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RECIPE: Madison master baker's holiday cookies 3 ways

RECIPE: Madison master baker's holiday cookies 3 ways

Feeling overwhelmed with everything on the to-do list before Christmas? Take the stress out of Christmas baking with an easy recipe to make festive cookies three ways.

Master baker and instructor at Madison College's culinary program Punky Egan shares her cookie recipes and decorating ideas with Live at Five:

SUGAR COOKIES:

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces eggs (1/2 cup)
  • 1 pound (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sift if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda, sift if lumpy

In a mixer bowl, cream on sugar, butter and vanilla on medium speed until blended, about 2-3 minutes

Add eggs in stages on low. Scrape the bowl.

Add flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix until smooth on low about 1 minute. Scrape bowl.

Flatten dough into a disk shape and freeze until firm enough to roll out, about 15 minutes.

Roll dough out on a well-floured surface.

Cut with cookie cutters. Brush off excess flour.

Place on parchment-lined cookie pans.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes or until golden brown around edges.

Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies.

COOKIE ICING

  • 3 pounds powdered sugar, sift if lumpy
  • 8 ounces corn syrup
  • 8 ounces whole milk

Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Add corn syrup and milk. Mix until smooth.

To use, heat in microwave. Don't heat the icing hotter than 100 degrees F or icing will be dull & hard.

Color sugar and let it dry overnight at room temperature, then store in an airtight container.

Ice cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar, edible glitter and candies while the icing is still wet.

  • Ice cookies with one color, let dry slightly, then decorate with other colors.
  • Ice cookies and let dry overnight at room temperature. Use stencils to make designs.
  • Ice cookies and let dry overnight at room temperature. Use edible color pens to make designs.
  • Melt candy melts (chocolate coating) and ice cookies with a spatula.
  • Color candy melts using candy colors. Ice cookies with different colors.

HOLIDAY COOKIES 3 WAYS

1 pound unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces (1 cup) powdered sugar, sift if lumpy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound 2 ounces (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour

In a mixer bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed about 2 minutes. Scrape bowl.

Add flour. Mix on low only to blend.

Divide dough into thirds - 12 ounces each

1. PECAN FINGERS - Add 2 ounces (1/2 cup) finely chopped pecans to 1/3 of dough

Roll into a log, cut with bench scraper to finger size. Bake 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool.
Roll in powdered sugar to coat cookies.

2. RASPBERRY THUMBPRINTS

Use a number 100 scoop. Round. If wanting to sugar them lightly brush with an egg white wash, then roll in plain or colored sugar before baking. Make indention in balls. Bake 350ºF for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool.

Fill indent with raspberry jam after baking or colored icing.

Fill indent with melted caramel, then top with melted chocolate coating.

3. NUT CRUNCHES

Use a number 100 scoop. Round, then flatten into disks.. Lightly brush with egg white wash, then press into finely chopped nuts. Bake 350ºF for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool.

Drizzle with melted chocolate coating.


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