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Posts Tagged ‘cranberry cocoa nib wafers’

Remember those chocolate covered cherries that always made an appearance on Christmas Eve at your Grandma’s house? Cherry cordials I believed they’re formally called. Sometimes, if you were really lucky, she had those little chocolates shaped like bottles filled with “liquors” and you were excited because you thought you were “drinking booze” (though usually only Drambuie was left by the time you found the candy bowl.) Ah, good times! Today’s cookie, to cap off the 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies, is inspired by those funny little memories of holidays past. The Day 12 cookie is a Chocolate Covered Cherry.

They look like plain little chocolate balls but they hide a secret surprise. There’s no weird white goo, and there’s no questionable booze but that cherry is there, a bright red maraschino cherry wrapped in chocolate cookie dough and then glazed. And for fun, I stuffed a little more chocolate inside that cherry. It’s a cookie that will make you smile and toast your Grandma. Enjoy, my friends!

Thanks for playing along this year. I hope between these twelve recipes and all those of years past, you’ve made some great cookies. Have a lovely holiday, be smart and be safe.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 One Dough/12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

Day 7: Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

Day 8: Coconut Bullseyes

Day 9: Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Day 10: Chocolate Almond Crescents

Day 11: Holiday Mallomars

DAY 12: CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRY COOKIES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a dutched cocoa powder for this one. If you make the smallest batch, with 1/8 piece of dough, the measurements get a little funky. A scale will help – one whole large egg white weighs about 1 oz/30 grams.

  1. Drain the cherries and pat dry with paper towels. 
  2. Stuff a chocolate chip into the center of each cherry.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the room temperature base cookie dough, baking soda, baking powder and egg white(s).
  4. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Roll the dough into Tablespoon sized balls.
  6. Press chocolate chip filled cherry into the center of the cookie dough, pressing to enclose the dough around the cherry. Give it a little roll on the counter to make sure the cherry is fully enclosed. 
  7. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (the cookies can be frozen on a sheet pan until firm, transferred to a Ziploc bag and frozen for up to 2 months. Bake directly from the freezer.)
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2-3 sheet pans with parchment or silicone baking sheets.
  9. Place the chilled cookie balls on the prepared sheet pans, about 1 ½” apart.
  10. Bake 8 minutes until the cookie edges are just firm to the touch, rotating the pans halfway through baking (top to bottom, front to back.) It’s best to slightly underbake this one.
  11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. For the glaze: melt chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (50% power in 45 second bursts), stopping just before the chocolate is fully melted.
  13. Stir to fully melt the chocolate, add the oil and stir to combine.
  14. To coat: Line a sheet pan with a clean sheet of parchment.
  15. Dip each cooled cookie into the glaze to fully coat as much as possible.
  16. Turn and place on the prepared pan and leave to sit for several hours to allow the glaze to fully set.

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Alrighty folks! It’s Day 11 of these 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies and I’ve got a project for you. Mallomars. Yes, indeed. It’s the week before Christmas; I think we’re ready for a project. Or perhaps a distraction. A chocolate cookie is topped with marshmallow, dipped in a chocolate glaze and topped with some sprinkles. Making this one is a sticky messy affair but it’s so delicious I think it’s worth it. Some form of this confection is available all over the world as the combination of cookie-marshmallow-chocolate is irresistible (I looked it up; fascinating) so let’s make our own. Technically, mallomars have a graham base but we’re using chocolate (obviously) and just going with it. 

The cookie dough is simple enough, a few additional ingredients to the base dough including a little extra espresso powder to kick that flavor up a notch. I like these on the smaller side – 1 ½” rounds – baked nice and crisp as they’ll soften up over time due to the marshmallow. Now then, we’re back into persnickety territory on these marshmallows. It seems like a lot of ingredients, weird quantities and if you’re making the largest batch with a ½ batch of dough, I recommend making the marshmallow twice; don’t attempt a double batch.  If you’ve topped all your cookies and have extra fluff, pipe it onto a sheet of parchment that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and make some marshmallows for your hot chocolate. A helpful tip: this stuff is sticky. Once piped, let the marshmallow set for a few hours to firm up a bit. They’ll become less sticky and easier to handle with a little time.

Then we’ve got the glaze. I wanted to avoid tempering chocolate, because while ideal, I’m not sure who has time right now to muscle through that. Maybe we’ll get to that post holiday. Anyway, I have a simple glaze of chopped chocolate and vegetable oil that works very well if you take care. Use a higher quality bar chocolate and avoid chocolate chips (the ingredients that make the chips hold that shape tend to screw things up). Melt the chocolate slowly; I use a microwave on 50% power and melt in slow bursts stopping just before the chocolate is fully melted and stirring until smooth. Give the glaze time to set up – like overnight. Let it cool slowly and gently. I tried to rush things and got some streaky blooms which is a bummer but doesn’t affect the flavor in any way.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

Day 7: Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

Day 8: Coconut Bullseyes

Day 9: Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Day 10: Chocolate Almond Crescents

DAY 11: HOLIDAY MALLOMARS

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a dutched cocoa powder for this one. If you have a scale, now is the time to use it. FYI, one standard package of Knox gelatin = 7g. Marshmallow were adapted from this recipe.

  1. For the cookies: In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the water and espresso powder until dissolved.
  2. Add the room temperature cookie dough, cocoa, sugar and baking soda and mix with the paddle attachment until well combined.
  3. Divide the dough into four/two/one piece(s) and roll each between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to a flat sheet about 1/8” thick.
  4. Stack the sheets on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. The dough sheets can be refrigerated up to 3 days (or frozen up to 3 months) but tightly wrap first to make sure the edges do not dry out.  
  5. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking liners.
  6. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap or parchment.
  7. With a 1 ½” round cutter, stamp out as many circles as possible and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, ¾” apart.
  8. Continue with the remaining dough sheets, rerolling/chilling the scraps as you go.
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until baked through and firm to the touch. Ideally this cookie should be on the crispier side.
  10. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. For the marshmallow: Combine gelatin with the water and let sit 5 minutes to bloom (aka rehydrate). 
  12. Combine corn syrup, honey, sugar, and water in a heavy saucepan; cook until mixture reaches 245°F on a candy thermometer. 
  13. Take off heat let cool down to 225°F, about 5 minutes.
  14. Add the gelatin and stir until dissolved. 
  15. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg white(s) until stiff peaks form.
  16. Slowly stream the syrup down the side of bowl into egg whites while beating on low, avoiding the whisk. 
  17. Increase the speed to high and continue beating until stiff peaks form and meringue is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes. The mixer will sound noticeably different when the marshmallow is at its proper consistency, almost as if its straining just a bit.
  18. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  19. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1” open round plain pastry tip (spray a spatula with cooking spray to make this a bit less messy). 
  20. Pipe 1 Tablespoon dollops onto all of the cookies as quickly as you can. Place the piping tip upright on the cookie, squeeze to release the marshmallow as you slowly pull up, then stop squeezing and quickly pull straight up. You may need to give the bag a little flick to release. this takes a little practice so don’t fret if the first few look a little odd; they’ll look fine glazed and sprinkled. Try to avoid touching the piped marshmallows as you go as it is sticky as all get out; use a few sheet pans if needed. (Leftover marshmallow filling can be piped into more kisses onto a piece of parchment lightly sprayed with cooking spray.)
  21. Let rest for 2-4 hours to set completely. The marshmallow is quite sticky when freshly piped but will dry out a bit over time and is much easier to handle at that point.
  22. For the glaze: combine chocolate and vegetable oil in a heatproof glass bowl over a double boiler or my preferable method of the microwave at 50% power in 60-45 second bursts, stirring between, until the chocolate is not quite melted. Stir until smooth.
  23. Add the vegetable oil and stir until fully combined. 
  24. To glaze and decorate: Line a sheet pan with a clean piece of parchment paper.
  25. If needed, transfer the glaze to a narrow deep bowl, deep enough to accommodate the mallomars. 
  26. Grabbing a mallomar by the cookie bottom, dip into the glaze to the cookie edge. Lift up and let excess glaze drip back into the bowl, giving a little shake to help it along.
  27. Quickly flip upright and place on the prepared pan, trying not to touch any freshly glazed cookies.
  28. Let sit several minutes to allow the glaze to set then decorate with holiday sprinkles, jimmies or very finely crushed/chopped peppermints. Avoid decorations that are a little too large or heavy as they have a tendency to slide right off. The glaze will stay wet for quite a while so there’s no hurry to get those sprinkles on. Give it a little time.
  29. Let set, slowly in a moderately cool place, until the glaze is set. Overnight is best.
  30. Cookies will keep several days tightly wrapped.
  31. Cleaning hints: marshmallow is incredibly sticky so the best approach to cleaning your bowl/tools is to soak them in warm water for a while to dissolve the goo then wash. For the sugar syrup pot, fill with water and bring to a boil to dissolve. 

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No holiday cookie baking session is complete without some sort of nut cookie rolled in a cloud of powdered sugar. Fact. There are many versions: Mexican wedding cookies, Italian wedding cookies, snowballs, Russian tea cakes, polvorones, nut crescents, sandies. There’s probably a few other names out there for the same basic cookie: a buttery crumbly dough, ground nuts of some type, maybe a little spice and a double dip in powdered sugar while warm. The first to melt a bit from the heat of the cookie and create a sort of powdery icing seal and the second dip to fully coat and guarantee you cannot eat these on the sly. The telltale powdered sugar trail down the front of your shirt is always a dead giveaway.

We’re nearing the end of this season’s 12 Days of Cookies so I thought it was a good time for a chocolate version of this classic. Cocoa powder and ground almonds (and a good dose of butter) make up the base and I’ve tossed a bit of cocoa into that final powdered sugar dip. For a little surprise, I added a few mini chocolate chips too. Shaped into little crescents you’ve got a riff on a classic and a new shape for that cookie platter. Have at it.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 One Dough/12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

Day 7: Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

Day 8: Coconut Bullseyes

Day 9: Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

DAY 10: CHOCOLATE ALMOND CRESCENTS

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a natural cocoa powder for this one but I think I’d prefer the darker color of a dutched cocoa on this one.

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2-3 baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a standing mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, combine room temperature chocolate cookie dough, smaller measure of powdered sugar, baking powder, chopped almonds, chocolate chips, cornstarch, salt and water on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
  3. Shape 2 teaspoons of dough into 2 ½” logs and bend into a crescent shape. Place 2” apart on the prepared sheet pans.
  4. Bake 10-12 minutes until firm and just firm to the touch. 
  5. While the cookies are baking, sift the larger measure of powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl.
  6. Let the cookies cool for a minute or two until still warm but firm enough to handle. Right out of the oven the cookies are quite delicate.
  7. While the cookies are still warm, drop a few a time into the bowl, shaking to fully coat cookie. 
  8. Gently remove the cookies and shake a little to remove excess sugar.
  9. Transfer to parchment lined sheet pans to cool completely.
  10. If desired, give the cookies another toss in the powdered sugar mixture for an additional coat.
  11. Cookies, tightly wrapped, will keep for several days. If you’d like to make ahead, shape the cookies and freeze on a sheet pan. Once solid, transfer to a Ziploc bag labeled with the cookie name and cooking time/temperature and store up to 3 months in the freezer. Bake directly from the freezer, adding a few minutes to the baking time and proceed with the recipe as directed.

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Why do peanut butter and chocolate go so well together? Is it the deep rich notes of the chocolate, contrasted against the salty, creamy notes of the peanut butter? I really don’t know but I can tell you, in a cookie, I just really like it. So today for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies, that’s what we have: Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies.

A few basic things are added to the base dough to make it a little firmer when baked then it’s rolled thin and cut into cut shapes. I went with fluted squares because I like them. Nice and neat and tidy. I also used that special black cocoa here because I wanted that really dark color that looks so nice against the filling. Remember the cardinal rule of cut out cookies: roll warm, cut cold. This one warms up fast as you go so keep rotating pieces in and out of the fridge as you work. Now let’s talk about this filling. It is utterly delicious – creamy peanut butter with a bit of honey, sugar and salt, it’s got that whole salty-sweet thing going on that I find irresistible. Between two dark cookie layers? It’s even better.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

Day 7: Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

Day 8: Coconut Bullseyes

DAY 9: CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a black cocoa for this one, mixed 60/40 with a dutch cocoa for best flavor.

  1. For the cookies: In the bowl of a standing mixer add the room temperature cookie dough broken into small pieces, cocoa, sugar and baking soda and mix with the paddle attachment until well combined.
  2. Divide the dough into four/two/one piece(s) and roll each between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to a flat sheet about 1/8” thick.
  3. Stack the sheets on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. The dough sheets can be refrigerated up to 3 days (or frozen up to 3 months) but tightly wrap first to make sure the edges do not dry out.  
  4. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking liners.
  5. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap or parchment.
  6. With a 2” cutter of whatever shape you wish, stamp out as many shapes as possible and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, ¾” apart.
  7. Continue with the remaining dough sheets, rerolling/chilling the scraps as you go.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until baked through and slightly firm to the touch.
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. For the pb filling: in a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or for smaller quantities, in a bowl with a rubber spatula), beat the filling ingredients together until combined and smooth. 
  11. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round or open star tip, if you like. Truly, a tip isn’t necessary, but it makes for neater edges. (A Ziploc bag will work too). 
  12. To assemble: Flip half the cookies over and pipe about 1 Tablespoon of the filling onto the backside of each cookie.
  13. Top with another cookie, top side up, pressing slightly to adhere.
  14. Store between layers of parchment in an airtight container up to 3 days.
  15. Do ahead: it’s best to make and freeze the dough and bake as needed rather than freeze baked cookies. Frozen dough will keep up to 3 months. You can freeze the dough then let come to room temperature and proceed at step #8 or I find it much easier to roll/chill/cut and freeze the cut rounds of cookie dough between layers of parchment. Then just bake the cut frozen cookies as you like. The filling can also be frozen for up to 2 months but needs to be room temperature to pipe.

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Moving right along, today for Day 8 of the 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies we’re taking that basic chocolate cookie dough and wrapping it around a coconut filling to make bullseyes. Fancy that! I love doing slice and bake cookies like bullseyes, pinwheels and marble cookies because they’re easy. And they look impressive. A slice and bake will become your best cookie baking friend in no time.

For bullseyes, make the filling, roll into a log and freeze until firm. Roll the dough (with a few simple additions) into a rectangle large enough to completely wrap around the filling. Chill. Slice. Bake. Easy peasy and the black and white contrast is very pretty. I used a black cocoa here which turned out quite nice and looks especially lovely against the white filling. The cookie is a little crisp, the coconut center is a little softer and the contrast of textures and flavors between the two is great. Now … if you want to get even fancier and take this Mounds kind of cookie into Almond Joy territory here’s what you do. After you make the cookie log as directed, brush it with egg while and roll it in chopped smoked almonds. Outstanding.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 One Dough/12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

Day 7: Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

DAY 8: COCONUT BULLSEYES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a black cocoa for this one mixed 60/40 with a dutch cocoa for the best flavor.

  1. For the coconut filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. 
  2. Add the coconut and mix on medium until blended. 
  3. Divide the mixture corresponding with the batch size – 4, 2 or 1 pieces. (if you have one, use a scale)
  4. On a piece of plastic wrap, shape one piece of coconut filling into a 11” long roll, wrap in plastic wrap and roll back and forth to form a nice, round log. Place on a sheet pan and freeze 30 minutes to firm. Do the same with the remaining pieces if needed.
  5. For the cookie dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the room temperature base cookie dough, baking soda, sugar and salt until blended.
  6. Add the water and mix until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
  7. Divide the dough corresponding with the batch size – 4, 2 or 1 piece(s). (if you have one, use a scale)
  8. Roll a piece of cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a 11”x 4 ½” rectangle, about 1/8” thick. 
  9. Position the dough with the long edge closest to you. Remove top piece of parchment and brush the lightly beaten egg white along the long edge farthest from you.
  10. Remove the coconut log from the freezer, unwrap and place along the dough edge
  11. Roll dough around filling and seal edges by pinching and rolling gently to seal. Give it a few rolls to seal and even out.
  12. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight (log can be frozen up to 2 months at this point, tightly wrapped.)
  13. To bake: Preheat oven to 350°F and line sheet pans with parchment paper.
  14. Unwrap dough and cut into ¼” slices with a sharp knife. If the dough crumbles, let warm on the counter a few minutes. After every cut, rotate the dough to avoid any flat sides. 
  15. Place 2” apart on prepared pans, reshaping into a nice round if the cookies smooshes a bit during cutting. 
  16. Bake until set, about 8 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through (top to bottom, back to front). 
  17. Cool 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool fully (just slide the parchment from the sheet pan to the rack).

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Originally, these were supposed to be a chocolate amaretti type cookie which are Italian almond cookies, often crunchy and great for dunking. As I baked a couple batches I realized, or remembered as the case may be, that I don’t particularly care for amaretti. Too dry. Too crunchy. And there wasn’t enough almond flavor so what was the point? So I pivoted and turned it into a cookie I can’t stop eating, one with more almond paste, a softer chewier texture and more almond flavor. And I like them much much better. So for today’s chocolate cookie, we have a Chocolate Marzipan Cookie. 

If marzipan scares you off and conjures up images of grotesquely sweet play-doh shaped into odd fruits and vegetables, stick with me. It’s really just almond paste and sugar and I’ve worked both of those into this dough with a bit of egg white, almond flour and almond extract. Bake them for about 8 minutes for a nice chewy cookie or bake them longer for something a little crisper. I really can’t stop eating them.

If you haven’t been playing along, for the last few weeks we’ve been taking a basic chocolate cookie dough and adding various ingredients to it to make twelve different chocolate cookies. Make one dough, make many cookies. Today, it’s all things almond + chocolate. I like to roll these in sugar for an extra crunch, either large grain or pearl but regular granulated sugar works too.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

Day 6: Fudge Tarts

DAY 7: CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN COOKIES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a natural cocoa for this one (the various types of cocoa powder are discussed in the base dough recipe post). The dough may seem a bit oily when it comes together, and it is, as all that almond paste is exuding its natural oils. Chill the dough to make it easier to handle and carry on.

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the almond paste, sugar and egg white(s) on medium until fully combined.
  2. Add the room temperature cookie dough (broken into small pieces), almond flour, almond extract, baking powder and salt; mix on medium speed until well combined.
  3. Roll Tablespoon sized pieces of dough into balls and chill for at least an hour. Can be chilled overnight or frozen for up to 2 months tightly wrapped.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. When ready to bake, let the dough balls warm up a bit and roll in your sugar of choice to coat. (The sugar will stick better if the cookie balls are a bit tacky on the outside.)
  6. Place on parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined sheet pans, about 2” apart. 
  7. Bake for 6-8 minutes until just firm to the touch but soft in the centers.
  8. Let cool on wire racks.
  9. Do ahead: scoop and roll the dough, nestle on a parchment line sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer to a Ziploc for longer storage (label with cookie name and baking temp and time.)

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For a cookie assortment, you need a few special ones to make it look like you put in a lot of effort, to make it look like you’re punching above your weight. This is that cookie. The secret? It’s really not that hard at all. Sssshhhhh. 

First off you need a mini muffin pan. You know, the pan you haven’t used in at least a year. Maybe more. Yeah, that one. The base dough might be a little dry so mix in a little water to make it nice and moist then roll and cut into circles just a bit bigger than the muffin tin openings and ease, ever so carefully into the tin indents. Press into the corners and edges and chill – or freeze – until firm. Then you bake. That’s it for the pastry shell, deceptively simple, and the rich chocolate filling is just as easy. Where the artistry comes in is in the decorating. Get creative. A bit of candied citrus, a pinch of toasted nuts, a curlicue of a coconut flake, some glittery holiday sprinkles. Even just a pinch of simple flaky salt elevates these tarts to the extra fancy realm. Then sit back and watch them disappear with a smile. Because no one needs to know.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

Day 5: Chocolate Lebkuchen

DAY 6: FUDGE TARTS

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a black cocoa here, mixed 60/40 with a dutch cocoa (60 black/40 dutch). I like the black for color but find the flavor is best when blended with some dutch cocoa.

  1. For the tarts: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dough and water until nice and soft.
  2. Between two pieces of lightly floured piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, roll out the room temperature dough to 1/8” thickness. 
  3. Chill for 15 minutes to firm up a bit (it will cut cleaner and transfer easier.)
  4. Using a 2 ¼” round cutter (or whatever size works best for your tin), cut out rounds, rerolling the scraps as necessary. 
  5. Gently press 1 pastry round into each mini muffin tin cavity. Gently ease the dough in starting with the sides. If the dough cracks/breaks, simply patch up with a bit of extra dough, pressing into place.
  6. Refrigerate until well chilled and firm, about 30 minutes. (If you have the space you can freeze the pans, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.)
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  8. Bake 10 minutes until the pastry shells are somewhat firm to the touch. (It’s tough to judge when done is actually done due to the cocoa powder so trust your touch – when they’re ready they will still seem just a touch too soft but the edges will be set and the bottoms firm.) Halfway through baking rotate the pans and gently push down any tart bottoms that have puffed up. 
  9. Let cool completely. 
  10. For the ganache filling: In a medium bowl, add the chopped chocolate and set aside for a moment. 
  11. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil.
  12. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, give the bowl a swirl or two to fully submerge the chocolate and immediately cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes, swirling the bowl once or twice.
  13. Remove the plastic and begin stirring with a rubber spatula until the ganache is smooth and the chocolate is fully melted. If the chocolate is not fully melted, pop in the microwave for 30 second increments at 50% power as needed.
  14. Stir in the bourbon (or vanilla) and salt.
  15. Transfer to a piping bag (or a Ziploc) snip off the tip and fill the baked cooled tart shells.
  16. Garnish if you like – a bit of candied orange, a nut, an edible flower or piece of dried fruit.
  17. Make ahead: You can fit the dough into the muffin tins and freeze them, tightly wrapped, for up to two months. Or you can roll and cut the rounds and freeze between pieces of parchment paper until needed. Let the round defrost until pliable before continuing. The ganache can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month but needs to come to room temperature to pipe though it really works best – and looks the best – if freshly made.

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When I was a kid, my Grandmother would send us a “Christmas Around the World” book every year, featuring a different country and their holiday traditions. I loved these books. I still love these books. After reading about St. Lucia Day in Sweden, I really wanted to wear a wreath with lit candles. My mom put the kibosh on that real quick. Candles flames and live Christmas trees don’t gel well in Arizona. (Or anywhere really.) After reading about St. Nicolas’ Day in the Netherlands book, I quickly adopted the tradition of putting out my shoes the evening before December 6th to wake up to find St. Nick had left me little treats in my tennis shoes (much to my tremendous disappointment I did not own a pair of wooden shoes so I had to make some adjustments). But the German book was the one I turned to most because of the pictures of cookies and holiday pastries and gingerbread houses. They had funny names I couldn’t pronounce and looked so Christmas-y with spices, piles of icing, clouds of powdered sugar and jewel-like candied fruits – pfeffernusse, stolen, zimtsterne, springerle, lebkuchen. I was absolutely fascinated. 

When I was putting together this year’s crop of recipes, I thought a chocolate spice cookie could be quite nice and remembered those old German recipes. So for today, Day 5 of the 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies, I’ve got a version of lebkuchen. A lovely spiced cookie full of candied ginger, orange zest, almonds, all those wonderful gingerbready spices – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg – and glazed with a light but flavorful mix of apple juice and brandy. Delightful! 

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

Day 4: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

DAY 5: CHOCOLATE LEBKUCHEN

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a natural cocoa powder for this one. If you have some of those fancy cookie stamps, try them here or press the dough into a round and make designs with a toothpick like I did. Or leave them in rounds; that works too.

  1. For the cookies: preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2-3 sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a standing mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, combine room temperature base cookie dough, all the spices, chopped almonds, orange zest, baking powder and water on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
  3. For rounds: roll 1 Tablespoons of the dough into balls and place 1” apart on the prepared sheet pans. For cookie stamps: gently press the round with a cookie stamp to imprint the design or flatten the balls into thick discs, smoothing out any cracks on the sides, and press a toothpick or wooden skewer into the dough to make designs. (At this point, you can freeze the cookies up to 3 months. Bake directly from the freezer, adding a few minutes to the baking time.)
  4. Bake 6-8 minutes until just firm to the touch. 
  5. Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.
  6. For the glaze: whisk together the powdered sugar and liquid of choice until smooth (if your powdered sugar is particularly lumpy, consider sifting first.) The glaze should be very light and liquidy.
  7. Place the wire rack on a sheet of parchment. Dip each cookie in the glaze, letting excess drip off and place back on the wire rack and allow to dry.

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I have an uneasy relationship with all things mint flavored. Are they minty deliciously good or are they minty mouthwashy bad? It could go either way. There’s a fine line between the two though there’s something incomplete about a holiday season without candy canes, Frango Mints and Andes Mints. There just is. Growing up I knew, I just knew, my Chicago based grandmother would send us a big box of Frango Mints for Christmas. Most of the time they were the standard green box with the mint flavor but once in a while, we’d get the offshoots – raspberry and maybe orange. They weren’t also mint, just other flavors, and while I liked them very much it didn’t seem like Christmas unless we also had the mint variety. That’s just how it was. Mint and Christmas just go together.

Being raised a Frango kid, I grew a rather snobby attitude toward that other minty chocolate candy, Andes Mints. This is just absurd because while today I do still think Frango are better, those Andes are pretty good. It’s that green middle layer – it’s rather festive. So today, for Day 4 of the 12 Days of Chocolate Cookies, I’ve taken those Andes Mints and added them to the base chocolate dough for a delightful fudgy cookie. But fair warning here … they will do what all mint things do. They will make everything taste like mint. It’s annoying but a hard learned fact so store this one by itself and add it to your cookie box, tray or whatever at the last moment otherwise everything will take on a faint minty aroma.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

Day 3: Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies

DAY 4: ANDES MINT CHIP COOKIES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used a dutched cocoa for this one. An important thing to note with this one is to slightly underbake the cookie; you want it on the fudgy side. FYI – a 4.67oz box of Andres Mints contains 28 mints. And one more thing – yes the smallest batch does call for ½ an egg white. I warned you at the beginning things might get a little weird as we scale down. And here we are.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Unwrap and chop the Andes Mints to about the size of chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the room temperature cookie dough, broken into small pieces.
  4. Add the brown sugar, baking soda, salt and egg whites and mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. On low, stir in the chopped mints.
  6. Roll Tablespoon sized pieces of dough into balls and place on parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined sheet pans, about 2” apart.
  7. Bake for 4-5 minutes, until just on the outside but still very soft in the centers.
  8. Let cool on wire racks.
  9. Do ahead: roll the dough, nestle on a parchment line sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer to a Ziploc for longer storage (label with cookie name and baking time.)

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Who doesn’t love chocolate and caramel? Add a pinch of flaky salt? Oh c’mon. One of the uncelebrated time savers during the holidays is purchased dulce de leche, found in the Hispanic aisle of your basic grocery store. Slather it between cake layers, pipe it into cupcakes or, like I do here, sandwich it between crispy cookies with a good pinch of salt. Sure, homemade is better but nothing beats the convenience of popping a can top when you’re stretched for time. For Day 3, I’ve sandwiched that delicious caramel between two deeply dark beautiful cookies, with a showy little peek-a-boo window on top. 

For this one, I break out the special black cocoa. The contrast between the super dark, almost oreo-like cookie and the rich brown caramel is stunning. You can find this cocoa online (King Arthur is a great source) and it’s worth seeking out if you bake a lot. For the best flavor, I like to mix it with some dutch cocoa so you get the best of both worlds – that deep dark color and a full, round cocoa flavor. And remember the cardinal rule of cut out cookies: roll warm, cut cold for the best and cleanest shapes.

36 One Dough/Many Cookies from years past:

Fruity: Jam ThumbprintsJam Streusel TartsRaspberry Linzer SquaresLemon Poppyseed ButtonsOrange Sesame CrispsCranberry Pistachio CoinsAlmond Raspberry StripsOrange Sandwich CookiesApricot Rosemary ShortbreadCoconut Lime SticksBourbon Glazed Fruitcake ButtonsLemon Cornmeal BiscottiBlueberry Lime ButtonsDate Swirls

Nutty: Mexican Wedding CookiesRussian Tea CakesPecan TassiesMaple Black Walnut CookiesPB&J Sandwich CookiesPecan Triangles

Spiced: Cinnamon Sugar PinwheelsCandied Ginger Spice ButtonsCardamom Rose CoinsBrown Sugar Wafers with Lemon Lavender Glaze

Chocolate: Mexican Chocolate CrinklesChocolate Cocoa Nib WafersRaspberry Chocolate DropsChocolate Hazelnut ButtonsDark Mocha Sandwich CookiesEspresso Crinkles

Bars: Rum Butter BarsPeppermint Brownie BarsBanana Walnut Bars

Holiday Classics: Cream Cheese WreathsClassic Molasses CookiesPeppermint Candy Canes

2020 12 Days of Cookies line up to date:

Basic Chocolate Butter Cookie Dough

Day 1: Cranberry Cocoa Nib Wafers

Day 2: Chocolate Banana Petit Four

DAY 3: DULCE DE LECHE SANDWICH COOKIES

Start with the base chocolate dough – recipe here. I used mostly black cocoa for this one mixed with dutched cocoa at a 60/40 black/dutch ratio. I love the color of a black cocoa for a sandwich type cookie but prefer the flavor mixed with a dutched cocoa.

  1. For the cookies: In the bowl of a standing mixer add the room temperature cookie dough broken into small pieces, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and water; mix with the paddle attachment until well combined.
  2. Divide the dough into eight/four/two pieces and roll each between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to a flat sheet about 1/8” thick.
  3. Stack the sheets on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least one hour. The dough sheets can be refrigerated up to 3 days (or frozen up to 3 months) but tightly wrap first to make sure the edges do not dry out.  
  4. When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350°F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking liners.
  5. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap or parchment.
  6. With a 2” round cutter, stamp out as many circles as possible and transfer to the prepared baking sheets, ¾” apart.
  7. Continue with the remaining dough sheets, rerolling/chilling the scraps as you go.
  8. With a small cutter, cut a small window in half of the rounds. 
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until baked through and slightly firm to the touch.
  10. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. For the dulce de leche filling: transfer to a piping bag or a Ziploc. 
  12. To assemble: Flip the whole cookies (without the window cutout) over and pipe about 1 Tablespoon of the filling onto the backside of each cookie.
  13. Top each with a pinch of flaky salt.
  14. Top with the window cut out cookies, pressing gently to adhere.
  15. Store between layers of parchment in an airtight container up to 4 days.
  16. Do ahead: it’s best to make and freeze the dough and bake as needed rather than freeze baked cookies. Frozen dough will keep up to 3 months. I find it pretty easy to roll/chill/cut and freeze the cut rounds of cookie dough between layers of parchment. Then just bake the cut frozen cookies as you like. The filling can also be frozen for up to 2 months but needs to be room temperature to pipe.

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