Eggnog Frosted Nutmeg Sugar Cookies
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, or 2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoom freshly grated nutmeg or 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dairy or canned eggnog
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse sugar (optional)
1. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape pulp from vanilla bean; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, eggnog, and vanilla pulp or vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough portions to 1/4 inch thick. Using a fluted round 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough. Place dough rounds 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are just lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Repeat with other dough portion. Spread cookies with Eggnog Icing. If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let icing dry. Makes about 24 cookies.
Eggnog Icing: In a medium bowl, stir together 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough dairy or canned eggnog or milk (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make an icing of spreading consistency.
To store: Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1 tablespoon red food coloring
3 ounces white chocolate (with cocoa butter), coarsely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons shortening
Finely chopped pistachios or rainbow nonpareils (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Cover and process with on/off turns until combined. Add butter and red food coloring. Process with on/off turns until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Process until mixture just forms a ball.*
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough lightly until nearly smooth. Roll or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a floured 1-1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press scraps together and reroll.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until centers are set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
4. In a heavy small saucepan, melt white chocolate and shortening over low heat, stirring constantly. Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate. If desired, sprinkle with pistachios or nonpareils. Let stand on waxed paper until set. Makes about 24 cookies.
*Hand-mixing method: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and food coloring until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling together (it will take a while for the dough to come together). Form mixture into a ball, kneading until smooth.
To Store: Place cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months