Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wedding Cookies

This is another post dedicated to my dear friend, Yae, and her upcoming wedding.  When Yae started planning her wedding and I asked what I could do to help, the only thing she asked me to do was make wedding cookies for her Sudanese bridal dance.  Of course, the list has grown exponential since then (and I am happy to help and would take on even more, if she would give up some things), but I take pride in this first request.

I have never made wedding cookies before, so I was thrilled with the challenge.  I began searching the internet for recipes and discovered weeding cookies are fairly simple- almonds, powder sugar, and butter.  So, where was the challenge in that?

I decided that Yae deserved something more special than just a typical wedding cookie.  So, I decided to craft a recipe because I could not find one that delivered all the qualities I wanted.  I also decided to play around with flavor and nut combinations to create something new, inventive, and exciting.

I will say that I did try all of these recipes in advance because they were new and they all came out great.  I gave Yae a tasters sampling a few weeks in advance and she and her family loved them.  The one not so negative comment that I received was that the cookies were messy (either because of the powdered sugar or butter, her mom did not specify).  I could not have Yae’s mom not loving the cookies, so I decided to place each cookie in a foil liner to catch the powder sugar or keep the butter contained.

The three flavor combinations were:
1) Traditional Almond Wedding Cookies (In the taste testing I did browned butter and whole almonds to give the cookies a speckled look.  Dealing with the browned butter changed the texture of the batter and the taste did not come through enough to justify the hassle.  Plus, this cookie did not remind Yae of the traditional wedding cookie.  For the actual bridal dance, I went traditional with skinless almonds and regular butter.);

2) Chocolate Hazelnut Wedding Cookies (I used skinless hazelnuts to make the cookie batter, then I pressed 2 dark chocolate chips into the center of the cookies batter as I was scoping it onto the cookie sheet.  It is reminiscent of Nutella.); and

3) Southern Style Wedding Cookies (I used pecans in the cookie batter followed by cinnamon in the powdered sugar coating.  I call these southern style due to the pecans.)

At the bridal dance the ladies loved the cookies and were pleasantly surprised by the array of flavors.  Each little wrapped cookie was a bite of nutty and sugary goodness.  Plus Yae’s mom liked the addition of the little foil cups to contain the “messiness.”  Everyone was satisfied and so was I. 

Wedding Cookies

By Baker at Law
Makes approximately 21 cookies per recipe

Ingredients for Traditional Almond Wedding Cookies:
1/2 cup (1 sticks) Butter
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar (3/8 cup [47g] in batter & 3/8 cup [47g] to roll cookies in after)
1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Almonds (85 grams)
1/4 tsp Almond Extract

Ingredients for Chocolate Hazelnut Wedding Cookies:
1/2 cup (1 sticks) Butter
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar (3/8 cup [47g] in batter & 3/8 cup [47g] to roll cookies in after)
1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Hazelnuts (85 grams)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
approx. 40 dark chocolate chips

Ingredients for Southern Style Wedding Cookies:
1/2 cup (1 sticks) Butter
3/4 cup Powdered Sugar (3/8 cup [47g] in batter & 3/8 cup [47g] to roll cookies in after)
1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Pecans (60 grams)
scant 1 tsp Rum Extract
1-2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Toast nuts in the oven until fragrant (do not burn). Let cool completely.

2. Place nuts, flour, and salt in food processor and grind until a fine mill is achieved.

3. Cream together butter and powder sugar for batter. Then add flavor extract.

4. Blend together butter mixture and nut mixture.

5. Dump batter onto plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.

7. Using a small cookie scope, scope up batter. If adding in chocolate chip, place two chips bottom to bottom and press into batter while still in the scope. Cover up the bottom of the cookie where you pushed the chocolate in.

8. Release batter on to a parchment lined cookie sheet about one inch apart.

9. Bake for 12-14 minutes until firm and the bottoms are gently brown. Cool until can handle.

10. Shake cookies in powder sugar (and cinnamon, if using cinnamon).

11. Before you are ready to consume them, re-shake cookies in powder sugar before serving.

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