Rolling in Dough

Photography by Emily Teater

Gateaux’s Kathleen Davia and son Rocco invite a few friends over for a very merry (and very messy) holiday cookie-baking extravaganza.

florentine-cookies

Florentines
“Make sure the dough is evenly distributed in the pan, and cut them as soon as they come out. You can dip them in chocolate, sandwich them with ganache or fudge in the middle, or mold them into muffin cups and fill them.” —Kathleen Davia

Courtesy Kathleen Davia
Yield: 30–50, depending on cookie cutter
INGREDIENTS
3 c. sliced almonds
5 c. sugar
¼ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. butter, melted
1 c. corn syrup
Melted chocolate for dipping

DIRECTIONS
In a five-quart bowl with a paddle, mix almonds, sugar, and flour. Add butter and syrup. Cool, then store in a cake pan tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350° F; spoon drops of dough evenly across a silpat mat on a half sheet pan (13×18”). Bake until medium brown in color. Let cool for two minutes and, with a round cutter, punch out circles. Let cookies cool; meanwhile, melt chocolate in a double boiler; when cookies are cool, dip in melted chocolate and top with additional sliced almonds.

chocolate-sandwich-cookies

Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
“The cream inside is simple and versatile: You can add crushed peppermint, chocolate, whatever. At Halloween, we dip them into orange icing.” —Kathleen Davia

Courtesy Kathleen Davia
Yield: 25–35

INGREDIENTS
5 oz. butter
1½ c. sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1¼ c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt

CREAM FILLING
¼ c. butter
¼ c. shortening
1 ¾ c. sifted powdered sugar
Crushed peppermint candies to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a mixing bowl with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix until combined; scrape side of bowl. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to bowl, mixing on low speed until combined. Roll out on floured surface and cut out with a small round cookie cutter. Bake at 350° F for 10 minutes or until done. Make filling (recipe above). Turn half of the cookies over and spread filling on bottom sides. Top with other cookie and dip in chocolate. Roll sides in crushed peppermint candy.

linzer-cookies

Linzer Cookies
“I started making these when I worked in Vienna, because they’re an Austrian hazelnut cookie. You can change up the jams—we do raspberry and apricot—as well as the shapes. Always put powdered sugar on the top half of the cookie before you assemble it; you don’t want the sugar to get on the jam.” —Kathleen Davia

Courtesy Kathleen Davia
Yield: 30–50, depending on cookie size

INGREDIENTS
1½ lbs. (three sticks) butter
2½ c. sugar
5 eggs
6 c. bread flour
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
3½ c. hazelnuts, ground very fine
Powdered sugar, sifted

DIRECTIONS
In a mixing bowl with a paddle, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs on lowest speed, increasing to medium speed to fully combine. Scrape sides of bowl. Add dry ingredients (excluding hazelnuts) on low speed, increasing one or two speeds to fully combine. Add hazelnuts. Mix on medium speed to fully combine. Press into a lined sheet pan, wrap in plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator. Roll out onto a floured surface and cut out with a round cookie cutter. Using a tiny cutter, make tree-shaped cutouts in half of the cookies (they will become the cookie tops). Set both tops and bottoms on parchment paper in the sheet pan and bake at 350° F. until light brown. Let cool and spread jam on bottom cookie. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto the cookie tops and place on the bottoms.

sugar-cookies

Sugar Cookies
“I sell 50,000 sugar cookies at the holidays. To get them even, watch your oven; just because it says to bake them at 350° doesn’t mean you have to. I bake at 300° here in the high altitude. Also, use parchment paper and rotate your pans; it makes the cookies bake more evenly.” —Kathleen Davia

(Note: This recipe is the editor’s childhood recipe, not Davia’s.)
Yield: 40–100, depending on cookie size

INGREDIENTS
1 1b. butter
2 c. sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
6 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS
Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients, then slowly add to the butter mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour to 3 days. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350° F for 10- 15 minutes. Top with icing (recipe follows).

ROYAL ICING 
3 oz. pasteurized egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS
In stand mixer, beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Slowly add in sugar until mixture is shiny. Turn up speed to high and beat 5–7 minutes, until mixture forms stiff peaks. Add food coloring if desired. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.

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