk or stir together the ground coffee, flour, baking powder and salt.
5. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and blend until smooth.
6. Beat in the flour mixture until blended. Stir in the remaining cup of chocolate chips.
7. Drop batter onto prepared pan by heaping Tablespoons, about 2 inches apart.
8. Bake 1 sheet at a time, 8 - 10 minutes, until cookies are puffed and cracked on top.
9. Optional: When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar
Makes approximately 30 cookies
Cookie Exchange Party
Invite a group of friends over to nibble and exchange your way through a delicious day!
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