The “12 Cookies Of Christmas”; Day Two and Three: Jam Bites and Neapolitan Cookies

December 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Quick break form SWEETTABLESCAPES’  flour-covered kitchen to share two other Christmas Cookie favorites:

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JAM BITES from Recipes.com

Ingredients
  • 3/4  cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1  large egg yolk
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4  cup natural almonds (with skins), chopped
  • 1/4  cup seedless red-raspberry jam
Directions
1.
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, yolk, salt and extract until creamy, 2 minutes. On low, beat in flour until blended; press into ball. Divide dough into quarters. Roll one quarter into 12-inch rope, 1 inch wide. Place on large ungreased baking sheet. With end of wooden spoon, make 1/2-inch-wide, 1/4-inch-deep groove down center of rope. Repeat with remaining dough; place 2 inches apart on sheet.
2.
In small cup, combine preserves with 2 tablespoons nuts. In another cup, combine jam with remaining nuts. Spoon apricot mixture into grooves of 2 strips; spoon raspberry mixture in other 2 strips. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
3.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each strip crosswise into 1-inch diagonal slices, but do not separate. Bake in 350 degrees oven 20 minutes, until edges are lightly golden. While still warm, cut through. Remove to wire rack; let cool.

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Another super-popular cookie SWEETTABLESCAPES has been making for years is the

NEAPOLITAN COOKIE

Half orange-flavored dough with dried cranberries and half chocolate /espresso dough with walnuts, it’s a visually beautiful and no less delicious cookie. The recipe stems from who else..? Martha, of course!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • For the Chocolate-Espresso Dough

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Orange-Sable Dough

    • 1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds
    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
    • 3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (2 to 3 oranges)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Make the Orange-Sable Dough: Place almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; set aside.
  2. Place butter and zest in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until white and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. On low speed, add almond mixture; beat until combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Add egg and lemon juice; combine. Add flour, and beat until combined. Wrap in plastic, and store, refrigerated, until ready to use.
  3. Make the Chocolate-Espresso Dough: Sift flour, cocoa powder, and espresso beans in a large bowl; set aside.
  4. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. Working in additions, gradually beat in flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl twice. Wrap in plastic; store, refrigerated, until ready to use.
  5. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with plastic. In a large bowl, stir cranberries into orange-sable dough. In another large bowl, stir walnuts into chocolate-espresso dough.
  6. Press orange mixture into bottom of pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth top evenly. Spread chocolate mixture over orange mixture and smooth evenly. Cover pan with plastic; chill at least 2 hours.
  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unmold dough; remove plastic. Cut into 2-by-8-inch bricks; cut bricks into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place slices on sheets, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
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