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Come holiday time, there’s no better way to celebrate than by baking up some special cookies. In Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse, mother-daughter bakers Kaye and Liv Hansen share their most enchanting cookies, from simple to showstoppingly beautiful. These irresistibly pretty cookies are perfect for snacking and gifting, decorating the tree, and, of course, leaving for Santa.
And they are definitely not your grandmother’s cookies! With both classic and creative flavor combinations and adorable designs, the Hansens’ cookies have been pleasing loyal customers at their cozy upstate New York bakery for years. Now they bring their customers’ favorite recipes home to you. Kaye handles the baking, imbuing the cookies with the traditional flavors of Christmas, like cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla, but also more modern touches like coconut, chocolate, and pistachio. Her daughter, Liv, provides the artistic flair, using innovative techniques and plenty of colored (yes, colored!) chocolate to yield truly special cookie creations that look as good as they taste.
All of the Hansens’ best cookie creations are here, from simple roll-and-slice cookies to bars and cutouts, including Coconut Dreams, Chocolate Pecan Rounds, and Creamy Christmas Butter Cookies, as well as step-by-step instructions for making truly impressive decorations. Imagine a dazzling 3-D Christmas cookie tree decked with silver dragées, or a breathtaking gingerbread house. From chewy Apricot-Chocolate Triangles to tangy Lemon Drop Cookies, Christmas Cookies from the Whimsical Bakehouse is a fanciful, fabulous take on everyone’s favorite holiday treat.
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Kaye Hansen is a self-taught baker and the owner of the Riviera Bakehouse in Westchester, the bakery of choice for devoted customers from Albany to New York City. Liv Hansen trained as a painter before turning her eye for color and composition to buttercream and melted chocolate. The bakery has been featured in the New York Times, and the Hansens have appeared on the Today show, Food Network, and The View. Both Kaye and Liv reside in Rockland County.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Rudolph Chocolate Shortbread
Makes 3 dozen cookies
This recipe is a chocolate variation of our regular shortbread. We pipe a red chocolate nose on Rudolph and sprinkly it with red sanding sugar—see how it glows!
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Grease 2 cookie sheets.
On a piece of wax paper, sift together:
· 3 1/2 (3.5) cups all-purpose flour
· 1/2 (.5) cup cocoa powder
· 1 cup confectioners' sugar
· 1/4 (.25) teaspoon salt
Place the ingredients in a large bowl of an electric mixer.
· 17 ounces (4 sticks plus 2 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 (.5) inch cubes
Mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
On a lightly floured board:
· Roll out the dough 1/4 (.25) inch thick. Use a Rudolph cookie cutter, or a cookie cutter of your choice, to cut out the dough. Place Rudolphs 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Prick each cookie once with a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not attempt to move the cookies before they have completely cooled or the legs might break off.
· 1/4 (.25) cup white wafer chocolate or 2 ounces white chocolate
Add to the melted chocolate and stir until well combined:
· 6 drops red candy color (add more or less as desired)
Pour the melted chocolate into a pastry cone. Cut a small tip off the end of the cone. Pipe a red nose on each Rudolph.
Before the chocolate dries, sprinkle the noses with:
· Red sanding sugar
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