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Cookies - Biscotti

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Chocolate hamantaschen make for a nice change and they're perfect for kids
who may not care for some of the more tart fruit fillings. You will find
chocolate hazelnut paste in the peanut butter and jam section of most
supermarkets. Or use this in the Chocolate Peanut Butter Hamantashen recipe in my Complete Recipe Archives.

These European favorites are quite special. Sandwich them with raspberry preserves or Nutella.

A French mint chocolate bar in a biscotti rendition. A slick of melted white chocolate makes these holiday festive. Minced up peppermint patties in the dough add to the glamor. If you cannot find great white chocolate (which melts well) or melt white chocolate easily (it is tricky and you must do this slowly), then use white chocolate confectioner's discs, available at culinary stores. These look like white chocolate but taste rather bland. However, they melt easily. You can also use dark chocolate for the special coating.

Totally awesome granola-style cookies. A touch of maple gives them a Canuck/Vermont flavor. Pecans, sour cherries, raisins, cranberries and tiny specs of dried cranberries make these crisp-chewy cookies trail blazers.The slick and sumptuous maple vanilla glaze also doesn’t hurt.  If the cranberries and cherries you have are pretty wizened and dry, plump them first in hot water, drain, dry and then add them to the recipe.

These flaky cinnamon cookies are wisps of pastry that disappear in seconds. The Sour Cream Puff Pastry Dough is ideal for everything (strudel, potato knishes, tarts or rugulah). It freezes like a dream and you can make a few batches in a food processor in minutes. It’s a crisp, tender, buttery dough that is a dream to work with. Use a sweet, hot Saigon Cinnamon such as the one from Penzeys or King Arthur Baker’s Catalogue for the best flavor.

This is wonderful as a plain cookie or dusted with confectioners' sugar. You can also add in candied citrus peel, currants, chopped white chocolate chips, or dipthe baked cookies in melted white chocolate and trimmed with ground pistachios. A lovely cookie spritzed or rolled and great with iced tea or lemonade.

This is one of my favorite shortbread cookie recipes and it's the simplest and best.

What a great example of Americana baking! Light, crisp, delectable and perfect as a summer cBack in the day, cream of tartar and baking soda was the leavening duo used before baking powder came about and that still makes for the best, most crisp and light cookie. Try rolling these in cocoa and cinnamon, or espresso coffee powder, for a "nouveau-doodle" effect.

What's holiday baking without cookies and kids around, that is, if you provide those eager bakers with a big batch of their own cookie dough and cutters. This buttery sugar cookie dough is "kid proof":  strong but tender of crumb, this is the dough I prepare for my own crew of young bakers and their friends.  If you require a dairy-free cookie, you can make the recipe using shortening. The Rycraft Ceramic Cookie Stamps company makes both a Menorah and a Star of David cookie embosser that's perfect on these cookies.

A classic New York cookie made better with real vanilla and pure butter (no shortening in these!). Real Black and White cookies, which I've had, are not quite as tasty as they look on screen. (Seinfeld episodes, or Sex in the City - both have characters munching on Black and White cookies). But the concept of a giant, buttery cookies, smeared half with vanilla and half with chocolate fondant, if made well, is riveting stuff. I love this cookie and sometimes make it half chocolate and half orange (flavor the fondant with orange oil or extract and a touch of orange food coloring). The size is what draws you; the taste is what keeps you in a New York frame of mind. This is a cake-like cookie; if you want my own revamped version, a big, buttery, crisper cookie - not quite shortbread, not quite a butter cookie but inbetween - try Very New York Black and White Cookies in the Complete Recipe Archives.

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