Holiday Sweet Treats

Th holiday season is a magical time for baking! Check out these, sweet fun recipes gathered by Camille Styles

Linzer Cookies via A Fox in the Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 240g of plain flour
  • 60g of ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 130g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of Vanilla extract
  • 75g approx of Raspberry Jam
  • 240g of Butter, softened
  • Icing sugar (to decorate)

Method

  1. In small bowl, combine flour, almonds, and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix only until incorporated. Divide dough onto 2 pieces; press into small disks, about 1 inch thick. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
  3. Preheat oven to 175°C. On a floured surface, roll out one disc of dough 1/8 inch thick (keep remaining dough chilled). Cut half of the dough using a round cutter (this will be the bottom cookie) With half of the cookies cut a smaller shape in the middle of the cookie (this will be the top cookie) Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheets. Dough scraps can be formed into a disk, chilled for at least 30 minutes and re-rolled. Always make sure dough is firm and chilled before cutting or else they will lose shape in the oven.
  4. Bake for 10-12 mins or until light golden brown. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes; remove from sheet and cool completely.
  5. Spread about a teaspoon of jam onto the bottom of the cookie and sandwich with a top cookie (one with centre cut out). Then finish off by dusting cookies with icing sugar.

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Meringues via Camille Styles

Makes about 4-5 dozen, depending on size

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites (about 4 ounces), at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Red gel food coloring
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Position the oven rack to the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat it to 250 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  2. Sift together 2 tablespoons of the superfine sugar, the confectioners’ sugar, and the flour into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whip attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Whip first on medium speed, gradually increasing the speed to high, until the egg whites reach soft peaks. Gradually rain in the remaining superfine sugar. Continue to whip until the meringue is glossy and holds a very stiff peak. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. With a large spatula, gently and carefully fold in the remaining sugar mixture by hand in three additions, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.
  5. On the inside of a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, use a long, thin paint brush to paint four or five long stripes of food coloring up the sides of the bag. Carefully transfer the meringue to the piping bag, aiming for the center of the bag as much as possible to avoid smudging the stripes. Pipe out the meringue into cookies about 1 1/2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Place both sheets into the oven at once, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 200 degrees. Bake until the cookies are completely firm and dry, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips on a double boiler or in the microwave on high power in 30 second intervals until smooth, stirring after each interval. Dip the bottoms of the cookies in the melted chocolate and place them on parchment-lined baking sheets. when the chocolate has cooled and set (the refrigerator can speed up this process considerably), remove the cookies from the sheets and store in airtight containers at cool room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Honey Spice Gingerbread Cookies via Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and parchment
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • Royal Icing
  • Fine sanding sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and spices in a largebowl. Beat together butter and granulated sugar with a mixeruntil pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then honey andmolasses. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add flour mixture until well combined. Divide dough into thirds, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm but still pliable, about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with a third of dough at a time, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on generously floured parchment. Brush off excess flour, transfer dough on parchment to a baking sheet, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, rerolling scraps as needed. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until edges turn golden, about 15 minutes, rotating once and firmly rapping baking sheet halfway through baking to flatten any bubbles in cookies. Let cookies cool completely on baking sheets set on wire racks.
  3. Place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (Ateco #0, 1, or 2). Pipe outlines and details on cookies. Immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar, and tap off excess. Let set completely, uncovered, at room temperature, at least 4 hours or (ideally) overnight.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies via Gimme Some Oven

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE COOKIES:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 1 (8 oz.) bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted in the microwave or double-boiler
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted in the microwave or double-boiler

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt until well-blended. Set aside.
  3. Using an an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating in between to incorporate. Then reduce the speed to low, and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating until well-combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries, and mix until just-combined. (Do not overmix.)
  4. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Then place dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls onto a baking sheet that has been prepared with parchment paper, at least 2.5-inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Remove pan, and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until cool. Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are baked. Wait until cookies reach room temperature before adding frosting and toppings.

TO MAKE THE FROSTING:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and melted white chocolate until combined. (**Be sure that your cream cheese REALLY is at room temperature before adding the white chocolate. Otherwise the chocolate could seize up.) Add in the vanilla and mix until combined. Then reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated. Then use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat once more for 1 minute on medium speed until the frosting is smooth. You can add more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting.
  2. Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies. Then immediately sprinkle the frosted cookies with the chopped dried cranberries. And use a fork to drizzle on the frosting, swishing it back and forth over the cookies.