Santa Cookies and Chocolate Almond Truffles
Here are some more yummy treats to get you in the holiday spirit!
-Recipe courtesy of The Flour Pot Christmas Cookie Book: Creating Edible Works of Art for the Holidays by Margie and Abbey Greenberg (2009, Running Press), amazon.com
Margie and Abbey Greenberg are a mother-daughter team who have made a career out of decorating cookies at The Flour Pot cookie boutique in Pennsylvania. Here is a Santa Cookie recipe from their new book that is a perfect holiday project to do with the kids. Leave these cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve, and we’re sure they will bring a smile to jolly Saint Nick. Then, sit back and de-stress from holiday shopping with these Chocolate Almond Truffles.
Makes 3 to 4 dozen (3 1/2 inch) cookies
Ingredients for cookie dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
moon, heart, or other cookie cutters
Preparation for cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sift the flour and the baking powder together in a bowl. In an electric mixing bowl using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat another minute or so. Add the flour mixture in two batches and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
2. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper. Using your hands, knead the dough for about a minute. Place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least an hour to make it easier to handle when you begin to roll it out. If you must, you can roll cookies immediately without refrigeration.
3. Roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Roll on parchment paper so there is no need for extra flour. Using cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place somewhat close together on a baking tray (these cookies do not really spread while baking).
4. Bake for 8 minutes or until the cookies begin to take on a golden brown color. They will continue to cook when removed from the oven, so don’t let them get too brown before taking them out. These cookies freeze well, but don’t freeze cookies after they are decorated. Pop them back in the oven for a minute or two for a just-baked taste.
Ingredients for cookie decorations:
fondant rolling pin
moon, heart, or other cookie cutters
pastry bag with #2 tip
red royal icing
pastry bag with #18 star tip
white royal icing
white sanding sugar
black royal icing
red M&M candies
Preparation for cookie decoration:
1. Roll white fondant on parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the fondant with the moon or heart cookie cutter. Use the knife to separate the beard from the rest of each Santa. (Instead of straight across, cut on the diagonal so Santa’s beard is at an angle on his face). Set the beards aside.
2. With a paintbrush, dab corn syrup on each cookie, where Santa’s beard will go. Carefully place the fondant beards on the syrup layer, smoothing the edges with a dry finger.
3. Roll out the red fondant, and cut it using the moon or heart cookie cutter. Use the utility knife to cut away the caps. Set the caps aside. With a paintbrush, dab corn syrup on each cookie where the cap will rest. Attach each cap to a cookie.
4. With a #2 tip on your pastry bag, pipe a red royal icing outline on each cap and the mouth on the Santa Heart.
5. With a #18 tip on your pastry bag, pipe white royal icing stars as trim on each cap and beard. Pipe a pom-pom with the star tip. Pipe a curly moustache on Santa’s face. Sprinkle some white sanding sugar on the white royal icing.
6. Pipe one black icing dot for an eye. Add a red M&M candy to the Santa Heart for a nose. Let dry for at least one hour or until the icing is hardened.
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