1 stick plus 5 tablespoons butter, softened
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2-inch dowel, pipe, or large pen or pencil
Chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter, orange zest and sugar until creamy. Add egg whites slowly, along with 1/4 cup flour.
Add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated.
On a cookie sheet drop four walnut-size drops of dough. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until brown around the edges.
Wrap each cookie around the dowel or pipe and hold it for 10 seconds. Slip the cookie off the end. It should look like a tube.
Continue until dough is finished.
After cookies cool, you may dip the ends in melted chocolate chips, if desired.
— Recipe from Kathy Wessman, patisserie and baking department chairwoman, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
VANILLA ROLLED COOKIES
1 cup salted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
Sift together baking powder and flour. Add flour mixture 1 cup at a time to the creamed butter-sugar mix. Then add almond extract and salt and mix well.
Divide dough into two balls. Wrap one ball in plastic wrap until ready to use. (Do not refrigerate dough.) On a floured surface, roll out the other ball to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out cookies with cookie cutters. Use a wide spatula to transfer the cutout cookies to a parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. (Cookies can be placed within 1/2 inch of each other, as they do not spread.) Bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown. Cool cookies on the cookie sheet.
Makes about 20 4-inch round or heart-shaped cookies.
Note: These cookies are great to decorate with royal icing, and they freeze well.
— Recipe from Caroline Kelliher, chef/instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
SUGAR COOKIE TREE ORNAMENTS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, diced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
8 ounces fruit candies, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour into a bowl, add diced butter and rub with your fingertips until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar, egg white, lemon juice and orange juice until it forms a soft dough. Knead on a floured table until dough is smooth.
Roll out thin and, with a floured Christmas-tree cookie cutter, cut trees. Lay trees on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut out holes with a small round cutter, with a smaller hole at the top of the cookie to put the ribbon through. Fill the holes (except the top one) with cut-up fruit candies.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
Let cookie cool and run ribbons through top holes.
— Recipe from Herschel “Mickey” Harden, chef/instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
LITTLE LAD CHEWY CHOCOLATE COOKIES
1 1/4 cups butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts or mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add remaining ingredients.
Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Do not over cook.
— Recipe from Sam DeMarco, executive chef, First Food & Bar