Bake This Now: 3 Must-Have Holiday Cookie Recipes | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Bake This Now: 3 Must-Have Holiday Cookie Recipes

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Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge Alice Medrich's Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies - ARTISAN / DEBORAH JONES
  • Artisan / Deborah Jones
  • Alice Medrich's Ultrathin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Take a look at the calendar. It's time to do some major baking. Hanukkah beings Saturday; after next weekend, you'll be down to the Christmas shipping wire. And for those of us who simply use the season as a joyful excuse to eat more cookies, we'll be more than happy to take some of those Röckenwagner lebkuchen (LAYB-koo-kuhn; photo above) off your hands. Have Maida Heatter's Cookies book? You really should, it's a great book. And you can make your own version of the traditional German holiday spice cookies, as Heatter includes a recipe.

In the spirit of sharing, after the jump, get three of our favorite cookie recipes from baking books published in recent years. One is generously spiced, one is loaded with nuts, the third relies on classic chocolate inspiration. Holiday baking diversity at its finest.

Even better: They all come with a bonus for you, dutiful baker.

click to enlarge Maida Heatter's Mohn Cookies - JGARBEE
  • jgarbee
  • Maida Heatter's Mohn Cookies
Why: Because every time we pull out this great, tiny little Biscotti book filled with 'basic' Italian cookie recipes, we find something we want to make. Like these delicate little pine nut cookies.

Baker's Bonus: These cookies will stay fresh for a week, but are best eaten the day they're made. Go ahead, have another.

Pinolate (Pine Nut Cookies)

From: Biscotti: Recipes from the Kitchen of The American Academy in Rome (Mona Talbott and Mirella Misenti)

Makes: 20 cookies

200g / 7 ounces pine nuts

85g / 3 ounces blanched almonds

85g / ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon lemon zest

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1.Preheat the oven to 300 F.

2. Spread the pine nuts evenly on a baking sheet and toast them for about 10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Let them to cool before using.

3. Pulse the almonds with the granulated sugar and 50g (1/3 cup) of the pine nuts in a food processor to create a fine, sandy texture. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and egg white and mix well. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Form the dough into cherry-size balls (10 g/ 1/3 ounce) and roll each ball in the remainder of the toasted pine nuts, pressing them gently into the dough. To bake, adjust or preheat the oven to 325 F.

5. Evenly space the biscuits on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, leaving 2cm ( 1 ½ inches) between each cookie. Bake for 9-10 minutes, until golden-brown. These cookies are best eaten fresh, but will keep for up to 1 week in a sealed container.

Turn the page for Alice Medrich's chocolate-laced tuille cookies.

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