The direction was simpler this year, I think. I thought of cookies I would have liked as a kid opposed to those that offer a little more sophistication. Perhaps it was also a way of making this annual baking marathon a little shorter too. As always, I hope those with boxes of these enjoyed them, as much as I did making them.
Nico’s Glazed Butter Cookies, from The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book.
Glazed Gingersnaps adapted from “The Chew.”
Peanut Butter Chocolate Clouds, adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book.
My favorite this year were the Alfajores, from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. They were soft, buttery, not too sweet with that creamy, milky caramel inside. Insane.
(Makes about 32 sandwiches)
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp. brandy or rum
1 cup Dulce de Leche
Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Position a rack in middle of the oven.
Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
With a large spoon in a medium mixing bowl or with a mixer, mix the butter with the sugar until smooth and well blended but not fluffy. Add the egg and brandy and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
Divide dough in half, wrap with wax paper or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour. Dough can also be make a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Once dough has chilled, take out first half and roll out to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Use round cookie cutter and place rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Bake for 10 or 11 minutes, or until golden brown. Try your best not overbake.
Remove pans from the oven and set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. For unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, sandwich them with a generous dab of dulce de leche. The cookies will soften as they stand. May be stored in an airtight container for at least a week.
Happy holidays friends (and family). Wishing you all love, joy and kindness these next days. See you in the New Year!