The Chicago Tribune’s three profitable cookie recipes for the thirty sixth annual Vacation Cookie Contest provide a great number of cookies for spreading cheer this season
Beneath, discover the recipes for the first-place winner, Chocolate Salted-Caramel Shock Cookies, and the 2 runners-up, Marbled Pistachio Almond Cookies and Adorned Snickerdoodle Sugar Cookies.
Chocolate Salted-Caramel Shock Cookies
Caroline Crispino, Chicago: My Chocolate Salted-Caramel Shock Cookies are at all times a fan favourite at Christmas events — and even at occasions year-round. The key to the cookie is a favourite childhood sweet that is hidden inside. What makes them particular? They’re simple and appear far more difficult than they’re. The one trick is to maintain Rolos available for whenever you need to make them. Serve heat and even with a little bit of ice cream for a particular dessert and watch them disappear. Take pleasure in!
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus half-hour to relax
Bake time: 9 minutes
Yield: 44-50 cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
50 Rolos, wrapping eliminated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Kosher salt or flaky Maldron salt to complete on the finish
Warmth oven to 375 levels F. Line a baking sheet with pan liner or parchment paper.
Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs in a bowl. Combine till blended effectively.
Add all dry substances individually. Combine effectively. Then add to moist substances. Combine effectively.
Cowl bowl, or take away dough and wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 25-40 minutes.
Take away dough and kind golf-ball-size spheres, about 1 tablespoon every.
Press unwrapped Rolo into the middle of 1 ball, and you’ll want to cowl the Rolo by the dough.
Repeat for the remainder of the dough balls. (Simply barely cowl the Rolo with dough, with out extreme dough across the sweet.)
Roll dough balls (with embedded Rolo) by means of sugar unfold out on a plate to coat. Place on baking sheet, and press every ball with the underside of a mug, measuring cup or Mason jar to flatten barely on the heart.
Sprinkle with kosher or Maldron salt within the heart on the flattened a part of the cookie.
Bake for 9-10 minutes. (If you happen to desire tender and gooey, examine after 8 minutes to see how they appear.)
Cool on cooling rack for a couple of minutes then watch the caramel ooze out of the middle and revel in. For additional vacation oomph, roll edges in sugar as soon as extra for a snow-like dusting.
Marbled Pistachio Almond Cookies
Andrew Yohanan, DeKalb, Illinois: Ring within the vacation season with these delightfully buttery and oh-so-nutty cookies. Their luxurious pistachio and almond taste is so irresistible, there will not be any left by the point Santa comes down the chimney. Pair these crisp but tender treats with a spiced tea or your morning espresso. Sure, that is proper — cookies are an appropriate breakfast as soon as December rolls round. Maybe the most effective a part of this sliced cookie is simply how simple it’s to make, because the ornament is baked in.
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus at the very least two hours of chilling (or in a single day)
Bake time: 13-Quarter-hour
Yield: 24 cookies
13 tablespoons (3/4 cup plus one tablespoon) unsalted butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups almond flour, toasted (see observe)
3/4 cup floor, frivolously salted or unsalted pistachios
3 drops inexperienced meals coloring
3 tablespoons crimson sanding sugar (extra if wanted)
Cream collectively room-temperature butter with powdered sugar. As soon as mixed, beat within the egg yolks and each extracts. Proceed beating the substances till combination is mild and fluffy.
Add within the salt and flour, and blend till simply mixed.
Take away 1/3 of the dough, and set in a medium bowl. Add within the pistachios and meals coloring to the smaller portion of dough, and stir till it’s a uniform shade.
With the remaining 2/3 of the dough, work within the almond flour till you’ve gotten a uniform texture.
Unfold out the almond dough on a frivolously floured floor and unfold out till it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Add dollops of the pistachio combination over half of the almond dough. Fold over the almond dough with out the pistachio dough on prime of the opposite half. Flatten out the dough, and fold it as soon as extra. Flip the dough 90 levels, flatten it out and fold it over as soon as extra. Watch out to not over-roll or the marbling will grow to be too homogenous.
Type a log with the dough, and press it into an 8-inch by 4-inch rectangular loaf pan that has been lined with plastic wrap. Let dough chill for at the very least 2 hours, however ideally in a single day.
Take away dough from the fridge, take off the plastic wrap, and sprinkle all sides of the sanding sugar. Slice crosswise 1/4-inch-thick slices from brick of dough.
Place the sliced dough on a pan ready with parchment paper, and stick it within the freezer for Quarter-hour.
Warmth the oven to 350 levels F. Bake for 13-Quarter-hour till ever so frivolously golden on the sides. Enable cookies to chill, then serve.
Word: Do not use almond meal instead of almond flour, as it’s going to muddy the coloring. To toast almond flour, unfold evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 350 levels for 8-10 minutes or till aromatic and simply beginning to frivolously brown. Toss on the 5-minute mark with a spatula for extra even toasting. If marbling sample is not working, attempt flattening pistachio dough right into a flat disc and laying on prime of almond dough, then rolling each into a good log for a swirled sample.
Adorned Snickerdoodle Sugar Cookies
Christine Mayer, Evanston, Illinois: These cookies are a buttery, cinnamon-y deal with. Yearly, I bake adorned sugar cookies for my household for the vacations, and these have been a favourite — not just for the good style, but additionally as a result of the snow-dusted timber evoke a comfortable feeling of vacation cheer.
Prep time: 2 3/4 hours, plus at the very least one hour of chilling. Icing might be made the evening earlier than.
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Adorning time: 2 1/2 hours
Yield: 96 cookies
For the dough:
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter
2 massive eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
6 tablespoons meringue powder
2 kilos powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup heat water
Gel meals coloring
Sift collectively flour, cinnamon and salt, and put aside.
Cream collectively sugar and butter on low to medium velocity. Combine till totally included.
Add eggs separately, and blend slowly. Add vanilla extract, and stir briefly.
Add the flour combination to the bowl one cup at a time till dough clumps collectively. Dough will probably be sticky; add extra flour as wanted if too sticky to deal with.
Divide dough in half and, working one half at a time, roll out to three/8-inch between 2 items of parchment paper. Place in fridge for 1 hour.
Minimize out cookie shapes, and place on baking sheet. Reroll scraps, inserting in fridge as wanted to agency up earlier than chopping out shapes.
Warmth oven to 350 levels F. Whereas oven heats, put cutout cookies trays again in fridge for 10 minutes to relax to assist maintain form if wanted.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or till edges grow to be golden brown.
Cool cookies fully earlier than adorning with royal icing (recipe under).
For royal icing:
Mix all substances besides meals coloring in massive mixing bowl.
Beat substances collectively utilizing electrical or stand mixer. Begin slowly and improve velocity to excessive till stiff peaks kind.
Separate into batches for nonetheless many colours you’re utilizing on your design, and add meals coloring.
Use extra water to skinny icing to desired consistency. Flood icing, the thinnest consistency, ought to dissolve again into itself inside 10 seconds when a spoonful is dropped into the bowl; stiffer icing for particulars needs to be like cream cheese — tender sufficient to pipe however stiff sufficient to carry its form.
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