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The Christmas cookie-baking marathon has come to an end for 2022, and here is part C. Have a wonderful holiday and Happy Baking…..
This year I have included some of the traditional favorites along with adding some new cookies to the roster.
The majority of my Christmas Cookie recipes are in the files, so I will provide the link to the old cookies and supply the recipe for the new cookies for 2022.
So far I prepared the following…..
Lemon Ricotta Cookies- Without Eggs or Butter
This recipe caught my eye because it doesn’t have eggs or butter which intrigued me. Plus, I had some ricotta in the refrigerator that needed to be used so I gave it a try. The lemon glaze was outstanding and it’s a new addition to the cookie tray.
Recipe courtesy of Maria Vannelli RD
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- Zest one whole lemon
- 1 ¼ cups of AP flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup and 2 tbsp of ricotta
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/3 cup sanding sugar
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- 1-2 teaspoons of milk
- Use your fingertips to rub the sugar and the lemon zest together for a couple of minutes
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt
- Add the ricotta and the lemon juice. Begin combining the ingredients together with a rubber spatula, then use your hands to gently knead together for 1-2 minutes
- Cover and refrigerate for 60 minutes
- Preheat oven to 325 toward the end of the chill time and position the rack in the middle oven
- Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats
- Use a medium scoop (about 1 ½ inches) and divide the dough into 20 equal pieces (25 grams ea.) or portion out 1 tablespoon of cookie dough
- Place them on the parchment about 2 inches apart.
- Roll out each scoop of cookie dough between the palms of your hands and roll the tops in the sanding sugar
- Place on the parchment paper with the sprinkles facing upward
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned
- Allow cooling slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- Add the glaze and allow to set on a cooling rack
Italian Pistachio Cookies
This recipe brought back memories of a cookie my grandmother used to make and I had to give it a try. Very nice dense taste of pistachios and Bob loved this cookie.
Here is the recipe: Courtesy of mangiabenepasta.com
1-1/4 cups ( about 5 ounces ) finely ground pistachios, plus more for coating
1 cup confectioners’ sugar ( about 4.5 ounces )
1 egg white
1/2 cup almond flour ( 2 ounces )
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Knead into a dough ( it will be very sticky). Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350⁰ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place about 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar on a plate.
Form the dough into 2 rolls, about 1 inch in diameter and 10 inches long.
Cut into pieces about 1-1/2inches long or 9 pieces per roll. Roll each piece between the palms of your hands to smooth each cookie into a log and round the edges. Roll each piece in the confectioners’ sugar to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Press down on each cookie to flatten it slightly. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool.
Russian Tea Cakes aka Snowball Cookies
This recipe has been on and off my cookie tray for years and years. I haven’t included it in a few years so this year it is back on. Usually made with pecan halves, this year I had an abundance of walnuts and substituted them for the pecans- still very tasty. And a very easy cookie to make.
Here is the recipe: Courtesy of Sweet & Savory
- ▢½ cup (60g) pecan halves Note 1
- ▢1 stick (115g) unsalted butter at room temperature
- ▢¼ cup (30g) powdered sugar
- ▢1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ▢1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- ▢¼ teaspoon salt
- ▢1 cup powdered sugar for coating
Note: I test all my recipes with both measurements for the most precise and accurate result!
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large skillet, toast the pecans over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until nutty, stirring constantly. Coarsely chop them.
- In a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, whip the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. (Start on low speed gradually increasing to medium-high.)
- Add flour and salt. Mix until combined.
- Then stir in the chopped pecans.
- Using a small cookie scoop, form 1-inch dough balls and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are light golden brown around the edges and on the bottom.
- Place ½ cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm cookies and roll to coat. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Roll the cooled cookies again in the remaining powdered sugar and enjoy.
Colored “Stained Glass” Pizzelles
This recipe is on many Christmas trays every year and is one of my favorite cookies to bake. This year I decided to try a new recipe from Ciao Italia with colored sprinkles to give the pizzelle a stained glass look. I love the way they turned out and add a little sparkle to the cookie tray.
Here is the recipe: courtesy of Ciao Italia
- 3 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups multicolored sugar sprinkles
- In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Add the vanilla extract. On low speed, blend in the flour mixture a little at a time until well blended. The dough will be soft.
- Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
- (Note: You can make the dough in a food processor, combining the butter and sugar first, then eggs and vanilla, and last the flour mixture.)
- Heat a pizzelle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. If it is nonstick, spray it with a baking spray or lightly brush with vegetable oil.
- Pour the sugar sprinkles into a shallow dish. Using 2 teaspoons scoop up a spoonful of the dough, and using the spoon as a guide, roll the dough in the sugar sprinkles, coating it well. Place the dough in the center of the form; if you have a 2-form maker, or 4-form maker, roll the balls first before putting them on the form.
- Close the lid and latch it for a count to 30. Lift the lid and remove the pizzelle with the edge of a fork and place them on cooling racks in single layers to cool completely. For darker-colored pizzelle hold for a longer count. Continue making pizzelle until all the dough is used.
- The pizzelle should be thin and have a crisp texture. When completely cool, wrap them in groups of 6 in plastic wrap and place them in airtight containers. Pizzelle can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Variation: When just removed from the pizzelle form, the waffles can be rolled around cannoli forms, or pressed between two small custard cups to form shapes that can be filled with cream, custard, or fruit. Scoop softened ice cream between two pizzelle to make delicious ice-cream sandwiches.
This recipe was featured on Season 11 – Episode 1120.
This is my all-time favorite Christmas cookie. I had a little trouble this year with a different brand of jam and it was too runny; the taste is still the same but other than that it was a success. I usually use the brand “Bonne Maman” for the jam, and I am going back to that next year…
These layers of almond cake are stacked with apricot and raspberry jam and colored to represent the Italian Flag.
You will need three- 9 X 13 pans
Here is the recipe:
Recipe from Mary Carpino and Nicole Carpino Frasco… adapted by Margaux Laskey
- Nonstick cooking spray or neutral oil, for greasing the pans
- 2 cups/255 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1(8-ounce/227-gram) package pure almond paste (not pastry filling)
- 1½cups/340 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup/201 grams granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 1teaspoon almond extract
- Red and green food coloring, preferably gel
- 1(12-ounce/340-gram) jar apricot or raspberry preserves (not seedless) Cooks Note: I use a layer of apricot and a layer of raspberry).
- 8 ounces/227 grams semisweet or bittersweet bar chocolate
- Sprinkles, for finishing (optional)
Arrange 2 racks in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Make room in your refrigerator for 1 half-sheet pan. Grease 3 (13-by-9-inch) baking pans or quarter-sheet pans with cooking spray or a little oil, then line with parchment or wax paper. (This helps the paper stay in place.) Spray or oil the parchment.
Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with a hand mixer), or in a large bowl if using an electric hand mixer, break up the almond paste using a fork or your fingers. Add butter, sugar, egg yolks and almond extract. Using the paddle attachment, beat on high until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Turn off the mixer, add a third of the flour and salt, then beat on medium-low until just combined. Repeat with another third, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, and continue until all the flour is added and incorporated. Transfer batter to a large bowl. Rinse and dry the mixing bowl.
Add egg whites to the mixing bowl and beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, 30 to 45 seconds. Fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.
Remove one-third of the batter to one of the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the batter in the pan all the way to the edges. (This can get a little tricky, but have patience and take your time. The oil on the pan should help hold the paper in place, but if you’re having trouble, hold the paper in place with one hand while you spread with the other.) Remove another one-third of the batter to a medium bowl and add a couple drops of green food coloring. Stir until blended, and add more to reach your desired shade. Transfer green batter to a prepared pan and spread evenly. Add a couple drops of red food coloring to the remaining batter, stir to combine, add more as needed, then transfer to the last pan and spread evenly. Firmly tap each pan on the countertop to release air bubbles.
Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, rotating pans halfway through until the edges are barely browned, the tops are just set, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Immediately slide cakes from the pans onto racks using parchment paper. Cool completely.
Using the parchment paper, slide the green cake onto a half-sheet pan. In a small saucepan, heat preserves over medium until loose, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Spread half of the preserves over the green layer, going all the way to the edge. Carefully flip the uncolored layer on top (use a large offset spatula to help), and remove the parchment paper. Spread with the remaining preserves.
Top with the red layer and remove the parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place another rimmed baking sheet on top of the cookies. Transfer to the refrigerator, then top with heavy cans so the weight is evenly distributed. Refrigerate overnight.
Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second bursts. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate on the top and to the edges, then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Melt the remaining chocolate. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on a cutting board, then place on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the board. Spread the bottom with the remaining chocolate. Let cool for a few minutes, then use the tines of a fork to draw waves in the chocolate and add sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate until almost firm, but still slightly soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. (If you wait until the chocolate is fully set, the chocolate will crack when you cut.)
Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry, then trim the edges and save for snacking. Cut the cake into 1-inch squares, running the knife under hot water and drying between cuts. Return to the refrigerator to set completely. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container with wax paper between layers. Allow to come to room temperature a bit before serving.
Rosette Christmas Cookies
The rosette is a lightly deep-fried cookie and a Scandinavian tradition. My mom and grandmother did not make these for Christmas but I had an Aunt that did and she made different shapes every year on her cookie trays. The rose and star were my favorites so when I purchased my rosette irons I made sure I purchased those shapes first. Sprinkled with powdered sugar they are quite tasty, almost like a zeppole flavor. You have to be really fast preparing these because they easily burn.
Here is the recipe: Courtesy of Life on Misty Acres
- Frying Pan
- Rosette Iron
- Vegetable or Canola Oil is Enough to make a layer on the bottom of the pan- I made it 2 inches.
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Cup Flour
- In a saucepan pour 2 1/2 – 3 inches of oil and heat it up. You will want your oil to be around 350-370 degrees Fahrenheit (170 -190 Celsius). You don’t want the oil to be too hot.
- Beat the eggs, sugar, and salt. Add milk and flour. Beat until smooth. Set batter aside.
- Once your oil reaches the correct temperature you will then want to start to heat the iron. This is very important. Stick the iron in the oil and let it warm up for a few seconds. If the iron is not hot enough the batter will not stick to it and clumps up.
- Dip the iron into the batter (be careful not to let the batter go over the top of the iron or you will have trouble getting the rosette off of the iron). Once the batter is stuck to the iron then you will move it to the frying oil. This step only takes about 3 seconds. You want the rosette to be lightly browned.
- We use a butter knife to get the cookie off the iron and push it down with the iron to get it nice and brown. Sometimes we flip the cookie over to make it evenly brown.
- Once the rosettes are cool, you will then sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
- Time to eat them and share them with friends! These are best eaten on the day they were made. You can store them in a dry, slightly sealed container. My grandmother used to store them in clothing boxes. If you seal them too tight, they will go soggy.
It may take a few rosettes to get the hang of it. Heat is usually the issue.
A quick tip: It is better for the oil to be a little hotter and then burn a few rosettes rather than have the oil be too cool. Do not bring the oil to a full boil.
Please be safe and enjoy these beautiful cookies!
I hope you enjoyed these recipes for Christmas 2022!
If you try any of the cookie recipes, please let me know what you think, and have a safe, healthy, and blessed holiday from my family to yours…..
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!