Every year, I tend to make the SAME old Christmas cookies. This year I wanted to make some cookies that were new (at least to me) and a little different. Here are the first three types of cookies I made.
Gluten-free linzer cookies
– light, fluffy and addictive
1 1/2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (I use Namaste brand)
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
3 TB ground almonds (you can grind blanched or slivered ones in your food processor)
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz plus 1 1/2 TB softened butter
1 tsp bourbon or rum
In a medium bowl, combine flour mix, tapioca flour, ground almonds and sea salt. In the blow of a mixer, combine sugar and eggs. Whisk dry ingredients and set aside. Mix sugar and eggs in mixer until sugar has mostly dissolved. Add vanilla and butter to mixer. Mix until lightened in color and ribbons start to form. On low, add the dry ingredients. When combined, turn up to medium to mix until well combined and a silky dough forms. If it doesn’t come together right away and appears sticky, add 1 tsp more of flour mix.
On a piece of plastic wrap, form dough into a disc and put in freezer for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use two round or fluted cutters, one about 3″ and one about 1″ in diameter. Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut equal amounts of 3″ whole cookies and 3″ cookies with 1″ cut out of the center. Bake on parchment paper for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, then spread other side of whole cookies (not cutout) with some marmalade thinned with a little bourbon or rum and a small splash of water, if needed. Put cutout inside (not the side with sugar) half on top and place completed cookies on a serving plate. Eat!
Chocolate chip cookies
with cinnamon, cayenne and walnuts – chocolate chip with a kick
This is a very easy recipe. Simply follow the directions on your pack of chocolate chips, adding walnuts in the amount they indicate. To your dry ingredients, add 1 tsp of cayenne and 1 tsp of cinnamon. You’ll be amazed at the taste.
Dipped in semisweet chocolate – almond flour makes them gluten-free and chocolate makes them decadent.
This recipe is from a well-known restaurant in Philadelphia called Vetri. I simply added the chocolate at the end.
4 oz shelled pistachios, unsalted or rinse them in a colander to get the salt off (plus 50 pistachios for garnish, also unsalted)
2 TB plus 1 cup sugar
1 2/3 cup almond flour
1 1/2 large eggs (I’ll explain further below)
6 oz of semisweet chocolate chips, plus a square of 2 oz of dark chocolate (any variety, sweetness)
In your food processor, combine the 4 oz of pistachios with 2 TB of sugar, pulse until finely ground. Put in a standing mixer bowl along with almond flour and remaining sugar. Mix on low. In a small bowl, whip one egg with a fork. Discard half of the mixed egg. Add one more egg to the bowl and whip. Add to the mixing bowl and mix on medium speed with the pistachio mixture. Put the mixture, covered, in the fridge for 8 hours. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment or silpat. Make 50 3/4″ balls out of the dough. Space them about 1″ apart. Top each with a pistachio. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or they JUST start to brown slightly at the bottom edge.
Let cool on racks while you temper some chocolate. Here’s how: Melt the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl set over a couple inches of simmering water in a pot. When melted, remove CAREFULLY to avoid steam burns. Transfer chocolate to a bowl and add the 2″ chunk. Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is slightly cooler than your body temperature. It is now tempered. Dip the bottom of each cookie in the chocolate and place it on completely cooled sheet pans with parchment or silpat on them. If the chocolate doesn’t set right away, put the sheet pan in the fridge for 5 minutes or so, until the cookies lift from the parchment easily.
To freeze: Freeze linzer cookies individually without the marmalade, and put them together when you defrost. Freeze cookies on individual cookie sheets until frozen and then you can bag them. Defrost for a couple of hours before serving.
Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 150 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.