Sweet treats! Make Martha’s holiday cookies

Looking for something new to add to your cookie plate? Martha Stewart suggests these scrumptious holiday recipes including chocolate-peppermint thumbprints.

Gingerbread bells
Servings:

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients

    • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup˙(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 large egg
    • 2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
    • 6 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
    • 1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites
    • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • Desired food coloring

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat brown sugar and butter on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add egg and molasses and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. Form dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between floured parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Stack dough in parchment on a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes. With a 3 ½ inch bell-shaped cutter, cut out dough (reroll scraps, if desired). Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.Bake until cookies are firm and edges begin to brown, 14 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. In a large bowl, using mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, egg whites, and cream of tartar on low until combined. With mixer on high, beat until icing is whipped and opaque, 4 minutes. Thin with water as needed to make a stiff but spreadable icing. Divide icing among bowls; tint with food coloring. Transfer icings to large separate zip-top bags and snip 1/8 -inch hole in one corner of each bag. Frost cookies in one color, then pipe horizontal lines in a different color; drag a toothpick up and down through lines. Let sit until icing is set, 2 hours. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 week.)Active time: 1 1/2 hours Total time: 2 hours + cooling

Chocolate-peppermint thumbprints
Servings:

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
    • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    • 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (3/4 cup)
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup each butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat to combine. Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Remove sheets from oven; with the small end of a melon baller or the bottom of a small round measuring spoon, make an indentation in center of each cookie.Bake until cookies are just set but still look moist, 4 minutes (do not overbake). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips and ¼ cup butter in 10-second increments until melted; stir in peppermint extract. Let cool until thick enough to pipe, 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large zip-top bag; snip 1/4-inch hole in one corner. Pipe chocolate into cookie indentations. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 week.)Active time: 35 minutesTotal time: 50 minutes + cooling

Tips:

For extra sparkle, roll the dough balls in sanding sugar instead of granulated before baking.

Cinnamon-sugar palmiers
Servings:

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
    • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle a work surface with ½ cup cinnamon-sugar and on it, roll out puff pastry into two 9-by-11-inch rectangles. Sprinkle each rectangle with 3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar and gently roll over dough to adhere. Working with 1 rectangle at a time and starting from a long edge, quickly but gently fold dough toward center 3 times in 1-inch increments. Gently flip over dough and repeat with other long edge (once baked, cookies will look like an S-shape). Wrap dough in plastic and freeze until very firm but not frozen, 20 minutes.Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip both sides of each slice in remaining cinnamon-sugar. In batches, place cookies, 2 inches apart, on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until deep golden on underside, 12 minutes. Carefully flip each cookie with a metal spatula and bake until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. With a fork, drizzle cookies with chocolate and let sit until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 day.)Active time: 35 minutes Total time: 1 3/4 hours + cooling

Hazelnut sandwich cookies
Servings:

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • Confectioners sugar, for dusting
    • 3/4 cup desired filling (see below)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts with ¼ cup flour mixture until very finely ground. Add remaining flour mixture and process to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks and vanilla and pulse until dough just comes together. Form dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between floured parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Stack dough in parchment on a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes. With a lightly floured 2 ½ inch fluted round cutter, cut out dough. (If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate a few minutes; reroll scraps, if desired.) Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. With a 1-inch cutter, cut out dough in centers of half the cookies. Bake until cookies just begin to brown at edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. If desired, bake small cutouts separately, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Lightly sift confectioners' sugar over cutout tops. Spread about 2 teaspoons filling on bottoms of remaining cookies and sandwich with sugar-dusted tops. (Store in airtight containers, up to 1 week.)Active time: 40 minutesTotal time: 1 1/2 hours + chilling

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