Bourbon Barrel Cookies
"The ingredients used in this sugar cookie are modeled in some way shape or form after the same ingredients used to craft a fine bourbon." — Vincent Griffith, pastry chef at the Greenhouse Tavern
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup smoked bourbon barrel sugar and 1/2 cup one-year aged butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1 vanilla bean and 1 egg; blend well. Add 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in a small bowl filled with 2 tablespoons smoked bourbon barrel sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. To make the icing, bring 12 ounces of milk to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons oak barrel-aged pu-erh tea and infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together 1 cup confectioner's sugar and 2 teaspoons of the milk-tea mixture until smooth. Beat in 2 teaspoons light corn syrup until icing is smooth and glossy. Ice the cookie and sprinkle with the bourbon sugar.How to Make Aged Butter
Age butter by putting it into mason jars and covering the top of the jar with cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth to the top to make a cap and let it sit at 70 degrees for one year.
Orange Spice Sugar Cookies
"Cardamom represents my Scandinavian background and reminds me of the holidays because you just get this warming feeling when you taste it." — Britt-Marie Horrocks Culey, owner of Coquette Patisserie
Combine 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add in 2 sticks unsalted cold butter chunks and process until the butter is pea sized. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 2 egg yolks and 1/8 cup heavy whipping cream to the processor all at once. Process until it just comes together. Empty out onto a table and work in the last bit of crumbles until just combined. Do not overwork. Roll into 2-inch logs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours. Cut 1/4-inch slices from the logs, and place each cookie round about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Dip one half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate, then top with orange zest and sprinkles.
Rise and Shine Sugar Cookies
"The turbinado sugar adds more of a caramel, molasses flavor." — Adam Gidlow, co-owner of On the Rise Bakery
Grate 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon zest into 3/4 cup of turbinado sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Cream 8 ounces slightly softened butter with the sugar mix until pale and fluffy using an electric stand mixer. Add 1 large egg yolk and incorporate until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture at medium-low speed. Roll out thin sheets of dough about 1/4-inch thick, and refrigerate until firm or about 30 minutes. Use desired cookie cutters to shape cookies on a lightly floured surface. Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 375 degrees until golden or about 13 minutes.
Lemon Pistachio Sugar Cookies
"The combination of butter and vanilla allow the pistachio and lemon flavor to really pop." — Bridget Thibeault, owner of Luna Bakery and Cafe
In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, the zest of one lemon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cream 1 cup sugar and 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high until light and creamy. Add 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and mix on low until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing on low until evenly combined. Add 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios. Mix until combined. Divide dough into 2 discs, 1 to 2 inches thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. For icing, combine 3 egg whites, 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a large bowl. Beat until you reach medium peaks. Spread over cookies.