Top 11 Holiday Cookies and Confections from the CIA


holiday cookie recipes

Happy Holidays! Enjoy these recipes from the bakeshops of the CIA.

With the holidays around the corner, we’re sure you’ll be up to a lot of baking. Why not include some of these very delicious cookies and confections recipes from The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Pecan Diamonds

PECAN DIAMONDS

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Makes four dozen 2-inch or eight dozen 1-inch diamonds

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 2/3 cups cake flour, sifted

Filling:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 7 1/2 cups pecans, chopped

Cookie Dough:

Cream together butter and sugar in a mixer bowl with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and light, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually incorporate egg and vanilla, stopping mixer and scraping bowl as necessary.

Add flour and mix on low speed until just blended, about 30 seconds. Do not over-mix.

Place dough onto parchment paper or a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat square. Wrap dough well with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line bottom of a 15-inch by 10-inch jelly roll pan with parchment.

Roll dough out to a rectangle 17 inches by 12 inches by 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the rolled dough to the baking pan, gently pressing it to the pan. Trim the edges with a paring knife, and prick the bottom of the dough with the prongs of a fork to prevent bubbling during baking.

Bake until dough is firm but has no color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool dough while you make the filling.

Pecan Filling:

Place the butter, sugars, honey, and cream into a heavy-bottom saucepot. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove pot from the heat, add pecans, and stir until fully incorporated. Immediately pour into the pre-baked crust and spread into an even layer.

Bake in 350 degree F oven until the filling bubbles evenly across the surface and the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool thoroughly before cutting.

Remove from pan using a knife to release the edges and invert the slab onto the back of a sheet pan. Transfer to a cutting board by flipping it over so it is right side up. Trim off the edges and cut into 1-inch or 2-inch diamonds.

The bars store well at room temperature, but can also be refrigerated or frozen as long as wrapped airtight.

Recipe from the bakeshops of the CIA.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Chocolate-Stout-Oatmeal-Cookies-Recipe

CHOCOLATE STOUT OATMEAL COOKIES

Stout beer has flavors of chocolate and coffee and it will add a new flavor dimension to your traditional oatmeal cookie recipe. When you are done making cookies, enjoy them with the beer used in the recipe. Try New York State craft-brewed stout to make this unusual and delicious recipe.

Ingredients

Makes 24 to 30 small cookies

  • 2 cups stout beer
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 pound room temperature butter, diced
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup spent grain flour (substitute all-purpose flour if unavailable)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine 1 cup of the stout and the raisins in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine the brown sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Slowly cream the mixture together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the remaining cup of stout to the rolled oats and let sit.
  5. Mix together the cocoa powder, flour, spent grain, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and fold into the oat mixture.
  6. Add the oat mixture, raisins, and egg to the creamed butter. Gently mix until it comes together.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon tablespoon-size drops onto a parchment-paper-lined cookie tray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned but still soft.

 

Mudslide Cookies

MUDSLIDE COOKIES

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Makes 24 large cookies

  • Flourless cooking spray for greasing
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Combine the instant coffee and boiling water to make a paste. Blend in the vanilla extract.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate, chopped bittersweet chocolate, and the butter in a saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave in 15- to 20-second intervals. Gently stir to blend.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar, and coffee paste mixture on high speed until light in texture and thick, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture with the machine running on medium speed. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips until blended. Scrape down the bowl as needed during mixing to blend evenly.

Using a 1/4-cup measure as a scoop, fill it with dough, level it, and drop the dough onto a prepared cookie sheet, leaving 3 to 4 inches between the cookies.

In batches, bake the cookies until they are cracked on top but still slightly moist, rotating the pans as necessary to bake the cookies evenly, 14 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Anise Biscotti

ANISE BISCOTTI

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Makes 32 biscotti

  • Flourless cooking spray for greasing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole almonds
  • 2 tablespoons aniseed

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs, sugar, salt, and anise extract on high speed until thick and light in texture, about 4 minutes. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add the almonds and aniseed and blend until evenly combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Form the dough into a 4-inch by 16-inch log and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake until light golden brown, 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees F. Using a serrated knife, cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the sliced cookies on 2 unlined cookie sheets and bake until golden brown and crisp, 40 minutes.Transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Coconut Macaroons

COCONUT MACAROONS

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Makes about 32 macaroons

  • 1 cup sugar (divided use)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine 1/3 cup of the sugar with the flour and set aside.

Combine the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the coconut, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Heat over simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and holds together, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Fold in the flour mixture, orange zest, and vanilla extract.

Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart and shaping into neat mounds as needed.

In batches, bake until the macaroons are a light golden brown on the outside but still soft enough to give slightly when you press them lightly with your fingertip, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the macaroons, still on the parchment paper, to a wire rack to cool completely. When cool, they will lift off easily.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Soft Caramels

SOFT CARAMELS

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Makes 1 1/2 pounds

  • Flourless cooking spray for greasing
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup whole or low-fat milk
  • Large zest strips from 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Lightly coat a 9-inch-square baking pan with cooking spray. Cut two 9-inch by 16-inch rectangles of parchment paper. Lay one strip of the parchment in the baking pan, pressing it to the bottom and sides.

Lightly coat the parchment with cooking spray. Lay the second parchment rectangle across the pan in the opposite direction to form a cross. Press the parchment to the bottom and sides of the pan and lightly coat with cooking spray. You should have a few inches of paper overhang on each side of the pan.

Combine the sugar, cream, milk, zest, and vanilla bean in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture begins to boil, add the corn syrup while continuing to stir. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a medium golden brown, 245 degrees F on a candy thermometer, the firm ball stage.

Pour the mixture immediately into the prepared pan, remove the vanilla bean and orange zest, and cool to room temperature. Using greased kitchen shears or a greased sharp knife, cut into squares.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Turtles

TURTLES

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Makes 20 pieces

  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • 100 pecan halves or 100 whole cashews, toasted (about 1 pound)
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the paper lightly with butter. Arrange all of the pecan halves or cashews on the parchment paper in groups of 5, with 1 piece forming the head and 4 pieces as the legs of a turtle. Make sure that all the nuts in each group touch in the center.

Combine the sweetened condensed milk and corn syrup in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture turns the color of medium caramel, a deep beige or light tan. Remove from the heat.

Grease 2 serving spoons lightly. Working quickly, very carefully spoon 1 tablespoon of the hot caramel mixture onto each group of nuts to hold them together and form the body of the turtle. Let cool thoroughly, about 1 hour at room temperature.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Stir in the oil. Use a spoon or parchment paper cone to drizzle or pipe the chocolate over the caramel, completely covering the caramel and forming each turtle shell. Let the turtles set at room temperature until firm, or place them in the freezer for about 3 minutes to set the chocolate.

Note: Store the candies at room temperature in an airtight container.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Sand Cookies

SAND COOKIES

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Makes 42 cookies

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest, grated
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, coarse

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and lemon zest on high speed until smooth and light, about 3 minutes.

Add the flour all at once and mix on low speed until combined.

Divide the dough in half and roll into 6-inch-long cylinders (they should be 11/4 inches in diameter). At this point the cookies may be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen or refrigerated for later use or they may be prepared for baking.

To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the cylinders of cookie dough with milk and roll them in the coarse sugar.

Cut the logs into 1/4-inch thick slices and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

Adapted from the CIA’s Gourmet Meals in Minutes cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

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Makes 16 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed with the paddle attachment, scraping down the bowl periodically, until the mixture is smooth and light in color, about 5 minutes.

Combine the egg and vanilla. Add to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. On low speed, mix in the sifted dry ingredients and the chocolate chunks until just incorporated.

Scale the dough into 2-tablespoon portions and place onto prepared cookie sheets. Alternatively, the dough may be shaped into a 16-inch-long log, rolled tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated until firm enough to slice. The chilled log may be sliced into 16 pieces and arranged on the prepared cookie sheets in even rows.

Bake at 375 degrees F until golden brown around the edges, about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on cookie sheets.

Adapted from the CIA’s Gourmet Meals in Minutes cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America.

 

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Makes about 24 cookies

  • Flourless cooking spray
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • Royal Icing (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, allspice, and salt. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and honey on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until smooth and light, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the dough is evenly mixed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, pat into an even disk, and chill until firm, at least 10 minutes. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use 51/2-inch cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

Bake the cookies until they are firm, about 12 to 14 minutes, depending on size of cutter used. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely before decorating, if desired. Bake the remaining dough in batches as directed.

Adapted from the CIA’s Baking at Home cookbook.

©2009 The Culinary Institute of America

 

holiday-Carrot-Cake-Cookie-recipe-og

CARROT CAKE COOKIES

These Carrot Cake Cookies are cake-like and always a hit—make them small for a cookie tray or larger for an easy dessert.

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Cookie Directions

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, gently blend the butter, sugars, salt and vanilla on low speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Add to the butter mixture all at once and mix on low just until combined.
  4. Stir in the oats, coconut, carrots, raisins, and walnuts by hand. Chill the dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  5. While the dough is firming up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets using a #40 scoop (1 3/4 tablespoons) about 1½ inches apart.
  7. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Rotate and switch the baking sheets as necessary for even baking.
  8. Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the baking sheets then transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  9. Use an offset spatula to spread a few tablespoons of frosting on half of the cooled cookies, then sandwich the cookies together.
  10. Store the cookies in a single layer in an airtight container.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup cream cheese (8 ounces), soft
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Frosting Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix to combine.
  3. Store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator until needed. Before using, allow to come to room temperature and beat on medium speed using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy these recipes from the bakeshops of the CIA. With the holidays around the corner, we’re sure you’ll be up to a lot of baking. Why not include some these very delicious cookies and confections recipes from The Culinary Institute of America.