|Christmas Cookies 2012*|
No one's hangin' stockin's up,
No one's bakin' pie,
No one's lookin' up to see
A new star in the sky.
No one's talkin' brotherhood,
No one's givin' gifts,
An no one loves a Christmas tree
On March the twenty-fifth." (1)
The first Christmas Dan spent at our house, he arrived with a tin full of Christmas cookies his Grandmother had sent him. I well remember the Candy Cane Cookies. Last Christmas Alex and Dan decided they would try to make some. Instead of red food coloring, as called for in the recipe, they made their own red coloring with beets. They could not find naturally colored candy canes in our local market, but I later noticed some red and green candy canes in Whole Foods Market that were colored only with vegetable dyes. Next time....
This recicpe is adapted from Joy of Baking.com which includes a video. Minutes 11:23 to 16:00 of this video, which demonstrate how to roll and form the cookie are particularly useful. This recipe makes about 30 cookies.
Alex and Dan washed and cut into 6 - 8 pieces
1 red beet
They then boiled it in water until the beet was soft, pureed it in a food processor and strained the juice.
Other techniques I have since found include (1 ) Puree a raw red beet in a food processor. Strain the resulting pulp through cheese cloth, then use the strained liquid for coloring and the remaining beet for other uses. (2) Placing three washed large red beets, cut into bite size-chunks, in a small saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until beets are tender and only a couple of tablespoons of water remain. Reserve the water to use as food coloring and save the beets for salad.
CRUSH THE CANDY CANE(S)
Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, parchment paper, or clear plastic wrap on a cutting board, place
1 - 2 candy canes
Using a metal or wooden meat mallet/tenderiser, break the candy canes into small pieces.
MAKE THE COOKIES
In the bowl of your electric mixer (hand mixer, food processor) beat until creamy:
1 c (227g/16 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c (120g/4.2 oz) confectioners sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 t pure vanilla extract
1/2 t pure almond extract
Add gradually, slowing down mixer as needed to keep flour from flying out of the bowl, and beat into a smooth dough:
2 1/2 c (325 g/11.46 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and divide into two equal parts, using scales if available. Return half of the dough to the mixing bowl and add, beating on low speed until well blended:
Cookies will be pink not red and color will fade a bit with cooking, so color accordingly.
Do not over bake. While cookies are baking, start a second sheet of candy canes. Remove cookies from oven and while still warm sprinkle/roll in:
Crushed candy cane
Cover and store in an airtight container for about a week. These cookies can be frozen.
*Christmas Cookies 2012
Awesome Oatmeal Cookies
On tray from upper left hand corner, clockwise:
Molasses Cookies/Ginger Snaps
Mexican Chocolate Meringues
Candy Cane Cookies