Holiday Cookie Recipes 

In Temecula, we live glass full, and this time of year we live plate full. Enjoy these holiday cookie recipes provided by Temecula Valley restaurant chefs to enjoy during the holidays. 
 

E.A.T Marketplace: Oh Christmas Tree Cookie 

Ingredients (Gluten-Free Cinnamon Shortbread):

  • 3/4 stick + 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour blend (we use Bob's Red Mill) 
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)
     

Ingredients (Cinnamon Sugar):

  • 3/8 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
     

Instructions:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF, line a large baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper.  
  2. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla until combined. Don’t cream the butter – just stir it all together until you get equivalent mixture. 
  3. Sift together the gluten free flour blend, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt (if you like extra) add to the butter-sugar mixture.  
  4. Mix well until combined, it will be quite crumbly, which is what you want. 
  5. Knead the dough by hand until it comes together- shaping a ball – this may take up to 5 minutes,  the dough will come together eventually.  
  6. Roll out the cookie dough between two sheets of baking/greaseproof paper to a thickness of about 5-7mm, dependent on how thick you like them. 
  7. Once you’ve rolled out the dough to desired thickness- using a cookie cutter, cut out your cookies!   
  8. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 16-18 minutes until light golden brown. 
  9. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. 
     

Tip: Rolling out cookie dough between two sheets of baking/greaseproof/parchment paper prevents it from cracking during rolling. It also eliminates the need for dusting your work surface with extra flour, as you don't want to incorporate more flour into the cookie dough. 

Tip: Be gentle, they are fairly fragile. 
 

Espresso Ganache

150ml double cream 

50g espresso beans 

250g milk chocolate, chopped 

  1. Heat espresso and cream to just below a boiling point.   
  2. Place chocolate in a bowl, then pour hot cream-espresso mixture through a sieve over the chocolate.  Discard the beans and leave the chocolate to melt for 3 minutes, then stir to a smooth ganache.   
  3. Leave to cook until firm, then transfer to the piping bag fitted with a 1.5cc plain nozzle 

Classic Italian Meringue 1 cup sugar (7 ounces; 200g) 

1/2 cup water 

4 large egg whites, at room temperature 

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Juice from 1 lemon 

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. 
  2. Heat over high heat, stirring only until it comes to a boil.  
  3. Once it reaches a boil, stop stirring.  
  4. Cook until sugar syrup registers 240°F (115°C) on an instant-read or candy thermometer.  
  5. Brush down sides of pot as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water. Hot sugar is just as dangerous as fryer oil, so use caution!
  6. Meanwhile, combine egg whites and cream of tartar or lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 
  7. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form (when lifted, the head of the mixer should form gentle peaks in the egg whites that very slowly collapse back into themselves), about 2 minutes. 
  8. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly drizzle in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed to high and whip until desired stiffness is achieved.  
  9. Soft peaks are often used to aerate mousses, for example, while a stiff peak is best for buttercream. 

Oak Mountain Winery: Butter Pecan Balls

Ingredients: 

  • 1c soft butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 2 teas vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-2 cups chopped pecans
     

Instructions:

  1. Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes
  2. Form into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet
  3. Roll in powdered sugar when cool 
     

The Restaurant at Ponte Winery: Italian Almond Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, soft
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 + ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup polenta
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp brandy or orange-flavored liqueur
  • ½ cup natural almonds – unblanched
  • ½ cup pistachios
     

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease baking sheet. Cream together butter and sugar with wooden spoon until smooth.
  2. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and ground coriander into the bowl with the creamed mixture. Add the lemon rind, polenta, egg and brandy or liqueur and mix together to make a soft dough.
  3. Stir in nuts until evenly combined. Halve the mixture. Shape each half into a flat cookie log, about 9 “ long and 2 ½ “ wide. Bake for about 30 mins until risen and just firm, a light golden brown. Remove from oven.
  4. When cool, cut each cookie log diagonally into 12 thin slices with a serrated bread knife. Return to baking sheet and bake another 10-15 minutes until crisp.
  5. Remove from oven. Cool completely and store in air-tight container.


Small Barn: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 lb butter unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbl salt, kosher
  • 3 cups flours
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (Guittard or similar)
  • Dark chocolate pistoles or chunks (Cordellera or similar)
  • 1 tbl vanilla bean, paste
     

Instructions:

  1. Mix in a table top mixer sugar and butter together for about 4 minutes
  2. Slowly add eggs until fully incorporated
  3. Next add all dry ingredients little by little until fully incorporated 
  4. Scrape down sides and add vanilla bean paste and chocolate chips.
  5. Slowly mix until chocolate chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  6. Bake at 325°F for 12‐15 minutes.
     


Wilson Creek Winery: EBTKS (Everything but the kitchen sink) 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (1 cup)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips
  • ½ cup chopped pretzels
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, for topping (Maldon flaked sea salt) optional

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line sheet pans with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat or spray it with nonstick cooking spray
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy
  5. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix on low, scraping down the bowl as needed
  6. Add dry ingredients to mixer and mix on low just until everything is combined.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits, potato chips and pretzels
  8. Roll cookie dough into golf ball-sized balls. (roll them in extra toppings if you would like)
  9. Spread cookie dough out on prepared pans, leaving about 6 inches between them
  10. Bake cookies until edges are crisp and centers are still soft, 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack
  11. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

 


Avensole Winery: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Instructions:

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together, whisking until glossy and smooth. Alternately, the butter and chocolate can be melted in the microwave (in a microwave-safe bowl) in 25-second increments, whisking between each interval. Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held mixer), beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and eggs on low speed until well combined. Pour in the cooled chocolate and continue to mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. 
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate batter and mix on low speed until just combined and no visible flour remains. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. 
  4. Working in two batches, scoop 12 balls of dough (preferably using a small ice cream scoop with a spring handle, about 1 1/2 tablespoon size) onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, for approximately 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking time. The cookies should be puffy and still fairly soft when removed from the oven. 
  5. Immediately slide the cookies, still on the parchment paper, onto a wire cooling rack. Cool just a bit before serving, 5 to 10 minutes.