I love ANY excuse to make yummy little cookies. Especially ones that look difficult, but aren't really at all. November's Cookie Swap (a joint Sugar High Friday and IMBB event) give me just that excuse.
These little cookies are just the right size for the holidays, that is they are small enough to have more than one without making you feel sick about all the butter and sugar. They package up very nicely as well. You can make a big batch of the basic dough and add in little extras for a few varieties of really elegant, and totally different tasting cookies. In addition to the two "flavours" I made: pistachio & cardamom and candied ginger the possibilities are endless: dried cranberry & orange, chocolate & cinnamon, peppermint, toffee, almond and cherry, lemon & lavender.... the list really is endless.
Chocolate dipped cardamom pistachio and candied ginger cookies
Makes 30 of each flavour (60 total)
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup packed golden sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 + 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/3 + 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 1/3 + 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
- 3 squares semisweet baking chocolate
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Preheat oven to 375F
Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of your upright mixer. Add milk, vanilla, baking soda and beat to combine. Add in flour and third at a time, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl a few times during the process as needed. Turn off machine, remove dough and separate into two halve. Put one half back into he mixer and add in the cardamom and pistachio. Mix thoroughly. Remove the pistachio dough and pop the second half of the basic dough into the mixer. Add in chopped ginger and mix to combine thoroughly.
Roll out each dough onto waxed paper, using a little flour to stop it from sticking to the rolling pin if necessary. Roll each ball out in roughly a rectangle shape until it is no more than 2 millimetres thick. Using a standard plastic ruler or a piece of cardboard cut into a strip 4 cm by 25 cm use a sharp knife to carefully cut the dough into little 4 cm by 4 cm squares using the ruler or cardboard strip as a guide.
Use the flat of a sharp and wide knife to pick up each cookie square and transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet.
Melt chocolate and shortening together until quite runny. I do mine in the microwave, on medium heat for 30 second bursts stirring between each. This way it takes about 2 minutes. You can do it in the double boiler if you like.
Dip each cookie diagonally into the melted chocolate and allow excess to drip off. Place the dipped cookie on waxed paper and sprinkle the chocolate gently with a little minced pistachio or ginger, depending on the type of cookie. If you find that your ginger pieces stick together too much, try rubbing them together between your hands with a bit of powdered dried ginger to encourage them not to stick together.