Seasonal Sweets: Ideas for holiday cookies this season

Seasonal+Sweets%3A+Ideas+for+holiday+cookies+this+season

Hailey McEntee, Co-Editor

SUGARED PECAN BALLS

Makes 36 cookies| Hands-On Time: 25m| Total Time: 1hr, 20m

Ingredients:

2 cups pecans

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. In a food processor, chop the pecans until finely ground.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground pecans, flour, and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and ⅓ cup of the sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. 4. Beat in the vanilla.

5. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.

6. Shape the dough into balls (about 1 tablespoon each), and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

7. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until just beginning to brown, 12-14 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

8. Place the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar on a plate. A few at a time, roll the cookies in the sugar to coat.

SIMPLE SUGAR COOKIES

Makes 40 cookies| Hands-On Time: 20m| Total Time: 2hr, 45m

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1¾ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the work surface

Decorating sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg, then the vanilla and salt.

2. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add the flour, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix. Shape into a 1-inch-thick disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Heat oven to 350° F. On a floured surface, roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Using lightly floured 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes, flouring the cutters and re-rolling the scraps as necessary. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with decorating sugar.

3. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the edges just begin to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipes from realsimple.com.