One of the last things I did at my internship was decorate holiday cookies. It got me in the mood to make some of my own, and I did it just like they did at internship, using a sweet dough recipe normally used for tarts. I never thought you could have a multipurpose dough - for tarts and for cookies. It's very similar to shortbread, although more flavorful, with just enough crumble and snap.
The recipe (makes about 50 cookies):
soft butter 250g
almond powder 40g
baking powder 3g
orange zest 2-3
cold water 12g
1) Cream butter and sugar for a few minutes using the paddle attachment.
2) Mix in the other ingredients in one by one in the order listed (although yolks and eggs can be mixed together first, as with the flour and baking powder). As soon as the cold water is mixed in and the dough comes together, stop mixing.
3) Take the dough out and spread it flat in a casserole dish or other pan. It should be thicker than you want your cookies to be. Refrigerate the dough for a few hours, or overnight.
4) Roll out the dough to the desired thickness. Cut and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and firm-looking. Then cool and decorate!
Here are some of my decorations:
Untraditional (since I didn't buy any holiday-specific cutters)
And I also made gingerbread cookies using this recipe. Substituted maple syrup for molasses. It turned out well, just softer than the cookies I prefer. The fun cutters were ninja gingerbread men, on loan from my friend Kim.
Happy holidays everyone!