The lifestyle expert and author of Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection says her treats will "make an elegant statement" at your holiday gathering

By People Staff
November 29, 2019 11:18 AM
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Credit: Victor Protasio

The lifestyle expert and author of Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection says her treats will “make an elegant statement” at your holiday gathering

Martha Stewart’s Shortbread Wreaths with Candied Flowers

2 large egg whites, divided
1 cup fresh small edible flowers
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for work surface
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. brandy
1 tsp. grated orange zest (from 1 orange)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), as needed
Finely chopped crystallized ginger
Finely chopped pistachios

1. Whisk together 1 tablespoon water and 1 egg white in a small bowl. Working with 1 flower at a time, hold flowers using tweezers, and brush egg-white mixture onto flower surface to lightly coat both sides. Sprinkle flowers with superfine sugar. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet; let stand until dry.
2. Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Beat granulated sugar, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, brandy and orange zest; beat until well combined, about 30 seconds. Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 45 minutes or overnight.
3. Unwrap dough disk, and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out dough rounds using a 3 1/2-inch fluted round cutter; cut out centers from rounds using a 1-inch round cutter. Reroll scraps once. (You will have 16 wreaths.) Arrange wreaths 1 inch apart on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake cookies until set and golden around edges, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets top to bottom racks halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks; let cookies cool completely, about 20 minutes.
5. Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining 1 egg white in a bowl until smooth, adding up to remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice until desired consistency.
6. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip cookies top sides down into lemon glaze to coat surfaces, letting excess glaze drip back into bowl. Transfer glazed cookies to a wire rack or baking sheet.
7. Working quickly, decorate cookies with candied flowers, ginger and pistachios. Let stand at room temperature until dry, at least 2 hours.

Makes: 16 cookies
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 13 hours (includes chilling and standing time)

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