A TASTE OF TRIESTE (Expat Vers.): CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES

As a gift to all of you, I thought I’d share my tried and true Christmas cookie recipes that I have been making year after year. Now that I have been living in Trieste for almost 3 years, these cookies have become a way for me to cherish my U.S. traditions as well as share them with my new friends here.

 

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

 Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler published in Bon Apetite Magazine Nov. 2008

INGREDIENTS

Makes about 6 dozen 3-inch cookies Servings
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses (you can find it at NaturaSi)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze; optional)
  • Raw sugar and/or colored sugar (optional)

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, soda, and salt in large bowl. Place crystallized ginger in mini processor; add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and blend until ginger is very finely chopped. Using electric mixer, beat butter in another large bowl until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in molasses, orange juice, and orange peel (batter may look curdled). Beat in crystallized ginger mixture. Blend in remaining flour-spice mixture. Gather dough together. Flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 4 hours.

  • Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Divide dough into 4 portions; shape each into round. Chill 3 rounds. Roll out remaining dough round on floured work surface to generous 1/8-inch thickness. Using floured angel-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Gather dough scraps and reroll to generous 1/8-inch thickness; cut out more cookies. Using spatula, transfer cookies to sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush cookies with glaze, then sprinkle with raw sugar and/or colored sugar, if desired.

Bake cookies until golden, reversing sheets after 7 minutes, about 14 minutes total. Let stand 2 minutes; transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough, cooling baking sheets between batches. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container.

IMG_6090

Cookies made & Decorated by BestofTrieste’s Fiorella Massa

SUGAR COOKIES

Recipe by Martha Stewart  (LIVING Martha Stewart Magazine & marthastewart.com)

YIELD

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing for Holiday Sugar Cookies

Directions

  1. 1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn out dough, and divide in half. Flatten each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to just under 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Chill in refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut out cookies using desired cutters or templates. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets as you work. Roll out scraps, and repeat once. Repeat with remaining disk of dough. Chill cookies in freezer until very firm, about 15 minutes.
  3. 3. Bake cookies, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with Royal Icing.

 

(LIVING Martha Stewart Magazine & marthastewart.com)

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar (one 1-pound box), sifted

Directions

  1.  Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat using the whisk attachment until frothy. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix well. Gradually add the remaining 3 3/4 cups sugar, beating on low speed and scraping down the sides.
  2. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat the mixture until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. At this stage, the icing will be very thick. Add water, a few drops at a time, to thin it to the consistency appropriate for the kind of decorating you are doing. As a rule, the icing should be stiffer for lettering, more malleable for making petals — but you will need to experiment to find the consistency that works best for you. Store icing at room temperature in an airtight glass or metal container. It should be used within two days.

ENJOY & HAPPY HOLIDAYS — See you in 2019!!!!

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