The holiday season at Independence Village is a celebration all of our staff and residents enjoy. So much so that our chefs wanted to share some of our favorite holiday cookie recipes. Take a peak at three of our favorite recipes below.
Makes about 30 cookies
1. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. The mixture should be smooth but not fluffy. Reduce the mixing speed to low and, one by one, beat in the egg yolks, followed by the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add the flour all at once and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour has passed. With the machine on low, mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the dough a couple of turns with a sturdy flexible spatula.
2. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide in half. Gather each piece into a ball and shape into a disk.
3. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between pieces of parchment. Slide the parchment sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet-slabs can be stacked-and freeze at least 1 hour, or refrigerate 2 hours.
4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350°F. Butter and spray a regular muffin tin. Have a 2 inch diameter cookie cutter at hand.
5. Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both pieces of paper and put the dough back on one piece of paper. Cut the dough and drop the round into the muffin tin(s). The rounds might not fill the muffin cups completely now, but they will once they bake. Save the scraps from both pieces of dough, then gather them together, reroll, chill and cut. Sprinkle the cookies with sanding sugar.
6. Bake the cookie for 16 to 19 minutes, rotating the tin(s) after 10 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch and are golden brown around the edges. Transfer the muffin tin(s) to a rack and let the cookies rest for about 10 minutes before carefully lifting them out onto the rack to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, lightly dust the sugar with silver decorating dust.
Makes about 45 sandwiched macarons
1. Bring the cream to a boil.
2. Pour over chocolate and wait 30 seconds. Using a flexible spatula, start stirring until the ganache is smooth and shiny. Drop in the butter pieces one at a time, stirring until each piece is blended before adding another. Stir gently, don’t beat.
1. Place a strainer over a large bowl and press the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar through it. Whisk to blend.
2. Put half of the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
3. Add food coloring to the other half of the egg whites, stir and then pour them over the almond flour and confectioners’ sugar. Using a flexible spatula, mix and mash the whites into the dry ingredients until you have a homogenous paste.
4. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. If there are spatters on the sides of the pan, wash them down with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Attach a candy thermometer and cook the syrup until it reaches 243°F to 245°F.
5. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until they hold medium-firm, glossy peaks. Reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing until the sugar syrup comes to temperature.
6. When the sugar is ready, take the pan off the heat and remove the thermometer. With the mixer on low speed, pour in the hot syrup, trying to pour it between the whirring whisk and the side of the bowl. You will have spatters but don’t incorporate them, they will ruin your meringue. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the meringue has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes (you’ll be able to touch the bottom of the bowl).
7. Give the almond flour mixture another stir with the spatula, then scrape the meringue over it and fold everything together. Don’t be gentle here: use your spatula to cut through the meringue and almond flour mixture, bring some of the batter from the bottom up over the top and then press it against the sides of the bowl. Keep folding and mixing until, when you lift the spatula, the batter flows off it in a thick band. *If you want to add more food coloring, do it now.
8. Pipe into 1 ½ inch rounds. Let sit in a cool dry place to allow the cookies to form a crust (this can take 15 to 30 minutes, more depending on the humidity and temperature).
9. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the macarons for 6 minutes. Rotate the pan and cook for another 6 to 9 minutes or until the macarons can be lifted from the mat.
Fill with White Chocolate Ganache and garnish with chopped peppermint candies.
About 28 cookies
1. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a very large bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add molasses, eggs, the water, and vinegar; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to ½ inch thick. Cut dough using a 3-inch scalloped or round cutter. Place cutouts 2 ½ inches apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and crystallized ginger.
4. Bake in the preheated oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.
We’d love to show what life is like during the holidays at Independence Village. Schedule a time for a visit by contacting us or give us a call to learn more.