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Food Network: 12 Days of Cookies

Posted December 2, 2008

The Food Network is celebrating the season with "12 Days of Cookies." Food Network stars share recipes, baking tips and the stories behind their favorite Hanukkah and Christmas cookies. Four of the 12 recipes are below ...

PARADISE MACAROONS

PARADISE MACAROONS
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Ingredients

2 (7 to 8 oz.) packages sweetened shredded coconut
2 oz. sweetened condensed milk
Pinch kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
5 ounces granulated sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ounce vegetable shortening
2 ounces finely chopped dry-roasted macadamia nuts

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut with the sweetened condensed milk, salt and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip whites until medium peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes.

Gently fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture. Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer the parchment with the macaroons to a cooling rack. Cool completely before topping.

Fill a 4-quart pot with enough water to come 2 inches up the side, set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the chocolate chips and shortening in a small metal or glass mixing bowl and set over the simmering pot. Stir occasionally until melted, then remove from the heat.

Dip the cooled cookies in the chocolate mixture, sprinkle with the chopped macadamia nuts and place on parchment paper to set, about 30 minutes.

Yield: Approximately 9 dozen cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

 

PISTACHIO LINZERTORTE WITH CHERRY JAM

PISTACHIO LINZERTORTE WITH CHERRY JAM
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Ingredients

¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 egg yolks
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 ½ cups ground roasted and salted pistachios
Cherry jam

Directions

In a large bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in egg yolks until combined.

In a small bowl, combine flour, nutmeg and cardamom. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until combined. Beat in ground pistachios. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter. Cut out centers of half the cookies with a 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Spread cherry jam evenly over flat sides of uncut cookies. Top with flat sides of cutout cookies. Return to baking sheets, and bake for 2 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.

Yield: About 40 sandwich cookies
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 hours
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

 

CANDY CANE COOKIES

CANDY CANE COOKIES
Recipe courtesy of The Neelys

Ingredients

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 drops red food coloring
3 drops green food coloring

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add egg and lemon juice and continue to mix. Add dry mixture incrementally to wet mixture until fully incorporated.

Divide dough into 2 separate bowls; add 3 drops red food coloring to 1 bowl and 3 drops green food coloring to the other. Stir until colors are prevalent throughout.

Roll both doughs out to about 1/6-inch thick on flour-dusted parchment paper. Trim edges with a butter knife or pizza cutter to make a solid rectangle. Divide each color dough into 10 even strips, twist and wrap green dough with red dough and form candy cane shapes.

Place twisted dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 6 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove, cool and enjoy!

Yield: 10 servings
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour
Ease of preparation: Intermediate

 

HAZELNUT TEA COOKIES

HAZELNUT TEA COOKIES
Recipe courtesy of Aida Mollenkamp

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flout
½ tsp. table salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for coating
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees F and arrange racks in upper and lower third.

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until aerated and evenly combined; set aside.

Put butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to mix until whipped and light, about 2 more minutes.

Add half of the nuts and mix until evenly incorporated and nuts are broken up, about 1 minute. Add flour and mix until well combined, about 1 minute. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in remaining nuts.

Shape dough into 1-tablespoon balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced at least 1 inch apart. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until underside of cookies are brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets.

Meanwhile, put some powdered sugar in a medium bowl. After 5 minutes, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar until just coated and tap off excess. Let cool completely and re-coat in powdered sugar, tapping off excess sugar, before serving.

Yield: 45 cookies
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

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