This collection of sophisticated cookie recipes will impress your most discriminating and food-loving friends for Christmas gift-giving. Some of these cookies are flavored with rum, brandy, or fruit liqueurs, and others with sweet and savory spices and herbs including anise, black pepper, and rosemary. Some of these cookies are delicate and elegant, while others are rich and multilayered. And, all of these cookie recipes are great fun for food-lovers to make and eat.
These shortbread cookies are enriched with cream cheese and walnut liqueur, and spiced with cinnamon and ginger. The dough is pressed into whimsical walnut molds and baked, then the walnut cookie halves are sandwiched together with a rich chocolate-walnut filling.
All the flavors of a traditional linzer torte are turned into a portable, bite-size form in these sandwich cookies. Ground hazelnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavor the cookies, and raspberry or cherry jam is spread between them. Use any small cookie-cutter shape you like to make the decorative cutouts in the top cookies.
Semisweet chocolate ganache is sandwiched between meringue cookies flavored with peppermint extract. Make the red stripes on the meringues by painting stripes of gel-paste food coloring on the inside of a piping bag before spooning in the meringue.
Light tuile cookie batter made with egg whites is spread thinly onto a baking sheet; some of the batter is dyed red and piped in diagonal stripes across the spread-out batter. After the cookies are baked and still warm from the oven, they are flexible enough to be rolled into sticks. Serve cookies with scoops of peppermint and chocolate ice cream for a knockout holiday dessert.
Unsweetened shredded coconut gives body to these light, crisp cookies, and brandy adds smoothness. You will need golden syrup for this recipe, a popular ingredient in British cooking made from concentrated sugar cane juice. It can be found next to the molasses and corn syrup in many supermarkets.
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