Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Christmas Eve

Rosé anyone? It's Christmas Eve and rather than reaching for a mug of hot buttered rum, I'm thinking pink. It's 71 degrees in NYC and people's heads are exploding like it's Snomageddon 2.0. There is nothing that peeps like to talk about more than the weather, and I am clearly no exception. I do love a white Christmas but if it's going to be 70 freaking degrees, then I am going to behave accordingly.

If you are still in the mood to turn on the oven to bake and are looking for a slightly more modern shortbread cookie, then look no further than these Cardamom Crescents. The cardamom provides an unexpected flavor profile that's not your standard vanilla holiday cookie. Mine may look more like half moons than crescent moons, so if that concerns you, I would suggest chilling your dough for a bit before baking, the same way I'll be chilling my Christmas rosé.

Cardamom Crescents
Adapted from The New York Times

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt
14 ounces unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
2 large egg whites
¼ cup sliced almonds, if desired

1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add the flour, cardamom and salt, and whisk to combine.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on low speed until just combined. Add the egg whites, beat until just combined, then add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece out into a log 3/4-inch thick. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut 3-inch pieces off the log. Working with one 3-inch piece at a time, gently roll both ends so they taper slightly, then form into a crescent. Transfer to prepared baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough, placing the crescents 1-inch apart. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Gently press 1 almond slice into each cookie, if using. Bake until light golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.