Thursday, December 27, 2012

Colorful Christmas Cookies


Pistachio Cherry Cookies

These cookies are unique in flavor and add a pop of color to your Christmas cookie tray!

Ingredients

(makes about 30 cookies)

1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 3.4 oz package Pistachio Pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (Note: the dough will be VERY stiff kind of like play-doh)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped pistachios
Optional: Substitute out 1/2 cup of chocolate chips for 1/2 cup of chopped pistachio nuts.

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla and almond.

3.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, dry pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and combine.

4.Stir in the chopped dried cherries and pistachios until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter. The dough will be VERY stiff.

5.Using a 1 tablespoon sized cookie scoop shape the cookies and place them on a greased cookies sheet. Using the flattened bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass (sprayed with non-stick spray) gently press the cookies to flatten them slightly.

6.Bake for 12-14 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to settle on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.



Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

These cookies give a little twist to your run of the mill shortbread. Just dip them in chocolate and roll them in whatever topping you please!


Ingredients

(makes about 2 dozen cookies)

10 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract(optional)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 teaspoons shortening
*topping of your choice (I chose nuts, coconut, rainbow sprinkles and Christmas sprinkles)

Directions

*A food processor makes mixing quick and easy but if you don't have one that's okay too!

1.Preheat oven to 350

2.Beat butter with flour, cornstarch, sugar, ground almonds, vanilla, and almond extract, if using. When dough begins to clump together, take it up and shape into a cylinder. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Pinch and press each portion into a 12- to 14-inch rope, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in diameter. Gently roll on a smooth surface to smooth out wrinkles and cracks. Cut each rope into 2-inch lengths and place on lightly greased baking sheets.

3.Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until just golden on bottoms. Cool on wire racks.

4.In a double boiler over hot water, combine semisweet chocolate chips with the shortening. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and well blended. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, then dip into topping. Place on wire rack over waxed paper for drips. Let cool until chocolate is set.



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