Holiday Cookies

Homemade Holiday treats.

Homemade Holiday treats.

Christmas is just around the corner so it’s the perfect time for Holiday baking. This year, in a (failed) attempt to simplify the cookie options, I decided to keep the selection to 3 basic cookies. Marranitos (aka cochinos, puerquitos) are traditional Mexican spice cookies and are usually shaped like pigs. It’s often referred to as Mexican gingerbread, though there isn’t any ginger in them. Shortbread, I used the same dough recipe, but prepared them three different ways. First, decorated in traditional Christmas fashion. Next, drizzled with white chocolate and milk chocolate and lastly, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with chopped pistachios and dried cherries. The final cookie is what I call a trail mix cookie, they’re a whole wheat oatmeal cookie and I use trail mix as the add in, thus the name. Use your favorite trail mix. The trail mix I chose had almonds, peanuts, cashews, chocolate chips, coconut and cherries. Here are the recipes.

Marranitos

Ingredients:
piloncillo 250g
whole wheat flour 360g
white flour 140g
softened butter 150g
water 200ml
palm sugar 50g
1 egg
baking powder 10g
salt 2g
vanilla 10ml
egg and water for egg wash

This recipe was translated from Spanish and uses weight versus volume measurements. Piloncillo is unrefined sugar. It can be found in Latin-American markets and is usually cone shaped. Melt the piloncillo in the water along with the spices and vanilla, steep them together for 30 minutes on low heat. While the spices are steeping in the sugar water, measure out the dry ingredients. Once the spices have steeped for 30 minutes, strain with a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Discard the spices, save and set aside the liquid.

In a mixing bowl, blend the white and wheat flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and blend together then add the egg. Slowly add the piloncillo liquid just enough until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the liquid. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Form into a disk and wrap with waxed paper. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Once dough has chilled, roll out to about ¼ – ⅛ inch thick. Cut into desired shape. Lay out on a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake at 300F for 30 minutes. They hould be cake like in texture.

Shortbread

¾ cup softened butter
3 ½ cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and slowly incorporate the salt and flour. Blend until dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl and a ball starts to form. Wrap the dough in wax paper and chill for at least an hour. Roll out and cut into desired shape. Bake at 350F for 12-20 minutes. Larger thicker cookies require more baking time. The cookies are done when the start to turn golden brown along their edges. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.

Trail Mix Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ whole wheat flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ salt
½ tsp ground clove
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups oats
1- 1 ½ cups trail mix
2 eggs

Cream together the brown sugar and butter and add cinnamon, salt and clove and eggs. Slowly incorporate the flour and baking powder until well combined. Add the oats and trail mix. Form into 1 inch ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.

Peppermint bark recipe can be found here.