This holiday season I am paring down my sweets list. I simply can’t stand on my feet for hours on end baking like I usually do every other Christmas season. I was a little bit sad about this at first until I realized that it is actually a good exercise in editing for me. Instead of manically baking endless batches of cookies and bars with no end in sight, this year I’ve been forced to identify a select few that will appease everyone in our house. For my daughter, I’ll make classic Peanut Butter Blossoms and cut-out butter cookies she can decorate. My husband has requested Buttery Pecan Snowballs, and I want simple shortbread, in holiday flavors like chocolate espresso and this warm, cinnamon chai.
Kelsey Banfield of The Naptime Chef.
|3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature||1 teaspoon ground ginger|
|1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract||2 teaspoons ground cardamom|
|1 cup confectioners' sugar||2 teaspoons ground cinnamon|
|3 cups all-purpose flour||1 large egg white for rolling|
|1/2 teaspoon kosher salt||3 tablespoons or more of sanding sugar for rolling|
In an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy and light yellow, about 5 minutes. Then beat it in the sugar until very fluffy and pale yellow, almost like a buttercream frosting.
Beat in the vanilla extract until smooth. Then, with the mixer on low, add in the flour, salt, and spices until completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
Remove the finished dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two clumps and roll each one into a log about 2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpat.
Lightly brush each log of dough with an egg white that is been lightly beaten with a fork. Then roll the logs in the sanding sugar until they are evenly coated.
Slice the logs into rounds about ¼-inch thick and place them on the lined cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Return the cookie sheets to the freezer to chill until the oven is preheated. When the oven is ready bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating them halfway through to ensure even baking. Then remove the cookie sheet from the oven and carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
These cookies freeze very well. The dough also freezes well for up to 4 weeks. I plan to make another batch of dough for these closer to our guests arriving before Christmas. Then I will freeze it wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap and an outer layer of aluminum foil until they are ready to be baked!
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