Monday, December 22, 2008
To say things have been crazy lately would be an understatement. I'm taking a new class that requires a 10 page paper every week, assigned on Monday and due on Thursday. Oh, and then a group paper on the same subject on Sunday. It's been overwhelming, grading has been piling up and on top of it all, I've been trying to prepare three holiday dinners. It hasn't all been bad, in fact I have some big news to share with you at a later date, but I'm looking forward to a much needed vacation up North. I'm leaving you with a cookie recipe Santa will love...crispy chewy sugar cookies studded with tiny bits of candy cane.
Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
6 oz. original peppermint candy canes
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup half and half
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pulverize candy canes in a sturdy ziploc bag by pounding them with a meat mallet. When you've done a smashing good job, you should be left with a mixture of powder and very small pieces.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter briefly to fluff it up. Add crushed candy cane and sugar and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg & yolk, extracts and half and half.
Sift in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until it comes together into a soft dough. Turn out each half onto a square of plastic wrap, form into a disk, wrap tightly and refrigerate at least one hour or up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the disk of dough until it is 1/4 inch thick (use a silpat or a floured counter for this). Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you desire. If you like, roll the edges in finishing sugars. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment or silpat, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake for another 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer to wire racks. Decorate with melted chocolate if desired.