Ricky's Pecan Snowball Cookies, Vermont Christmas Card Cookies, Maple Shortbread Cookies, Speculoos, and Ginger Chocolate Chunk with Maple Eggnog

Ricky's Pecan Snowball Cookies, Vermont Christmas Card Cookies, Maple Shortbread Cookies, Speculoos, and Ginger Chocolate Chunk with Maple Eggnog

Maple Eggnog Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cunnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for serving
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for Vermont Christmas Card Cookies:

  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbs orange extract
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Ingredients for Buttercream for Vermont Christmas Card Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • assorted food coloring (various shades of green)
  • 4 pipng bags fitted with an assortment of tips
  • assorted sizes white pearl nonpareils
  • white sparking
  • sugar

Ingredients Maple Shortbread:

  • 227 gr unsalted butter softened
  • 117 gr maple sugar
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 298 gr all purpose flour
  • 113 g toasted pecans, chopped
  • Topping: maple syrup

Ingredients for Pecan Snowballs:

  • 1 c finely ground toasted pecans
  • 2 1/4 c unbleached AP flour
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb / 4oz unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar plus 2 more for rolling
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Ginger Chocolate Cookies:

  • 15 oz best quality semisweet chocolate
  • 390 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger
  • 2 T dark brown sugar
  • 340 grams unsulfured molasses
  • 4 t baking soda
  • 100 gr granulated sugar

Ingredients for Speculoos Cookie:

  • 500 gr all-purpose flour
  • 2 T ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 200 gr light brown sugar
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 85 gr molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Ingredients for Royal Icing:

  • 1 lb confectioners' sugar
  • 5 T meringue powder
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • less than 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 t almond extract

Directions for Eggnog:
1. Combine milk, cream, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and pinch of salt in a sauce pan and heat until almost simmering. Stir frequently to avoid scalding.
2. While the milk heats, whisk together the egg yolks and maple syrup until frothy and golden.
3. Ladle 1 scoop of the hot milk into the egg mixture, while whisking it quickly. Do this two more times to temper the eggs and pour the egg mixture into sauce pan with milk, continuing to whisk. Cook for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Do not let mixture boil.
4. Once eggnog begins to thicken, remove from heat.
5. Pour the eggnog through a fine mesh sieve to remove the whole cloves and ensure a smooth eggnog.
6. Serve with a cinnamon stick and freshly grated nutmeg.

Directions for Vermont Christmas Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To prepare sugar cookies: cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until completely incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl; add vanilla and orange extracts and mix until blended.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl; slowly add to mixing bowl on low speed until fully blended and dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Divide dough into 2 pieces.
  4. On a 12-inch x 16½-inch non-stick silicone baking mat or parchment paper, roll out half of dough to ¼-inch thickness. Place baking mat or parchment on a cookie sheet and chill dough in freezer for 5 minutes. (Freezing dough slightly makes it easier to cut out shapes and transfer to cookie sheets.)
  5. Remove dough from freezer. Cut out shapes with a variety of Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutters. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. To prepare buttercream frosting: cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until fluffy. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl after partially blended. Add cream and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  7. Divide buttercream frosting into 4 portions. Tint each portion to desired shade with food coloring and transfer to a pastry bag.
  8. Using a variety of tips, pipe buttercream frosting on cooled sugar cookies to resemble tree branches. Decorate frosted cookies with sparkling sugar and pearls. If making ahead, refrigerate cookies to hold.

Directions for Maple Shortbread:

  1. 325-degree oven.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a shortbread pan or an 8” round pan with butter.
  3. Beat together butter, maple sugar, salt and vanilla until well blended.
  4. Mix in flour and combine until dough comes together.
  5. Fold in chopped nuts if desired.
  6. Divide dough in half and set half aside for later. Press second half into pan.
  7. Prick the dough all over with a fork.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until surface is golden brown and edges are a darker golden.
  9. Remove from oven and turn out, brushing top with maple syrup.
  10. Using a sharp knife, cut the shortbread into equal wedges.
  11. Transfer them to rack and cool completely.

Direction for Pecan Snowballs:

  1. 400-degree oven
  2. Combine nuts, flour and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Cream butter until and gradually add powdered sugar until lightened.
  4. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed and add flour mixture, just until combined.
  6. Scoop into small balls.
  7. Place about 1" apart on parchment lined sheet pan.
  8. Bake until slightly golden, about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove cookies quickly and toss in powdered sugar, set aside.
  10. Once cookies are completely cool, roll them again in sugar.

Directions for Ginger Chocolate Cookies:

  1. 350-degree oven.
  2. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened. Add brown sugar and beat until combined.
  5. Add molasses; beat until combined.
  6. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water.
  7. Alternate in butter mixture, half of flour mixture and baking-soda mixture, then
  8. remaining half of flour mixture.
  9. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal and refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
  10. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2” apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
  11. Roll in granulated sugar.
  12. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes.
  13. Let cool on wire rack.

Direction for Speculoos Cookie:

  1. 350-degree oven
  2. Beat butter with sugar, molasses, vanilla and spices until lightened in color.
  3. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
  4. Blend in flour until incorporated.
  5. Roll and cut.
  6. Bake on parchment lined sheet for about 10 min until lightly browned on edges.

Directions for Royal Icing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl (except extract) fitted with whisk attachment.
  2. Whip about 7 minutes until smooth fluffy and opaque.
  3. Add water teaspoon at a time too thin to desired consistency.
  4. If too thin, try whipping longer or adding powdered sugar tablespoon by tablespoon.