The New Holiday Cookies From Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith Slideshow
December 20, 2012
Candied Ginger, Blackberry, and Almond Rugelach
"Rugelach have deep roots in Jewish households, and they are the most celebrated little pastry of my childhood," says Goldsmith. "I believe they have the power to bring people and families together. Ask any bubbe (a Jewish grandmother) and she will tell you that her "ruggies" are the best — and you better believe her! Never contradict a bubbe, but do give my recipe a try. Though unusual, my mix of candied ginger and blackberry jam is really a treat.
I recommend Australian crystallized ginger, as it is the finest in the world. Made with new baby ginger roots, it is tender, moist, and very flavorful."
Popcorn & Peanut Bark
Chocolate bark is always popular holiday treat, and Goldsmith makes her extra salty with chunks of peanut and popcorn mixed in. It’s easy to do and it makes a great last-minute holiday gift.
"My fascination with retro desserts began with my mom’s love for the original peanut-shaped cookie of my childhood. She would have gladly passed up a meal for a cup of coffee and a plate of Nutter Butters," says Goldsmith. "I didn’t mess with the recipe too much. I just combined two great recipes into one fantastic dessert: oatmeal raisin cookies (minus the raisins) and my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. It’s the same as the original, only better. You may call me cocky or foolish to think that I could improve on a classic, but you should try my cookies before you decide. I know my mom would think they’re awesome."
Extreme Chocolate Biscotti
"I think of these as the rock stars of the cookie world," says Goldsmith. "Simple to make and loaded with lots of big flavors, these biscotti taste even better the longer they sit… but they are so fantastic, they probably won’t last very long."
Tip #4: Bring Your Ingredients to Room Temperature
"Have all your ingredients at room temperature," says Goldsmith. "This step makes the creaming process more effective."
Tip #5: Don’t Cheat
"If the recipe calls for chilling the dough before baking, make sure you follow that step," says Goldsmith. Cookies tend to bake better the colder the dough is."
Tip #2: Mise en Place
"Have ALL your ingredients ready to go, so you are not running to the store for missing ingredients mid-recipe," says Goldsmith.
Tip #6: Make Sure Your Oven Is Doing Its Part
"Check the internal temp of the oven," says Goldsmith. "Place an ovenproof thermometer in the oven to check for the proper temp."
Tip #1: Do Your Homework
"Read the recipe from start to finish," says Goldsmith. "Nothing is worse than a recipe asking for melted butter and not realizing it beforehand."
Tip #3: Sifting Is Key
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"Sift the flour with leavening ingredients and dry spices," says Goldsmith. "Not only does it help to distribute the spices, it allows for less mixing. This will yield a more tender cookie."