The Thrifted Kitchen :: Kringle Cookies
Are you guys and gals ready for another cookie recipe as we begin our extended holiday weekend?? I know I am! In fact, several of these became my breakfast this morning (oops!). But I had milk with them...that's nutritious, right? :)
I pulled this recipe from the same book as yesterday (Good Housekeeping's Complete Christmas Cookbook, 1967), and the original title was Kringle Wreaths. I did make some wreaths, but couldn't resist sneaking a few bells and trees in there, too, thus the word change to cookies. I also substituted the green decorating sugar with some gold disco dust to update them a bit. I found the edible glitter at my favorite baking supply store here in St. Louis, Karen Ann's. It has pretty much everything you could want when it comes to baking decorations, and the lady at the counter made sure I was well-schooled on what I was buying. She said a little goes a long way (so true), and you'll find glitter around your house for weeks afterward (which, so far, is very true...I saw some in the hubs's beard last night!). But the risk was worth it, I think. I love how festive and sparkly the cookies are...it's almost makes me want to the hustle! (Disco dust? Hustle? Anyone....?)
There was one downer to this party, though. My first batch I rolled to the 1/8-inch thickness the recipe called for, but they were way too thin and almost burned. The cinnamon candies melted, too, and it was like Christmas on Elm Street or something when I pulled them out of the oven. So, for the second batch, I made them thicker (about 1/4 inch), and then watched them like a hawk through the oven window to make sure the cinnamon candies didn't melt (baking them about 7 minutes seemed to be the key time). And then, for the last batch, so I didn't have to stay tied to the oven door, I only put the egg white and glitter on the cookies, baked them 5 minutes, pulled then out and put the red candies on, and then baked them another 3 minutes. This worked really well...you just have to give the candies a little push into the dough because the egg white has already hardened at this point. But once the candies softened a little in those 3 minutes, their sugar held them onto the cookie really well.
Such work for such small, crunchy little things! :)
Lastly, one ingredient that was new to me when baking cookies was the hard-cooked, sieved egg yolks. I had never come across a recipe that called for this, so I did a little Interwebbing to see what they did to the dough. According to Cook's Illustrated, it gives the dough a sandy/tender texture, and the technique comes from old European recipes. Interesting, oui?
Do let me know if you give these kringles a try! Would love to see how you decorated yours!
Courtesy of Good Housekeeping's Complete Christmas Cookbook, 1967
Yields a little more than 4 dozen
3 3/4 cups sifted regular all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs yolks, unbeaten
4 hard-cooked egg yolks
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg white, unbeaten (so reserve some egg white from those 4 uncooked eggs above)
Green-colored sugar (or gold disco dust/edible glitter)
Red cinnamon drops
Sift flour with salt. Then, in bowl with mixer at medium speed, blend shortening, granulated sugar, unbeaten eggs yolks and sieved hard-cooked egg yolks until light and fluffy.
Now, with mixer at low speed, beat in flour alternately with milk and almond extract just until mixed. Wrap in foil; refrigerate overnight (or up to 3 days).
Start heating oven to 400 degrees.
On lightly floured, cloth-covered board, roll part of dough 1/4 inch thick, keep rest refrigerated; cut out with 2 1/2-inch doughnut cutter (or whatever holiday cookie cutters you have).
Arrange cookies on ungreased cookie sheets (I lined my with parchment in case the red candies decided to melt again, and to save on cleanup); brush lightly with unbeaten egg white; then sprinkle each cookie with green sugar (or glitter) and top with a group of three red cinnamon drops. Repeat with rest of dough.
Bake 7-8 minutes (depending on your oven...when they're done right they won't be browned). Cool; then store in tightly covered container.