|1 c||salted butter, cold and diced into 1 Tbsp pieces|
|2/3 c||granulated sugar|
|1/2 tsp||almond extract|
|2 1/4 c||all-purpose flour|
|2 1/2 Tbsp||nonpareils sprinkles|
Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and line with 2 sheets of parchment paper (one horizontally and one vertically. I also like to butter between parchment sheets so they stick) leaving a 1-inch over hang on all sides, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in almond extract. With mixer set on low speed slowly add in flour and mix until combined (it will take a while and will appear dry and sandy at first but it will start to come together). Mix and fold in sprinkles. Press dough into an even layer in prepared pan Chill dough in refrigerator 20 - 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lift dough from pan using parchment overhang on all sides. Cut into 1/2-inch squares using a large sharp knife. Sprinkle more sprinkles over the top if desired and gently press into dough. Transfer about 1/3 of the cookies to an unbuttered baking sheet (also do not line pan with parchment or silicone liners) and scatter cookies out spacing cookies 1/2-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 8 - 12 minutes (keep remaining that aren't currently baking refrigerated). Repeat process with remaining bites, adding them to a cool baking sheet. Cool completely then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
Cream Cheese Shortbread
|2 c||all-purpose flour|
|1 c||chopped walnuts|
|1½ stick||unsalted butter|
|4 oz||cream cheese|
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add chopped walnuts and stir to combine. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and mix for 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually add flour mixture and mix for 20 seconds. Take bowl off mixer and finish mixing dough with a rubber spatula. Roll about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and gently press to flatten top. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until light brown around edges, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Hot Chocolate Meringue Cake
|1 tbsp||cream of tartar|
|3 tbsp||sifted cocoa|
|1/8 tsp||cayenne pepper|
|4 c||whipped cream|
Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. Draw two 9-inch circles in the center of the paper and set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Stream in 1 1/4 cups sugar and continue to beat on high speed. Just as the whites reach their peaks, sprinkle in sifted cocoa and cayenne pepper and continue beating to stiff peaks. Spread the meringue within the circles. Bake for 3 hours, turn off oven, and let sit for 1 hour. Cool on the pan on a wire rack. Store in a very dry, cool place. Fill the layers with whipped cream and serve within 2 hours.
Peppermint Bark No Churn Ice Cream
|3 c||heavy cream|
|1||14 oz can sweetened condensed
|1 tsp||vanilla extract|
|4||miniature candy canes,
|2/3 c||crumbled peppermint bark|
|1/2 c||miniature semisweet choc.chips|
Beat heavy cream using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Mix in the crushed candy cane pieces, mixing just enough so they start to leave pink streaks in the ice cream. Fold in the peppermint bark and chocolate chips, setting aside a few to sprinkle on top of the ice cream. Pour the ice cream batter into a loaf pan, add the extra chips and bark, and place in the freezer until firm, about 6 hours.
Sugar Cookie Buttons
|2 stick||unsalted butter|
|3 1/3 c||all-purpose flour|
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on high, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer to medium, and beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer to low, and beat in flour and salt until soft dough forms. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and pat each into a disk. Wrap each disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Roll out each disk between 2 sheets of well-floured parchment to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking pan, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, 30 to 60 minutes. Remove and unwrap 2 dough disks. Use a well-floured 3-inch round cutter to cut out 12 cookies. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. To make each resemble a button: Using the blunt side of a 2 3/4-inch round cutter, indent a circle on the cookie's surface. Then, using a straw, poke 2 holes near the center of each cookie. Repeat with 2 remaining dough disks. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, refrigerate pans with cookies until chilled, about 15 minutes. Bake until cookies are golden around edges and firm, about 5 minutes. (If necessary, use a skewer to reopen buttonholes.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool.