Desserts and Fruit
- 5 oz all-purpose flour
- 3 oz butter
- 1 oz almond flour
- 1 ½ oz sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- cold water to taste
- 1 egg white
- 1 lb confectioners sugar
30 minutes preparation + 15 minutes cooking
Remove the butter from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin cooking. In a bowl, mix the soften butter with the all-purpose flour using a wooden spoon or your hands until the dough is dry and grainy. Then add the sugar, almond flour, egg yolk and, if necessary, a little cold water. Work the dough first with a spoon, then with your hands. Once you have a smooth dough, cover it in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the icing for the cookies. In a bowl, whip the egg white and powdered sugar using a whisk until you have firm peaks.
Once the icing is ready, roll out your cookie dough to ¼ inch on a floured marble, or metal, work surface. Use cookie cutters to shape your cookies, then use a ¼ inch wide stick or a straw to make a hole in the top of the cookies so that you can hang them from a string.
Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a 300° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden.
Then remove the cookies from the oven and let cool before icing them.
Re-whisk the icing then dip the cookies in the icing bowl one at a time so that the topside of the cookies are covered.
Then let the cookies dry in a warm place for ¼ hour. Use a toothpick to make sure that the holes have not become full of icing and that you will be able to string a ribbon through them.
Once dry, place a ribbon or string through the hole of each cookie so that you can hang them on your Christmas tree or simply serve them as a special treat.
To give a touch of color and originality to your cookies, you can add a couple drops of food coloring to the frosting or purchase colored icing at the store to write the names of your friends and family members. Then hang the cookies directly on your Christmas tree!
The concept of decorating with sweets is not a recent trend, but rather has been popular since the 16th century. Following the discovery of America and the spread of sugar into the kitchens European nobility, sugar used to decorate tables and as a symbol of wealth and elegance at important dinner parties. Sugar was often mixed with egg whites and tragacanth gum to create sugar sculptures of all sizes: from small table decorations to actual statues. The Venetian credenzieri were expert sugar sculptors and were able to turn sugar into real works of art. In fact, in 1574, Henry III of France was the guest of honor at a Venetian banquet, but didn’t realize that the entire table was made of sugar, from the cutlery to the food itself. Apparently he picked up what he believed to be a napkin and broke it in half.
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