Sparkle up your holidays with these yummy treats
These sparkly cookies are so pretty, you won’t want to eat them. Until you eat one, then you won’t want to stop eating them! This recipe is based on the beautiful Glittering Cookies in the Gourmet Cookie Book by Gourmet Magazine. These turned out so beautiful that I was willing to go the extra mile and hand-make the packaging. I wanted to use real cellophane, the kind that is crinkly with a golden tint. I made the cellophane into tubes turned these cookies into holiday poppers, which really shows them off to their best advantage!
- 2 - ⅔ cups flour
- 1 - ¼ cups cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 pound (4 cubes) softened butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Large pearlescent sugar crystals, color ‘opal’ (available at specialty kitchen stores or online)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp almond flavoring
- ½ cube butter, softened
- Mix flour, cornstarch and salt together and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and almond flavoring until fluffy, then add sugar gradually and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Roll into ½ inch balls and refrigerate. To make them uniform, make one ball to the size you want, then set it on the side so you can see it clearly but it is separate from the others. Use this ball as your guide as you roll the rest of them.
- Place the sugar crystals into a doubled paper lunch sack. Place several dough balls gently into the bag, close the top firmly and turn upside down and side to side a few times. Remove balls carefully from bag and place them on a cookie sheet ¾ inch apart. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least an hour; this helps them keep their shape when they bake.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 9 - 11 minutes or until the bottoms are just beginning to turn brown. You want to be sure they don’t over bake because browned cookies diminish the effect of the sparkly sugar. Allow to cool completely.
- To make filling, mix butter and almond flavoring with electric mixer until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually and beat until smooth and fluffy.
- Using a dinner knife or butter knife, place a small amount of filling on half a cookie. Press a second cookie onto the filling, forming a ball. As you press the halves together, twist them gently like turning a screw. This helps even out the filling and helps it pouf out evenly around the edges.
- These cookies are best served within a few hours of assembly, but they are still very yummy several days later. Assembled cookies keep for up to two weeks.
Cut off the bottom and the side seam of the bags to get a sheet of cellophane. Cut the sheet in two, tape along the seam to create a tube, and carefully insert three cookies. Secure the ends by tying with string or thread firmly knotted, trim off ends, then tie on the decorative ribbon, snipping the ribbon ends at an angle. Add the tag and there you are! These are your cookie exchange contributions. Or, use them for your festive holiday table: place at each place setting or artfully arrange them all in a bowl or on a platter as a table decoration.