On our table: Christmas cookies

Cookie Recipes from Four Great Local Bakeries for a Sweet Holiday Season


Whether you’re baking for Santa or for your neighbors, friends, family, or yourself, making cookies can be a great way to relax, get creative in the kitchen, honor family traditions, and spread overall holiday cheer.

We’ve asked four great local bakeries to provide a favorite Christmas cookie recipe, which we share on the following pages. Read on for recipes and inspiration from the Bluegrass Baking Company, Midway Bakery, Olive’s Apron, and Futile Bakery.

A special thanks to the High Street design and gift shop, For Friends, for providing the venue and beautiful holiday serving items for the shoot. All serving and entertaining items pictured are available for purchase in the store.

Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe by Bluegrass Bakery Company

Cookies:

• ½ cup butter, room temperature

• ¾ cup brown sugar, packed

• 1 large egg, room temperature

• 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 1 teaspoon of allspice

• 1 tablespoon of garam masala

• ½ teaspoon of salt

• 3 tablespoons of molasses

• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ice formation:

• 1 cup of powdered sugar

• 1 tablespoon of milk

• A pinch of cardamom

• Zest of half an orange

Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, garam masala, and allspice. Set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and paddle to check for any unmixed butter. Slowly add the egg, molasses, and vanilla. Mix to combine and add the dry ingredients.

Mix on low until just combined, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice. Chill the dough covered for at least one hour.

Heat oven to 350 F.

Measure out 1-ounce scoops and gently roll the cookie dough into balls. Place two inches apart on a lined baking sheet.

Bake for 8-11 minutes, depending on your preferences. Cool completely before icing.

For the frosting: Mix all ingredients together, adding more milk/powdered sugar as needed, until thick but pourable. Drizzle or spread over cooled cookies.

The recipe yields about a dozen cookies.

Jam Cake Linzer Biscuits

Recipe by futile bakery

• 1 cup butter, softened

• 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar

• 1 egg

• 2 teaspoons of vanilla

• 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour

• 2 teaspoons of baking powder

• 1 teaspoon of baking soda

• 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon

• ½ teaspoon of cloves

• ½ teaspoon allspice

• ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

• ½ teaspoon of salt

• icing sugar, for sprinkling

• Store-bought blackberry jam, stirred to loosen

Heat oven to 350 F.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg followed by the vanilla and mix for one minute to combine, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

While mixing on low speed, add the flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Remove the dough and place it on a large piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a rectangle, wrap and chill in the fridge. It can be prepared a few days in advance. The dough should rest for at least 20-30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until very thin, about a quarter-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Use a small round cutter, vanilla bottle cap, or other tool to score a circle in the center of the cookie half. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until dry and just beginning to brown around the edges. Let cool completely before continuing.

Assembly:

Separate the “bottom” cookies from the “top” cookies (the top cookies have the hole).

Using confectioners’ sugar (about a half cup to start) in a strainer, dust the top cookies with an even coating of sugar.

Stir the blackberry jam to loosen it. Place the jam in a piping bag or plastic bag. Put blackberry jam on the bottom cookie and add the top cookie to complete the sandwich.

The recipe yields about two dozen cookies.

Vanilla and Blueberry Shortbread Cookies

Recipe provided by Halfway Bakery / Holly Hill Restaurant Group

• ¼ pound butter, at room temperature

• ½ cups of powdered sugar

• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

• ¼ teaspoon of salt

• 1 cup of all-purpose flour

• ¼ cup dried cranberries

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together with an electric mixer until smooth.

With the mixer on low speed, fold in the flour, just until a smooth dough forms.

Add the blueberries by hand.

Using floured hands and a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough into a log.

Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough is firm.

When ready to bake, unwrap the dough and slice a quarter-inch thick. If the dough falls apart, let it come to room temperature for a few moments. Place dough rounds 1-inch apart on a nonstick baking sheet.

Bake in a hot 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Cool for 4 minutes on the sheet, remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

The recipe yields around 24-26 cookies.

Triple Chocolate Mint Cookies

Recipe provided by olive apron

• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, slightly softened

• 1 cup of brown sugar

• 1 cup of granulated sugar

• 2 eggs

• 1 egg yolk

• ½ cup dark cocoa powder*

• 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

• 3 tablespoons of cornstarch

• ¾ teaspoon of baking soda

• ½ teaspoon of salt

• ½ teaspoon mint extract

• 1 ½ cups of chocolate chips

• Wafers to melt white chocolate or almond bark

• Crushed mints, to decorate

*Dark cocoa powder adds a darker color and more intense flavor.

If you can’t find it, regular cocoa powder will work just fine.

Heat oven to 375 F. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides and add the eggs, extra yolk and mint extract and beat for 2-3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment and scoop out the dough in 4 tablespoon portions. Top with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Freeze the dough for about 15 minutes.

Bake at 375 F for 10-12 minutes – you want the edges to be set, but the center will still be a bit soft. Cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, melt the almond bark or wafers according to package directions. Dip half of the cookie into the white chocolate and immediately sprinkle with crushed mint. Place back on the parchment until the chocolate is set.

The recipe makes approximately 12 large cookies.

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