It's still not too late for a last-minute entry into the holiday cookie swap, and with these elevated Milano cookies from the pastry chef Meghan McGarry, Santa might just leave you a little something extra under the tree this year.
"These Milanos are my favorite thing to give, and who doesn't love food?" the owner of Buttercream Blondie tells Salon. "Cookies made with love are, without a doubt, the best holiday gift."
For this signature Buttercream Blondie cookie, McGarry combines two of her favorite ingredients: a hint of booze and sprinkles. Well, more than a hint: The batter of these shortbread cookies has an entire half a cup of Baileys in it.
The alcohol adds a warm flavor profile, which melds perfectly with the cookie's filling: a peppermint chocolate ganache that truly tastes like the holidays. If you want to bake a fresh batch of these cookies on Christmas morning, simply refrigerate the ganache overnight. Then let it sit for about half an hour before you pipe to take the chill off. (You can spoon the ganache or use a small spatula, but using a piping bag will just makes life that much easier.)
While these tree-shaped cookies taste perfect the way they are, why leave them undecorated? Dip them at an angle into a bowl of chocolate and then roll the iced portion into assorted sprinkles in your favorite holiday color palette.
"These festive cookies are sure to make your days merry and bright," McGarry says. "Trust me: Nothing will brighten your day quite like the pop from this peppermint ganache."
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups AP flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Baileys, with a hint of mint chocolate
- 6 ounces chocolate (semisweet recommended)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add egg and egg yolk.
3. Mix in vanilla extract.
4. Alternate adding in dries with Baileys until combined.
5. Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.
6. Roll out dough, and cut out cookies using holiday cookie cutters.
7. Chill cookies at least 30 minutes before baking to keep their shape.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-13 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Start checking them after 10 minutes. As soon as they get a little blonde on the edges, they're done.