Category Archives: Holiday Desserts

Hot Cocoa Charcuterie Board

(Click on all photos to enlarge)

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a very pleasant, peaceful and safe New Year’s Eve celebration to bring in 2021 …….

Bob and I usually have a formal dinner for New Year’s Eve (just the two of us lately), followed with appetizers, desserts and champagne at midnight.

Gone are the days that we used to go to catering halls or restaurants with friends and family for large gatherings. I always felt rushed with the catering halls and just my luck it was always the coldest night of the year (for me anyway).

I was never a big fan of going out for the occasion and always preferred staying home.

When I was a child, my mother and grandmother made stuffed shells for dinner with sausage and peppers and then at midnight after our champagne toast and hugs and kisses, we ran outside with pots, pans and wooden spoons making as much noise as we could (we were fortunate that this was a neighborhood participation event and no one got upset from the commotion).

Once we came in, my mother always had more food on the table and this time it was appetizers and rice balls and a tray of cookies and pastries. It felt as if we ate for an entire day and then we had the lentils to look forward to on New Years Day for Good Luck.

This year we just had the sausage and peppers for dinner,

skipped the appetizers and I decided to do something a little different for dessert this year.

Bob and I received so many gift baskets this year from friends and family that couldn’t be with us to celebrate the holidays. You have to see the amount of cookies, candy, fruits and cake we have in this house! Not diet friendly…

So I decided to make a dessert/hot cocoa charcuterie board this year, omitting the appetizers and grazing on goodies for at least one more night before we get on the scale January 1st for the dreaded holiday weight gain realization.

Let’s put that thought aside for now…..

Thinking about the dessert board or “dessert charcuterie platter”, I have noticed that one of the trends that took off this Holiday Season was the hot cocoa bombs and I thought it would be fun to include them.

Obviously, I wasn’t leaving the house to go to a bakery to shop for cocoa bombs so I ordered a mold and decided to make them myself to add to the dessert tray since I already had all the ingredients in the house.

(In a future post I will show you step by step instructions. I have to upload my photos for the cocoa bombs).

So, here we go…… I started out with the largest wooden cutting board that I had and and a wooden tray, then gathered all my ingredients on one counter and transferred items to the board as I started to unpack the goodies.

There really isn’t any set instructions for setting this up, just wing it and go with the flow. And add whatever makes you happy.

I still have so many more treats and fruit, enough for another board. I will have to start freezing the cakes and cookies today.

I included various items from the gift baskets from Harry & David and local-LIBred and a few pantry staples…..

  • Mini marshmallows
  • Regular marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Non- Pareils
  • Apple chips
  • Candy canes
  • Starlight mints
  • Caramels
  • Andes peppermint crunch mints
  • Coconut roasted almonds
  • Cinnamon roasted pecans
  • Red velvet cookies
  • Mini- powered donuts
  • Chocolate cherries
  • Malted milk balls
  • Chocolate hazelnut pirouettes
  • Moose Munch popcorn
  • Oatmeal coconut cookies
  • Novelty solid Santa chocolates
  • Raspberry filled galette cookies
  • Assorted chocolate truffles
  • Candy cane tootsie pops
  • Ferrero Rocher
  • Hot cocoa bombs
  • Assorted flavored hot chocolate mixes

For my décor, remember – “Shop your house first before you run out and buy new items”. Many items in your home can be repurposed so you don’t have to purchase new items.

I used a Hot Chocolate Bar sign that I picked up as part of a fundraiser from a local store along with some of the premade “item description signs”.

I took the gold tree off of my dining room table Holiday centerpiece (it is part of a trio of trees) and works perfectly on the dining room table because it is a great height for entertaining.

You can still have a conversation with guests without it being in the way and you never lose the Holiday elegance.

The old fashioned Santa figurine holding the tree is one of my favorite pieces. My parents bought him for me years ago and every year he usually sits on the entryway table and is part of my Christmas Card display. Love him.

The “ugly sweater” napkins I purchased from Party City for the holidays. I usually use cloth napkins for everything and never use paper napkins but these were too cute to pass up.

On to my “snowmen” mugs with lids. Part of a set of four that I very rarely have the opportunity to use but cherish none the less because they were a gift from a student I had when I taught religious education at our church. Just looking at them brings a smile to my face remembering that student. I had some great memories from those special days.

The ramekins are by CMG -(made in Portugal) that I picked up a few years ago in Homegoods originally for holiday crème brulee. I love the design.

And my special little “hot cocoa” ornament purchased last year in Macy’s. If I ever start a mini Christmas tree with food ornaments in the kitchen, at least I have one ornament already.

I added a flashing jingle bell necklace to the tray (purchased from Hallmark) to add a few pops of sparkle and then accented the board with rosemary sprigs because it was too cold for me to go outside and start cutting the pine tree branches.

And there you have it, my first hot cocoa charcuterie board.

I hope I gave you some inspiration for your very own board in the future.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

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Rainbow Cookies

Hi Everyone,

This is the 12th Day of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature the Rainbow Cookie or 7-Layer Cookie

This cookie is one of my all time favorite all year long,   It’s a time consuming cookie to make but so worth it once you take your first bite.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Rainbow Cookies

Equipment needed – three quarter sheet pans (9 X 13).

Nonstick cooking spray

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

One 8-ounce can almond paste (NOT marzipan)

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and divided

4 eggs separated

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

½ tsp kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon red food coloring (gel or paste preferred) 

1 teaspoon green food coloring (gel or paste preferred) 

One 15 oz jar smooth (not chunky) apricot jam

One 15 oz jar smooth seedless raspberry jam

1 ½ lbs. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions:

 Preheat the oven to 350° and grease three 9-by-13-inch quarter sheet pans with cooking spray and flour, then line each with parchment.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, almond paste and 1 stick of the butter.

Mix until smooth and lump free, being sure to break down the almond paste as best you can. Add the remaining 2 sticks of butter and continue to mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Gradually add the egg yolks, followed by the milk and almond extract. Mix until combined. Add the flour and slowly mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once the flour is combined, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff, fluffy peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture to form a smooth batter.

Then divide the batter equally between 3 bowls (approx. 1 ½ cups of batter in each).

Stir the red food coloring into the first bowl of batter until evenly pink colored, then stir the green color into the second bowl of batter until evenly green colored, leaving the third bowl untouched. Keeping the batters separate, evenly spread them into the greased and parchment-lined quarter sheet pans (9 X 13), and bake, rotating halfway through, until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, let the cakes cool completely on wire racks, then remove from the pans.

Once cooled, trim each of the layers to even out the thickness of the cakes. Put the green cake layer, cut side up, into one of the lined pans. Spread 1 jar of raspberry jam over the cake, almost all the way to the edges. Place the undyed layer, making sure the parchment is discarded, directly on top, sandwiching the jam. Repeat this step by spreading the remaining apricot jam on top of the undyed layer and placing the pink layer directly on top of it, discarding the parchment.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and top with another sheet pan. Weigh down the layers with heavy plates or cans, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler

Remove the weights and plastic wrap, and place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Spread half of the melted chocolate over the top and sides of the cake and refrigerate until set, 30 minutes. Once solid, flip the cake onto a cutting board, discarding the bottom layer of parchment, and spread the remaining melted chocolate in an even layer over the surface. Return to the refrigerator and chill until set, 30 minutes.

Once set, trim the cake into a 7½-by-10½-inch rectangle. Using a serrated knife, cut the cake into 1½-inch squares, then serve.

(If while cutting through chocolate. And if it’s too hard. Dip knife in hot water and then cut. Wipe off any water before cutting, this will help knife cut through chocolate enabling you to have nice clean cutting lines)

Cook’s note: add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to chocolate to make it more pliable to cut.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Pistachio Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 11 of Christmas Cookies …

Today we feature Pistachio Cookies.

 I received this cookie recipe from my dear friend Michael Gottuso, he is an all around fabulous chef & baker.

As soon as my son tasted these cookies he told me that he wants this cookie every year. So this is our new tradition on the cookie tray.

I love pistachio anything so this cookie was made for me and I add some chopped roasted pistachios to the batter.

The flavored glaze takes it over the top. Some years I use white glaze and gold sprinkles or white glaze with red & green sprinkles but this time I went for an all red glaze.

No matter what color glaze, or sprinkles or flavoring you choose, these cookies are simply delicious and have become very popular (and easy).

(click on photo to enlarge)

PISTACHIO COOKIES 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1 large package instant pistachio pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour

Cooks Note: I add chopped roasted pistachios to the batter.

Directions:
Roll the dough in balls. Bake 350 degrees. 13 – 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Drizzle with melted white chocolate and sprinkle with crystals.

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp. milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

Step 1

In a medium bowl, stir milk into sugar. Add vanilla. Drizzle on your favorite dessert.

Step 2

May be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk or other flavored liquids.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Cannoli Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 10 of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature Cannoli Cookies

This is my NEW ALL TIME FAVORITE cookie, Cannoli Cookies. OMG! Made with ricotta, pistachios, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon and orange zest.

 If you like cannoli pastries then you will absolutely love this recipe. I copied it from Pinterest.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Cannoli Cookies, easy Italian Christmas cookies and fun twist on the Italian pastry! These one bowl cookies are full of flavor with ricotta cheese, chocolate chips, and pistachios and have a soft almost cake like texture!

Course Dessert

Cuisine American, Italian

Prep Time 15 minutes- Cook Time 11 minutes- Total Time 26 minutes

Yield 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 10-ounce bag mini chocolate chips divided
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs then ricotta cheese until well combined then mix in the vanilla extract, cinnamon, and fresh orange zest.
  2. Next, mix in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and the pistachios. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
  4. Using a medium cookie scoopor spoon, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie leaving about 2 inches between each cookie.
  5. Bake cookies at 375 degrees F for about 8-11 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool slightly then move to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. Microwave remaining chocolate chips on high in a small microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spoon melted chocolate into a small resealable bag, clip one corner slightly, then drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Let cool for chocolate to set.

Recipe Notes

SNAPPY TIPS: Some brands of chocolate chips melt better than others for drizzling. A semisweet (or dark) chocolate bar will also work well instead of chips for melting and drizzling. (These cookies do not need to be refrigerated after being baked. Store in an airtight bag or container like other cookies.)

SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Use your favorite baking chips and nuts instead of the mini chocolate chips and pistachios if you’d like.

MAKING SUBSTITUTIONS OR CHANGES TO THE RECIPE AND/OR INGREDIENTS CAN CHANGE THE RESULTS OF THE COOKIE.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Rum Balls

Hi Everyone,

Day # 9 of Christmas Cookies

Today we are featuring Rum Balls.

A great cookie tray addition.

I received this recipe from my friend, Eleanor Travis years ago and I make them faithfully every Christmas.

This is my go to recipe whenever I have to attend a “Cookie Swap” party for Christmas. It is a nice change from cookies and looks nice on cookie trays. There should be a warning label for children (it is very strong) and it makes your entire house smell like rum as soon as you lift the cover of the air tight container when you are ready to serve. 

Rum Balls

Best to make a few weeks in advance to “marinate” .

Ingredients:

5 Cups Nilla Wafers crushed (bread crumb consistency)

2 Cups finely chopped walnuts
2 Cups Chocolate chips, melted
1 Cup rum
6 Tbsp. light corn syrup
sugar for rolling

Directions:

Finely chop wafers & nuts, add to bowl.
In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the chips (stirring occasionally).  You can also use a double boiler.

Add corn syrup & rum. Mix well & add to the dry mix.

Roll into balls & roll in sugar. Let sit on parchment before packing in air tight container. Don’t let them sit out too long or the alcohol will evaporate.

Makes about 6 dozen, depending on size of balls.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Saltine Chocolate Brittle aka Christmas Crack

Hi Everyone,

Day # 8 of Christmas Cookies.

Today we feature Bob’s favorite addition to the Christmas Cookie Tray – Saltine Chocolate Brittle

Saltine Chocolate Brittle –  A recipe I found on Pinterest. Some people have written to me and said another name for this is Christmas Crack.

 It is so good. My husband became more than just the taste tester with this one and I finally had to make a second batch so I would have enough for all the trays.

(click on photo to enlarge)

Saltine Chocolate Brittle

Ingredients:

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1- 1/2 cups of chocolate chips
40 saltine crackers
1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts. Sprinkles…mini m and m’s or chopped candy canes…or anything -your choose.

Directions:

Line jelly roll pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray
lay crackers out to fit flat in tray.
Melt sugar and butter till foamy about 3 minutes
Pour over crackers and spread evenly to cover all crackers
Bake 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with chocolate chips and then let it soften and then spread to cover completely, while chocolate is still soft sprinkle nuts or candy canes or sprinkles of choice on top.
Let Cool… then refrigerate and when it gets hard -break in pieces and enjoy!!!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Pizzelle Cookies

HI Everyone,

Day # 7 of Christmas Cookies

Today we feature, The Pizzelle Cookie

I received a pizzelle maker as a gift for Christmas a few years ago and never used it, so I decided to try it. This is the easiest cookie to make. Now I am sorry I never tried it sooner.

I used the recipe that came with the instruction booklet and it was smooth sailing- although you might ruin a few in the beginning until you get the timing right. 

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Pizzelle Cookies

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

2 tsp. of vanilla extract

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled

½ tsp anise seed (optional)

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Melt butter and set aside. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add melted butter and vanilla. Beat until blended.  Sift together the ingredients, fold until just blended, add remaining flour and fold again until just incorporated.

Heat pizzella iron, place about 1 tbsp. of batter on grid just behind the center of the pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 30-40 seconds. Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.

CHOCOLATE PIZZELLE –

Using the basic recipe, omit the vanilla and anise flavors: add 3 tbsp. cocoa and 3 tbsp. sugar. Bake the same way with the iron.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Chocolate Nut Roll Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 6 of Christmas Cookies

Today I am featuring Chocolate Nut Roll Cookies

 Once again from my dear friend, Elise Feiner. She does it all. These are so good, trust me.

A combination of chewy and chocolate with walnuts added, just delicious. It tastes like a rolled up brownie.

(Click photo to enlarge)

Chocolate Nut Roll cookies

 Be careful not to over bake Dough

Ingredients:

2 sticks soft margarine or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Heat the chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk until melted, add chopped walnuts and remove from heat and cool. 
Mix the butter, cream cheese, flour and salt together. Divide dough in half and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Roll into large rectangle (approximately 10 x 14-inch). Spread half of filling and roll lengthwise into a jellyroll. Repeat. Place on a parchment lines baking sheet. Bake 350° for 20 minutes. Cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, and slice. 

These can be frozen.

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I hope the past few days with all the cookie recipes are giving you some new cookie ideas to add to your Holiday Cookie Trays … send photos in the comments. I would love to see your cookie trays.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Peppermint Fudge

Hi Everyone,

Day # 5 of Christmas Cookies

Today I am not featuring a cookie but a great addition to the cookie tray- Peppermint Fudge ….

This is always a requested addition to the Holiday cookie tray and this recipe was given to me by my dear friend, Elise Feiner who is an excellent chef and baker.

What can I say, there is no such thing as too much chocolate and you always need something peppermint for Christmas.

PS- Big “thank you” to my Cousin Frank DeVito for his handcrafted Christmas Tree board- he is so talented and I will treasure this gift always…

(click photo to enlarge)

Peppermint Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 1 ½ cups
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup candy cane crunch
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and marshmallows in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir frequently as the chocolate melts. Add the candy cane crunch and vanilla. Stir to combine
  • Remove from the heat
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch square pan or line with parchment.
  • Pour the fudge into the pan and spread with a spatula.
  • (optional- I decorated with additional candy cane pieces)
  • Chill in the refrigerator until firm
  • Slice into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Cook’s Note: This fudge can be made ahead of time and kept in the freezer for several months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to serve.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

Limoncello Ricotta Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Day # 4 of Christmas Cookies …

Today I am featuring, Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Cookies. 

I received this recipe from John Amato who is the admin for “Italian Desserts” website. This cookie is a keeper. Light and delicate with a hint of lemon.

This cookie recipe is dedicated to my dearest Cousin Dan who loves Limoncello as much as I do.

Click photo to enlarge

Limoncello-Glazed Ricotta Drops

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Yield: about 3 dozen. 

These ricotta cheese cookies bake up cake-like, light and moist. They’re always a favorite with adults because they’re not too sweet, and the limoncello adds plenty of lemony tang without any pronounced alcohol flavor. Try serving them with espresso as a light dessert after a heavy meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (Use a good Italian ricotta in the can sold in Uncle Giuseppe’s or Italian delis. Supermarket ricotta is too wet).
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Glaze:
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
  • Grated lemon zest (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until the mixture become light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta, vanilla extract, lemon extract, limoncello liqueur and lemon zest.

Add in the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Don’t over mix. Drop the dough using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until cookies appear set and edges turn a pale golden brown.

Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before glazing.

In small bowl, mix the confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon of the limoncello. Slowly add up to 1 more tablespoon of the liqueur until the glaze reaches a spreading consistency. You may need to add a drop of water. Spread the glaze on the cookies using a butter knife.

If desired, sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest while the glaze is still moist. Arrange in a single layer and allow the glaze to dry completely before covering. Store in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.