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a sparkling and easy recipe for holiday cookies

Dandelion Chandelier’s Luxury Dish is an occasional series featuring original recipes and insights from our Luminaries, Fireflies, friends, families, and team of far-flung correspondents. We promise that only delicious food and drink and rollicking stories are allowed at our table. And you know the drill: what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen. In this edition, we share an easy recipe for holiday cookies.

our recipe contributor, savannah smith

This contribution is from Savannah Smith, a food blogger and dessert enthusiast based in New York. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Classical Studies and English, she decided to follow her lifelong passion for baking and start her own baking blog, Seven Bakers Lane. The blog features recipes that are both delicious and fun to make. On Saturdays, you can find her selling amazing baked goods at the Palisades Farmer’s Market from 9 AM – 1 PM.

holiday cookies that are sparkling and easy to make

We’re thrilled to welcome Savannah to our team of far-flung correspondents, and happy to share her sparkling recipe, just in time for holiday baking season. This is an easy recipe for holiday cookies. They’re pretty, and they’re delicious.

Pistachio Rose Pinwheel Sparkle Cookies from Savannah Smith

Despite my aversion to cold winter weather, the holidays are probably my favorite time of year. I love the bright festive spirit in the air, and I love wrapping and giving (and, let’s be honest, getting) presents. People just seem happier around the holidays… even if their wallets may feel a bit sad and empty.

Since it’s basically the only time of year when weight gain is expected, it’s completely acceptable to eat copious amounts of dessert (especially chocolate) without guilt. It’s really a win-win season.

Despite what the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Competition might lead you to believe, holiday baking can actually be very easy, especially when making cookies!

These Pistachio Rose Pinwheel Sparkle Cookies are no exception. The pistachio and rose dough is just a jazzed up version of a basic sugar cookie. The pinwheel creates a festive and fun décor that doesn’t require you to spend hours piping icing.

The flavor is light, delicious, and offers a nice break from all the chocolate and peppermint you’ll be eating this season. These cookies are also wonderful gifts, especially since they stay fresh for up to two weeks. Make these this Christmas to add sparkle to your holiday season!

Note: These cookies require a few hours chilling in the fridge to make sure that the pinwheel is well defined, so make sure to plan ahead when making these.

Ingredients:

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon all-purpose salt

¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ tablespoons and then 1 ½ tablespoons (3 tablespoons total) warm whole milk (105°F to 110°F)

¾ cup shelled pistachios

¾ teaspoon rose water

Green and red food coloring

Red Sprinkles (I used Red Pearlized Sprinkles from Wilton)

Makes about 50 cookies

Method:

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together at a medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture (about ½ cup at a time) to the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined. Divide the dough in two, keeping half in the bowl of the mixer and setting the other half aside.

for the pistachio dough

Make the pistachio dough: In a Cuisinart, finely grind the pistachios. With the mixer on low, add the pistachios and 1 ½ tablespoons of milk. Mix until combined. With the mixer running, add 1 drop of green food coloring at a time, until the desired color is reached (I used about 1/8 teaspoon of food coloring). Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into two. Shape each half into a 6 inch square and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least an hour.

for the rose dough

Make the rose dough: Return the other half of dough to the stand mixer and add the rose water and the other 1 ½ tablespoons of milk. Mix on a low speed. With the mixer still running, add the red food coloring until the desired shade is reached (expect to use a lot more red food coloring than you did green, closer to ½ a teaspoon). Just as you did for the pistachio dough, turn the dough onto a work surface and divide into two. Shape each half into a 6 in square, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove the four squares of dough from the refrigerator. Unwrap one square, place it between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll the dough out until it’s formed a larger, thinner square (be careful not to make the dough too thin, otherwise you’ll end up with really small cookies!). Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other three squares and return to the refrigerator for ten minutes.

the assembly

Remove one rolled-out sheet of pistachio dough and one rolled-out sheet of rose dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the top sheet of parchment paper on each and place the pistachio sheet and the rose sheet together. The two sheets should now be sandwiched together between two sheets of parchment paper. Gently roll the dough to seal the two layers together.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and delicately roll the dough inward, making sure that there are no gaps in the pinwheel. Roll until the dough into a cylinder and wrap in parchment paper. Tie the ends of the parchment paper with twine (so that it looks like a firecracker) and return the dough to the fridge for at least two hours (dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month). Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the other two sheets of dough.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

just before baking

While the oven heats up, remove the two cylinders of dough from the fridge. Pour sprinkles onto a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the parchment paper from one cylinder of dough and roll the dough back and forth through the sprinkles, applying some pressure as you roll to make sure that the sprinkles really stick to the dough. Once the first log is coated with sprinkles, repeat with the other cylinder.

Using a sharp knife, cut both dough logs into ¼ in slices and place the slices on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake in the upper or middle rack of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway. Watch to make sure that the cookies do not brown (it’s important to watch the cookies very carefully as they bake, as the bottom of the cookies begin to brown and burn quickly). Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Voila! As we promised, this is an easy recipe for holiday cookies. Enjoy.

want more?

Check out Savannah’s recipe for a dessert perfect for two holidays: Hanukkah and Christmas. You’ll find it here.

Come and join our community! For a weekly round-up of insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Sunday Read here. And see luxury in a new light.

Savannah Smith is a food blogger and dessert enthusiast based in New York. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Classical Studies and English, she decided to follow her lifelong passion for baking and start her own baking blog, Seven Bakers Lane. The blog features recipes that are both delicious and fun to make. On Saturdays, you can find her selling amazing baked goods at the Palisades Farmer’s Market from 9 AM – 1 PM.

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