ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES

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I hate doing more work than I have to in the kitchen.  Seriously, what’s the point? And with the holidays upon us, the last thing we need is more stress in the kitchen. So if you’re in a Christmas cookie mood (and who isn’t?), I’ve got you covered. One simple shortbread recipe, dolled up four ways: classic shortbread cookies, black and white cookies with coconut ganache, dulce de leche alfajores, and Mexican wedding cookies.  If you’re putting together a cookie tin for the holidays, this is such a great way to cut down on time and expense.  One giant batch of dough, a ton of possibilities.

ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES // The Kitchy Kitchen

SHORTBREAD DOUGH

Makes 18 shortbread cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar, plus another cup for garnish if making Russian tea cakes

8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Sift together the flour, salt, and powdered sugar. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the flour and sugar a third at a time on low speed, then add the vanilla. Form the dough into a ball (or into a few balls, if making a big batch). Wrap the ball in plastic, press into a thick disc, and chill in the fridge until cold, about 30 minutes.

ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES // The Kitchy Kitchen

CLASSIC SHORTBREAD COOKIES

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a floured star cookie cutter (or whatever shape you like), and set onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about a 1/2 inch apart.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are barely golden brown, but no more.  Take the trays out of the oven, let them cool for about 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack, letting them cool completely. Decorate the cookies with royal icing and sprinkles.  Let the cookies set completely before serving.

INGREDIENTS (ROYAL ICING)

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

2 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stirring until spreadable.  If a little thick, add a few drops of water at a time.

ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES // The Kitchy Kitchen

MEXICAN WEDDING COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup finely chopped pecans

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine the cinnamon and pecans on a plate. Take the chilled dough a tablespoon at a time, and  roll it in the cinnamon/pecan mixture. Between the palms of your hands, form the dough into a ball, mixing in the cinnamon/pecan mixture throughout. Arrange balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing 1/2 inch apart. If the dough is no longer cool to the touch, place the tray in the fridge for a few minutes to let the dough set. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in powdered sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely.

ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES // The Kitchy Kitchen

BLACK AND WHITE COOKIES

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a floured cookie cutter, and set onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about a 1/2 inch apart.  Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are barely golden brown, but no more.  Take the trays out of the oven, let them cool for about 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack, letting them cool completely. Dip the cookies half way in the royal icing, returning them to the wire rack to set (about 5 minutes), then dip the other half in the chocolate ganache.  Decorate with sprinkles if you like. Let the cookies set completely before serving.

INGREDIENTS (ROYAL ICING)

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

2 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stirring until spreadable.  If a little thick, add a few drops of water at a time.

INGREDIENTS (CHOCOLATE COCONUT GANACHE)

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

9 ounces semi sweet chocolate (about 1 cup), chopped

2 tablespoons corn syrup

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate with the corn syrup. Pour the hot coconut milk over the chocolate and let stand until melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Let the glaze cool until thick but still pourable, about 5 minutes.  Set aside to use.

ONE RECIPE = FOUR COOKIES // The Kitchy Kitchen

DULCE DE LECHE ALFAJORES

INGREDIENTS (DULCE DE LECHE)

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup desiccated coconut (finely flaked)

1 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

To make the dulce de leche, take the wrapper off of the can of sweetened condensed milk and place it in a sauce pan filled with water.  The water should cover the can by one inch. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. If you’re concerned about the can popping or exploding (it’s rare, but has happened), pop a hole in the top of the can and only bring water up to the edge of the can, rather than submerging it. Just keep adding hot water if the water evaporates and gets low. Remove the can from the water and let it cool to room temp. Pop the can open, and stir with a spoon.

To put together the alfajores, spread about 2 teaspoons of the dulce de leche on a shortbread cookie and sandwich with another one.

Sprinkle the edges of dulce de leche with coconut and sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar on both sides. Enjoy!