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Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season Hardcover – September 5, 2017
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From the Publisher
Chocolate-Stenciled Shortbread Rounds
You need only a tiny amount of cocoa for dusting over the stencil on these small, pretty cookies, which makes dressing them up a delicate job. These shortbread rounds are so lovely, however, that your time and effort will be well spent. The stencil I used is of a small, intricate snowflake, but nearly any holiday-inspired shape will work just as long as it’s made from a firm material. For the sides, I use clear coarse decorating sugar, but you can use a colored sugar if you prefer.
Recipe - Makes about 36 cookies
Sift the flour into a bowl, then whisk in the salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated and the dough starts to come together. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk 3⁄4 to 1 inch thick, then wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Position two oven racks, evenly spaced, in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one dough disk about 1⁄4 inch thick. Using the cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible and carefully transfer them to a prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. Gather up the dough scraps, reroll them, cut out more cookies, and add them to the sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
Pour the decorating sugar onto a small flat plate. One at a time, gently roll the edge of each cookie in the sugar and return to the baking sheet.
One at a time, lay the stencil over a cookie and sift a light dusting of cocoa powder over the stencil. Lift the stencil straight up and move it to the next cookie. Repeat until all of the cookies are decorated.
Bake the cookies for 16 to 18 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden, switching the baking sheets between the racks about halfway through the baking time. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the racks and cool completely before serving.
1 3⁄4-inch round cookie cutter; 1 1⁄2-inch (or smaller) stencil in design of choice.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 cup coarse decorating sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder (see page 153)
About the Author
ELISABET DER NEDERLANDEN is a passionate professional baker and a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has worked as a food stylist and professional recipe developer/tester for commercial, advertising, and packaging projects. In addition, she has managed recipe testing and food styling for more than 30 cookbooks.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The aroma of baking that fills my home in December is unlike that of any other time of year and heightens my excitement for the approaching holidays. Thinking about what lies ahead conjures up memories of being a child, when early every moment of the holiday season seemed warm and festive.
I was born and brought up in Sweden, where my parents built a house next door to my grandmother’s home. The nearest town was six miles away, so my childhood was spent in the countryside. I learned to bake from a young age, and as a teenager I worked in a konditori (bakery) in that nearby small town. From the age of thirteen, children in Sweden can take two weeks every semester to do practical training at a local workplace, which is how I came to be at the Holgers Konditori. Opened in 1903, the bakery is located in the main square and is where everyone in town goes for special-occasion cakes, cookies, and buns. When I finished my training, Holgers offered me a summer job, and I worked there every summer. I loved every minute.
That love of baking extended into my home life, particularly around the holidays. Once autumn arrived, which brought fewer daylight hours, inside activities like baking became the norm. Come winter, nighttime fell early, and any opportunity to celebrate and decorate—especially with lights—helped brighten the darkest time of year. In Sweden, holiday celebrations start early and include many festivities, such as the Advent season, which begins on the fourth Sunday preceding Christmas. One of my favorite celebrations is St. Lucia Day, in which girls dressed in white lead a candlelight procession, and everyone in the group sings and pepparkakor, a gingery cookie with plenty of snap (you’ll find the recipe on page 88), is served. A lot of baking is done early in December, when breads, cakes, cookies, and confections are made and then stored for the upcoming celebrations. I remember eating many of these treats only during the holidays, so just making them would put you in the spirit of the season.
Top customer reviews
This book definitely did not let me down. So many yummy recipes and so little time. Even though this says holiday cookies you can bake these little awesome sweet treats any time of the year. Maybe even add different flavoring to some to make it more festive for any time of the year.
I am anxiously awaiting my paycheck so I can go buy ingredients to get started on at least 4 of these little bad boys. Will definitely be making plenty for the holidays and even give as little gift baskets. Nothing says the holidays like something baked with love!
Some of the recipes you’ll find include:
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Crunch Squares
3-D Christmas Trees
Gingerbread House (with included template)
At the end of the book the author has thoughtfully included a sources section that tells where you can buy various baking supplies.
Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley
Recipes for giant batches (think 28 to 80-count single cookies, yet a max quantity of 10-20 sandwich ones) of classic cookies, tradeables, those with a bit of spice, international recipes, candy/bark/fudge, and assembled treats. Der Nederlanden draws from her Swedish bakery apprenticeship and experience to illustrate the tradition and simplicity of baking, without the in-your-face, garish decorating that Americans are capable of during Christmas. My personal favorites are any kind of crumbly, buttery spritzes, malted milk chocolate chunk, apple cider caramels, jammy linzers, and Mexican wedding cookies.
All the measurements are given in cups and ounces and oven temperatures are in Fahrenheit these are not a problem since cup measures are readily available and it takes seconds to convert the oven temp but it is unusual to come across a recipe book that doesn't give the grams option.
There's some nice recipes here with lovely pictures plus some handy tips as well. It's well laid out and the recipes are easy to follow any unusual ingredients are explained in the back.
My favourite recipe from the ones I've tried.
Triple-chocolate chunk cookies
I tend to mess about with recipes using them more as guidelines, changing ingredients to suit my taste but when I'm reviewing a book like this I stick to the exact recipe in order to give a fair review.
I did pause with this recipe mainly because it included 1 tsp of instant powered espresso and my husband doesn't like coffee at all but in the end I stuck to the recipe coffee and all.
I make a lot of cookies and always use chocolate chips and chunks this recipe however required that I cut it myself which I did, kind of.
I placed all the chocolate in a strong sealable food bag and smashed it with a rolling pin this had the desired effect without chocolate flying everywhere and the cookies were so much better for the larger chunks of gooey chocolate.
The recipe works well and my husband loved them (I didn't mention the coffee)
My only issue was the cooking time it could be my oven but they cooked much quicker than I expected so keep an eye on them.
About This Book
Cookie Tips and Tricks
Packaging Tips and Tricks
VERY MERRY CLASSICS
Minty Spritz Cookies
Icebox Pinwheel Cookies
Black and Whites
Chocolate–Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich Cookies
Red Velvet Crackle Cookies
Triple-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate-Stenciled Shortbread Rounds
COOKIE EXCHANGE PARTY
Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies
Bejeweled Chocolate Cookies
Oatmeal Crisps with Chocolate
Almond Ricciarelli Cookies
Dark Chocolate Cookies with Caramel
Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies
WARM HOLIDAY SPICE
Molasses Spice Cookies
Thumbprints with Spicy Plum Jam
Pain d’Épices Shortbread Swirls
Glazed Eggnog Madeleines
Saffron Pistachio Biscotti
Hot Chocolate Cookies with Aleppo Pepper
Fig and Cardamom Rugelach
AROUND THE WORLD
Italian Pignoli Cookies
Austrian Linzer Augen
South American Alfajores
Danish Butter Wreaths
Mexican Wedding Cookies
Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Citrus Sugar Cookie Ornaments
Candy Cane Cookies
Gingerbread Place-Card Cookies
3-D Christmas Trees
Apple Cider Caramels
Peanut Butter–Chocolate Crunch
Smoked Almond and Cacao Nib Brittle
Matcha Chocolate Bark with Berries and Coconut
Dark Chocolate–Hazelnut Fudge
Bourbon and Maple Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Caramels with Bourbon and Vanilla
I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley and Ten Speed Press
There is an introduction in the beginning of this cookbook to give you some background information and some tips before you get into the wonderful recipes. There is also a section in the back that tells you where you can get different ingredients that may not be as common.
I love that these recipes are different than all the other cookbooks I have already. Her ideas are fresh and wonderful. With color pictures for the recipes, you can really get a feel for the cookies before you even begin.
I love that there is a recipe and template for a gingerbread house! I love making them but I always end up having to buy the prepackaged kit because I can never get the detentions right. I know I could probably just get something off the internet for a template but I’m too lazy for that! Now I have one right in my handy little cookbook!
There is even a 3-D Christmas tree recipe! I mean, come on! This cookbook is awesome and I know I will use this a TON this Christmas season.
*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.*
Most recent customer reviews
Nothing starts the Christmas season off like cookies!Read more
Professional recipe developer and food stylist, Elisabet der Nederlanden, shares fifty new and updated recipes for holiday cookies.Read more