I have officially started the Christmas cookie challenge that I have been so determined to do for a couple of years. I started out by baking two batches of cookies that I felt would survive longest in the freezer. Neapolitan cookies and shortbread wedges are dry and don’t involve any type of outside decorations. This makes them very easy to keep in large freezer bags and store in the freezer. They turned out so well.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract
5 drops red food coloring
1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Mix in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture.
Divide the dough into three separate bowls. To the first bowl, add food coloring and almond extract. To the second bowl, add chopped walnuts. To the third bowl, add melted chocolate. Combine ingredients into the separate dough.
Line a 9×5-inch baking pan with wax paper. Press almond dough evenly to bottom of pan. Press the walnut dough over the almond dough. Finish off by pressing the chocolate dough over the walnut dough and cover with more wax paper. Chill for four hours.
Turn the chilled dough out onto a cutting board. Remove wax paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/4-inch slices. Place slices on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until bottoms turn golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
10 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl sift together flour and cornstarch. In a separate mixing bowl cream butter until fluffy. Stir in powdered sugar, white sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until dough forms. On a floured surface, form dough into a ball. Separate into two dough balls. Pat each ball into a 6-inch round disk. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slice the disks into wedges, keeping them in their disk shape. Prick with a fork to create a design.
Bake for 25 minutes and remove immediately to cool on a wire rack.
The neapolitan cookies are so pretty and the combination of flavors is unique. The shortbread is crumbly and buttery. I may dip the shortbread in chocolate closer to Christmas. I will see how the whole collection of cookies looks when it comes together. Only eight more batches to go!