On the ninth day of Christmas, ¯¯ my true love gave to me ¯¯… Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies.
This is a delicious rolled cookie, tender, buttery, and not too sweet—which is tinted and shaped to look like a pink poinsettia. No matter how many types of beautiful cookies festoon a holiday gathering, this one always causes the most buzz. It also disappears first.
Luckily, these cookies look more difficult to make than they actually are. The shaping technique is easy, although it does require just a bit of attention and patience. You will be well rewarded though for your efforts.
Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies
This recipe is super-sized, as are most of my holiday cookie recipes. I suggest shaping poinsettias out of the first rolling only, however, as the scraps may be a little too dry to shape easily. Thus you will not get quite as many poinsettia cookies here as you might expect. The scraps can be rolled a second time and cut with cookie cutters.
5 cups King Arthur all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups unsalted butter, cool room temperature (15 minutes out of the refrigerator)
2½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, cool room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
several drops of red food coloring
clear sanding sugar or sprinkles
opal or silver shot
1.In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
2.In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3.Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well incorporated, and then beat in the extracts and food coloring.
4.Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix very briefly in short bursts, just until incorporated.
5.Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, divide into four equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap, flatten, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
6.On a flat countertop, lay out a pastry cloth and cover a heavy rolling pin with a rolling pin cover. Flour the pastry cloth and rolling pin cover lightly.
7.Working with one disk of dough at a time (keeping the others in the refrigerator), roll the dough out to a square shape with approximately 1/8-inch thickness.
8.Using a 2- to 2½-inch-wide plastic ruler, cut the dough into 2- to 2½-inch squares. Cover the rolled dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out as you work. These cookies take time to shape.
9.Remove one cookie square at a time from under the plastic wrap cover. Using any utensil with a ½-inch radius on one end, impress a ½-inch circle in the center of the cookie, without cutting through the cookie.
10.Using a small pizza cutter, pastry wheel, or sharp knife, cut from each corner to the edge of the center circle you just marked. Carefully fold every other cut point to the center of the cookie and press gently to adhere.
11.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and arrange the cookies, one-by-one, immediately after shaping.
12.When the sheet is full, press 3 balls of silver or opal shot into the center of each cookie and then sprinkle heavily with clear or red sanding sugar.
13.Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, let sit for 1 minute, and then remove with a thin spatula to a wire rack to cool.
14.When completely cool, pack in layers, separated by parchment paper, into a cookie tin.
Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark location, the flavor and texture of these cookies will actually improve over 2-3 weeks. They may also be frozen for 2-3 months.
Makes about 5 dozen poinsettia cookies, plus 3 dozen “scrap” cookies.
Come Back for More
Here is the LunaCafe Christmas 2008 Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies initial post and game plan with links to the following twelve cookies. Links can also be found in the right sidebar.
On the 1st day of Christmas: Lily’s Swedish Vanilla Spritz
On the 2nd day of Christmas: Orange Vanilla Sugar Cookies
On the 3rd day of Christmas: Decidedly Lemon Teacakes
On the 4th day of Christmas: Once in a Chocolate-Spice Moon Cookies
On the 5th day of Christmas: Peppermint Stick Shortbread
On the 6th day of Christmas: Lemon-Lime Clove Sugar Cookies
On the 7th day of Christmas: Toasted Almond Black Cherry Shortbread
On the 8th day of Christmas: Green Tea and Rose Spritz
On the 9th day of Christmas: Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies
On the 10th day of Christmas: Lemon OrangePecan Thumbprints
On the 11th day of Christmas: Candy Cane Butter Cookies
On the 12th day of Christmas: Ellen’s Swedish Pepparkakor