Today’s festive “12 Days of Cookies” recipe is for Christmas light cookies from reader Ellie Cormack of Fort Worth. It incorporates candied fruits and marzipan.
Each day, we are featuring one Very Merry Cookie Challenge finalist recipe in Life & Arts until the big, final tasting event at Central Market Fort Worth on Sunday. A few spots have opened for the event, so if you’d like to taste and judge the finalists, purchase a $10 ticket through www.CentralMarket.com.
If you cannot attend, try making the cookies at home and see how your favorites stack up against the judges’ picks.
Winners will be revealed in Life & Arts on Dec. 11.
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Christmas light cookies
Makes 24 cookies
- 1 cup highest grade butter (AA/European), softened
- 1/3 cup powdered or superfine sugar
- 7 tablespoons semolina flour
- Generous pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Nielsen Massey brand is preferred)
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup candied or glace cherries, rinsed and quartered
- 1/4 cup candied orange peel, cut into small pieces (homemade or store bought)
- 1/2 cup grated marzipan (homemade or store bought)
- 2 cups flour (King Arthur brand is preferred)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 4-ounce baking chocolate bar, finely chopped
1. Beat butter in a large bowl until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and stir to combine.
2. Mix semolina flour and salt in a bowl, and add to creamed mixture. Add extracts.
3. Combine fruits and grated marzipan in a bowl, mix to combine. Add to creamed mixture and mix to get a good distribution. Add flour and stir lightly but firmly until it just comes together. Mixture will seem dry. Mash gently with the back of a spoon if needed. Do not over-mix or the cookies will be chewy instead of crumbly.
4. Roll gently into a log of desired shape, such as a circle or a rectangle. Wrap in cellophane. Put in fridge for up to 12 hours, 1 hour at minimum.
5. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Slice into 1/2-inch-thick cookies, and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle cookie tops with granulated sugar and press it in. Bake in top half of oven until edges are just golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Thicker cookies may need more time. The cookies will spread a bit. Place cookie sheet on wire rack to cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to finish cooling.
6. Melt half of chopped chocolate in a bowl above simmering water. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate. Stir until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. Dip half of cookies into chocolate and let dry on parchment paper.
Nutritional analysis per cookie: 159 calories, 9 grams fat, 19 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 21 milligrams cholesterol, 87 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 48 percent of calories from fat.
Ellie Cormack, Fort Worth