December 21, 2006

Cookies for Santa

Another food-focused writing prompt from Holidailies participant Planet Pooks: A recipe swap. The directive is to post a favorite holiday recipe, explaining its significance. Since I covered the Persimmon Cake in November and plan to tackle Touthlatch (Ravioli) after the first of the year, I thought I'd share a new recipe -- one I discovered this year that will be have a recurring role on my holiday cookie plate.

Chocolate Pine Nut Cookies
as published in Fine Cooking Magazine

1/2 pound (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) confectioners sugar (more for dusting, optional)
1 ounce (1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of table salt
1/2 pound (1 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, for garnish

heat the oven to 325. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and chopped pine nuts and mix on low speed until well combined.

Shape 1 tablespoon scoops of dough into round balls and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Flatten each slightly and press 3 pine nuts into the top of each cookie.

Bake cookies until the tops look dry, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Yield: 46 cookies.

Enjoy this grown-up take on the peanut butter cookie!

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