Inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum and three of her books that I own, the first one in my collection is The Cake Bible, the second is Rose’s Christmas Cookies, and the third one of her many books is A Passion For Chocolate, and all of them are first rate books. If you do not have any of these in your cookbook collection, I highly recommend them all for addition to your library. In particular since I did not get any formal pastry or dessert training other than one introductory class in 1983 during my apprenticeship, most of my baking has been self taught or from cookbooks, such as Rose’s. Apprentices are given the choice of going the culinary route or the pastry route, thus I chose the culinary route. In the holiday spirit, I enjoy making Christmas cookies so for the next few days I will share with you three of my favorites. The first is the Christmas Wreaths made with cornflakes and marshmallows, Meringue Mushrooms, and then the Bûchettes de Noël to round out this short Christmas Cookie Series.
Christmas Wreath Cookies
These are some of the cutest and easiest Christmas cookies to make; these wreaths are made with marshmallows, cornflakes, green food color and red-hot’s for decoration. Not only are they great to eat, but you can make decorations out of them on the mantle, window frame, or Christmas tree by just air-drying them for several days uncovered. The recipe will yield about 18 or so 2-inch wreaths.
One of the tricks with getting these cookies formed quickly is to keep the mixture warm while working the cookies into wreath shapes. Once the cookie mixture is done, you will want to set the saucepan into another pan of warm water. Alternatively, in my case I like to transfer the cookie mixture into a large stainless steel bowl, and then set the bowl over warm water bath in a large saucepan. The cookies are dropped in heaping tablespoons onto wax paper and the formed into tiny wreath shapes, and before completely set-up, the red-hot’s are placed for decoration. The ingredients and procedures in this recipe are modified but follow very closely with those found in the cookbook, Rose’s Christmas Cookies, by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
|½ Cup||4 Ounces||Unsalted butter|
|3 Cups||7.25 Ounces||Marshmallows, Large (30)|
|1 ½ Tsp||–||Green food coloring liquid|
|1 Tsp||–||Vanilla extract|
|4 Cups||5 Ounces||Cornflakes|
|2 Tbsp||1 Ounce||Cinnamon Red-Hot’s candies|
|1.||Lightly grease or coat with non-stick spray a large sized saucepan. Also, have another large saucepan with warm water at the ready.|
|2.||Add the butter over low heat and then add the marshmallows and melt them over a low heat, stirring constantly until smooth, or about 5 to 7 minutes.|
|3.||Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the green food coloring and the vanilla extract until well blended with a wire whisk.|
|4.||Stir in the cornflakes to evenly coat them well.|
|5.||Transfer the cookie mixture into a large bowl, such as a stainless steel bowl and place this into the warm water that we set up in step 1. This is to keep the mixture from setting up to quickly.|
|6.||Use 2 spoons or lightly greased fingers and drop heaping tablespoons of the cookie mixture onto wax paper. With the greased fingers, quickly form the wreath shape with holes in the center, and while the cookie is still sticky decorate with the red-hot candies.|
|These cookies will keep for up to a month when stored in an airtight container, or indefinitely as ornaments.|
Both volume and weight measurements have been given in this recipe as professional bakers and pastry chefs utilize weighted products and specifications for their recipes and formulas. Weighted ingredients give more control over the product and omit any variation due to storage temperature, humidity and elevation differences
Image courtesy of WebShots.