Cookie exchanges are a staple at every holiday office party, including the offices of Chow Bella. But the contributors to this blog are a cutthroat bunch, and with an inordinate amount of trash talk thrown about, our cookie exchange quickly became a cookie showdown. Today's our last cookie -- check back later this week to find out who'll take home the Cookie Crown.
Today's contender: Carol Blonder's Chocolate Dipped Walnut Spritz Cookie.
Following days of latke frying and rugalah rolling, this body cried out for a simple preparation for the Chow Bella cookie showdown. Spritz cookies came to mind, the dough is quick, simple to prepare, and easy to press into pretty shapes. A dip in liqueur flavored chocolate and chopped nuts finished the creation elegantly. Note to self: do not bake to golden brown color; the cookies are fully baked when pale and light brown on the edge.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup walnuts, very finely chopped
1 and ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract OR 2 Tablespoons
Frangelico or walnut liqueur
2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons cream
2 Tablespoons Frangelico or walnut liqueur-optional
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F
Cover two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy (about 3 min.). Scrape down the bowl.
Slowly add brown sugar and continue to cream with butter until light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated. The mixture should not be grainy.
Add salt, lightly beaten egg, and vanilla extract or liqueur, mix to combine.
Gradually add flour, and mix on low speed until incorporated into mixture.
Stir in finely chopped walnuts.
Dough will be soft and pliable
Place the dough in a cookie press or a pastry bag with an open star tip (large #8). Press dough into desired shape spaced 1 and ½ inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until the edges are light brown.
Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Prepare chocolate coating:
In a microwave safe bowl, microwave chocolate in 15-second intervals until almost melted. Stir chocolate until the solid bits dissolve into the melted chocolate.
Whisk cream and liqueur (optional) into melted chocolate.
Dip edges of each cookie into chocolate, place on parchment or wax paper.
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Sprinkle finely chopped nuts over chocolate.
Dry at room temperature.
Keep one week stored in a sealed container.