Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Fin)

I have baked my last batch of Christmas cookies for 2009.

The last batch

Yesterday I baked some of the excellent Dutch spice cookies, and this morning I got up very early, baked the classic sugar cookies, and iced them up.  These two recipes are perennial favorites, and I wanted to have some cookies to take up to Gramma K. and the Kishman cousins during today’s visit.  Both cookies turned out pretty well.  Fortunately, Russell had his digital camera around, so we were able to take some pictures which I have included with this post.

Another part of the last batch

Patty asked today about the icing on the sugar cookies.  I use a few drops of evaporated milk and mix it with confectioners sugar until it reaches a thick, yet still spreadable, consistency that is sufficiently moist that it runs enough to leave a smooth look.  I then use food coloring to give the icing some pizzazz.  I like decorating the iced cookies with colored sugar, nuts, or dried fruit like cherries or cranberries.  Of course, nothing makes a better red nose for Rudolph than a cinnamon drop.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

I like a good, hard cookie that can be dunked into a cup of coffee or hot chocolate without dissolving.  These cookies fit the bill admirably.

Lemon-Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients:  1/3 cup softened butter; 2/3 cup granulated sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 2 eggs; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 4 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel; 2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 1/2 cups unsalted pistachio nuts; 1 cup sifted powdered sugar; 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel; lemon juice.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with mixer on high speed for 30 seconds.  Add granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt and beat until combined.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined.  Beat in 4 teaspoons of lemon peel and as much of the flour as possible using the mixer.  Then stir in any remaining flour and nuts with a wooden spoon.

On a lightly floured surface divide dough into three equal portions and shape them into 8-inch loaves.  Flatten loaves to about 2 inches wide.  Lightly grease two cookie sheets, then place loaves on sheets at least three inches apart.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown and tops are cracked.  Cool on cookie sheet for 30 minutes.  Transfer loaves to cutting board and cut loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.  Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheets and bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  Turn slices over and bake for additional 8 minutes at 325 degrees until dry and crisp.  Transfer to a cool plate.

Stir powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon peel together in a mixing bowl, then stir in drops of lemon juice until icing is of drizzling consistency.  Dip ends of cookies into icing or drizzle icing over tops of slices.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes (Cont.)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes