Saffron Pistachio Cookies–Christmas Cookies #5


1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar (have extra for sprinkling, optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
2-3 teaspoons grated blood orange zest
3 tablespoons blood orange juice
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts (have extra for sprinkling along with some sweetened coconut)

Heat the oven to 350°F.

Combine a tablespoon of boiling water with the saffron in a medium bowl, stir, and steep for a few minutes. Combine whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Add olive oil and sugar to the saffron mixture and beat for 1-2 minutes with a whisk until light. Add the eggs and beat for a few more minutes until creamy and fluffy. Beat in blood orange zest and juice. Gently combine the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.

Drop about 2 teaspoons of dough about 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and sugar and coconut (optional). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown on the bottom. Transfer the cookies on a rack to cool. Store cookies in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: about 3 dozen cookies


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies–Christmas Cookies #3


• 1/2 cup butter, softened but still chilled*
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 Tbsp hot water
• 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 cups white chocolate chips
• 4 oz macadamia nuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and shortening together until well mixed and smooth.
3. Add the brown sugar and sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes, until nearly creamy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time and mixing in between additions.
5. Dissolve the baking soda in the tablespoon of water. Add both the baking soda and the vanilla to the mixer and mix well. Mix in the salt.
6. Add the flour and mix until dough forms.
7. Mix in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts using a wooden spoon or spatula.
8. Scoop dough by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined or silicon lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.



Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies–Christmas Cookie #2


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 + 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels or Rolos (unwrap about 30 of them)
1. Line 2 large cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together on medium speed 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and vanilla beat on low 2 more minutes.
3. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and beat on low just until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes scoop up very slightly rounded tablespoons of the dough, stick a caramel in the center and roll into a ball. Set on one of the parchment lined cookie sheets – it’s ok if they’re crowded just try not to let them touch. Repeat until all the cookie dough is used up. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
5. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons cinnamon in a wide, shallow bowl.
6. Working in batches, roll the cookies in the cinnamon sugar and bake 2 inches apart for 14 minutes. Refrigerate the unbaked cookies in between batches.
7. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets. Store in tightly covered containers up to a week



Pistachio Shortbread–Christmas Cookie #1


Pistachio shortbread:

 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface

 1/4 cup granulated sugar

 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 1/2 cup shelled raw or roasted pistachios

 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, sanding sugar, or raw sugar, for garnish

1. Pulse the flour, granulated sugar, salt, pistachios, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pistachios are finely ground. Scatter the butter pieces in the food processor and pulse several times to cut the butter into the flour. Stop pulsing when the ingredients just come together and cling to one another. (Watch carefully, as food processors work very fast and can easily overmix the dough. At first the mixture will have a coarse, crumbly texture, but then if you’re not careful it will quickly turn into a paste.)

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a log about 2 inches in diameter and 10 inches long. (If the dough is too sticky, toss it in the fridge for 10 or so minutes to make it easier to work with. Dampening your hands ever so slightly with cold water also helps.) Place the log on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Tightly roll the wrap around the log and twist the ends to seal them securely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days. (This dough also freezes well for up to 3 weeks if wrapped tightly in plastic.)

3. Position 2 racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 325ºF (163ºC). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

4. Cut the chilled cookie dough into 1⁄2-inch-thick coins and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Lightly brush the top of each cookie with water and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden brown on both top and bottom. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.