Monday, December 19, 2011

Italian Christmas Cookie Trays

This weekend was my annual Christmas Cookie weekend. What started as a hobby has evolved into doing  25 + cookie trays for my father's company to hand out for customer appreciation . The customers start calling as soon as they see it's December wondering when the cookies are coming.  I'd love to scale it back now that I have a VERY active 2 year old, but I also love the madness so I'll share some of it with you!

Here are some of the favorites!

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To save time I mix these a day or two in advance and keep them refrigerated.
The day of the baking I take them out and let them soften up a bit, then I load up my old faithful cookie press with the large star tip.

If this ever broke I would lose my mind, fortunately it's built like a tank and it should last well into the next century.

I pipe a long strip of dough on the parchment and then curve into an S shape

Repeat, repeat, repeat and bake!

Hands down, the rainbow cookie is the favorite. I make A LOT of these, many are consumed before they even get to the tray. They also give the cookie tray the classic Italian cookie assortment appearance so I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.

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Spread each portion out to 1/4 inch thickness into the bottom of parchment lined jelly roll pan. ***I use the disposable aluminum baking sheets .

Bake each layer for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
On a cookie sheet stack the cakes, spreading jam on top of the green layer.

Stack the yellow on top of the green layer, cover with jam.

 Top with the red layer.

Spread melted chocolate over top of the third layer.

Makes approximately 72 cookies ~ 2 sheets of what is pictured.
Chill until jam and chocolate are firm.
Slice into small rectangles.

Finally , a family favorite, the Love Knot. Everyone has their own method for making these knots, mine creates a heart shape in the center of the knot , but do whatever works best for you.

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Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheets about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies should be set but not brown. Cool cookies completely.

Make a glaze by mixing powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon rind. Dip tops of cookies in glaze and then in the chopped walnuts.

Makes about 28 cookies.  I triple the recipe.

~ The finished product.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night....

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