- Portion size 4 servings
The Ultimate Shortbread Cookies Image by: Jeff Coulson
The holidays wouldn't be complete without sweet, buttery shortbread, so we've perfected a classic. This one has a crispy snap but still melts delicately in your mouth.
Maple Almond Tuiles Image by: Jodi Pudge
These crisp, light and nutty cookies make an impressive addition to any sweets tray. Draping the still-warm cookies over a greased rolling pin creates their signature curve; for a more subtle curve, use a wider-barrelled rolling pin, and for a more exaggerated shape, use a narrow one.
In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice and salt; cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in flour and almonds. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)
From batter, form six 1-tsp balls. Arrange, 3 inches apart, on silicone baking mat or parchment paper–lined rimless baking sheet. (If mixture becomes too soft, refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.) Bake in 350°F oven until golden, flat and bubbly, about 8 minutes. Let cool on mat for 90 seconds.
Working quickly, use small spatula to lift cookies and drape over lightly greased rolling pin. Let cool just until firm, about 5 minutes; transfer directly to rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter; if necessary, refrigerate dough between batches to firm up. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 2 days.)
Tip from The Test Kitchen: You can also use this recipe to make cigar cookies. Instead of draping the cookies over a rolling pin, use the lightly greased handle of a wooden spoon.
Makes about 50 cookies.
Sponge Toffee IMAGE Image by: Sponge Toffee IMAGE
It takes just five simple ingredients to create this crunchy confection from our Holiday Celebrations 2009 special issue. To ensure an airy toffee, do not overstir the caramel when adding the baking soda. Dip the pieces in white chocolate for a festive touch.
The Ultimate Beef Stew image Image by: The Ultimate Beef Stew image
This classic warm-you-up stew becomes even more comforting when made with well-marbled pot roast rather than the usual stewing beef. The fat melts slowly as it cooks, tenderizing the beef into juicy melt-in-your-mouth morsels. A slow finish in the oven gives the stew its rich, hearty texture.