|I'm so excited.. my first contributions! Unfortunately, I didn't see what this week's VRC theme was until late last night, so I didn't make either of my submits.. therefore no pictures. (as if I could get a picture to show up anyway.. har!)|
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. walnuts (4 oz.)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
For icing and decoration:
2 tsp. powdered egg whites
2 TB. warm water
1 1/4 c. sifted confectioners sugar (sift before measuring)
1 drop of fresh lime juice
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts (2 oz.)
Pulse walnuts with 2 TB. sugar in a food processor until finely ground (be careful not to grind to a paste).
Beat together butter and remaining sugar with an electric mixture until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs until combined. Mix in flour mixture and nuts at low speed until just blended. For dough into a disk and chill, wrapped in plastic warp, until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325º F.
Keeping remaining dough chilled, roll out half of dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2 to 3 inch floured cookie cutter. Chill scraps.
Arrage cookies 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake cookies in batches in middle of oven until firm but not browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer cokies to a rack to cool. Makes cookies with remaining dough in same manner, rerolling scraps no more than twice.
Ice and decorate cookies:
Whisk together powdered egg whites and water, then stir in confectioners sugar and lemon juice until smooth and spreadable.
Spread a thin layer of icing on 1 cookie with a metal spatual or knife and sprinkle lightly with walnuts. (Use your imagination and decorate more elaborately if you like.) Decorate remaining cookies in the same manner. Let icing harden, about 1 hour, before storing cookies.
Makes about 6 dozen.
*My notes: Although these are heavy in cinnamon, I've found that using a weak cinnamon really doesn't do justice for this recipe (or any recipe, really). I use vietnamese cinnamon that I purchase from a local farmer's market. This cinnamon smells exactly like red hots candies.. it's very strong and gives the cookies a great bite not to mention so delish! Next is, if I don't have powdered egg whites on hand, I just leave them out of the icing. I really haven't tasted or noticed much difference from the batches with the egg whites and the batches without. Also, I usually leave out the walnuts on the icing. This does not add nor take away from the cookies, it's just a personal preference. =)
Cinnamon Ice Cream
6 c. Half & half
1 oz. Cinnamon stick - in small pieces
1 Vanilla bean -- split length
2 1/2 c. Sugar
12 Egg yolks
4 c. Whipping cream
Strawberry for garnish
Combine half and half, cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean in heavy large saucepan. Scald over very low heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour. Combine sugar and egg yolks in large bowl of electric mixer and beat at high speed until mixture forms slowly dissolving ribbon when beaters are lifted. Reheat half and half over low heat. Gradually beat 2 cups half and half into egg yolk mixture. Stir yolk mixture into remaining half and half. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 180º F. and custard coats back of spoon; do not boil. Immediately transfer custard to large bowl. Cool at least 2 hours. If possible, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Strain custard, discarding cinnamon and vanilla bean. Whisk in whipping cream. Transfer to ice cream maker (in batches if necessary) and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. To serve, spoon into large bowl and garnish with fresh strawberries.
Makes 1 gallon.