The Pistachio-Rose Dragons of Christmas

(makes 20-30 cookies, depending on size)

Delicate and fragrant, I imagine these are the cookies that dragons would enjoy with an afternoon cup of spiced tea.

When making sugar cookies, I generally double the recipe, and if I’m not having a big party, freeze half the dough for another day. If at any time, your dough seems to be getting too soft to work with; chill it for 10 minutes, and it should firm up. (For basic but delicious sugar cookies, just leave out the pistachio and rose.)

FOR COOKIES:
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 t. extract)
1 t. pistachio extract
a few drops rose essence (or 1 t. rose water)
2.5 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 t. salt

FOR ICING:
3 egg whites (about 3 oz.)
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. pistachio extract

4 c. confectioners’ sugar

FOR DECORATING:
1/2 c. pistachios, chopped fine
1/4 c. dried rose petals, crumbled fine

pink, gold, silver luster dust + a little alcohol or extract for dissolving

MAKE SUGAR COOKIES:

1. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed, scraping down the sides as needed until well mixed, about one minute. (Over-mixing will make the cookies fluffy and more likely to spread.)

2. Mix in eggs, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla (either scraped seeds or liquid extract), pistachio, and rose, and mix in.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; add mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed until batter clumps together into a dough; avoid overmixing.

4. Roll the dough out on parchment paper, cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

5. Start oven preheating to 350F, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill in fridge for at least 10 minutes. Roll scraps and repeat until all the dough is used up.

6. Use embossers to add texture to cookies — it works better if the dough is chilled; otherwise the cookies will likely spread.

7. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until edges become golden brown. Let cool to room temperature before decorating.

(Can be made ahead and stored covered in the fridge for a few days, or frozen for up to two months.)

MAKE ROYAL ICING:

1. In large bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla, and pistachio extract, and beat on high speed until frothy.

2. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually; mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny; turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. (About 5-7 minutes). (If using food coloring, add now.) It’s now at piping consistency, if you’d like to pipe your cookies.

(Can be stored in fridge for up to three days.)

DECORATE:

1. Add a little hot water to the royal icing and stir, until icing is at dipping consistency. (Dipping a fork in and pulling it out will help you assess that; icing should flow, but leave some clinging to the fork.) If you accidentally dilute it too much, add a little confectioners’ sugar to bring it back to the right consistency.

2. Dip half of each cookie in icing, scraping off excess and base of cookie. Sprinkle with crushed pistachio and crumbled rose petals.

3. Mix luster dust with a bit of extract (or use a ready-made luster brush), and brush on the un-iced portion of the cookies.

That’s it! Enjoy!

TOOLS I USED:

Hide Embosser: https://www.etsy.com/…/dragon-hide-alligator-scales…

Scales Embosser:

https://www.etsy.com/…/scales-embossed-texture-wood…

Dragon Cookie Cutter: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DNHTZ84

Edible Glitter Paint:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07T6XDMS9

The pink luster dust, I think I picked up at Michael’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

Playing With Dragons

Cranberry sauce done, playing with final touches on decorating the dragons. I think I like the pink & gold effect best on these, though a frosty white ice dragon is also good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Spicy sausage & cornbread stuffing next.

Confirming Deliciousness

I think these really have to be called “The Pistachio-Rose Dragons of Christmas” — love the festive Christmas colors. ๐Ÿ™‚

Will post recipe once the icing has dried and I’ve had a chance to taste a finished one and confirm deliciousness.

Only Few Were Bloody

I’m sorry, I keep promising you blood orange shortbread, and I keep not delivering, but in my defense, I forgot that I was making a double batch, and I only have two wire racks, so I had to wait 24 hrs for one batch to dry, before I could candy the other batch (which is drying now). Shortbread tomorrow, I’m pretty sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s a lot of variation in the blood orange colors, I have to say. Only a few were really bloody….

Dragon’s Passion Marshmallows (Dragonfruit & Passionfruit)

Amma always made pink and white marshmallows for Christmas; adding passionfruit makes them even more delicious. The dragonfruit powder adds only a hint of flavor, but is a great way to get natural pink coloring to your marshmallows.

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 c. passionfruit puree
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. powdered dragonfruit
powdered (confectionerโ€™s) sugar
butter (for greasing the pan)

edible silver flake, optional

1. Add passionfruit puree and gelatin to the bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment). Stir briefly to combine.

(NOTE: If you donโ€™t have a stand mixer, you can make marshmallows in a large bowl with a hand mixer โ€” you just have to be willing to hold and beat it for 12 minutes. Prep the pan and spatula for the marshmallows ahead of time.)

2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.

3. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once youโ€™ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.

4. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes.

5. While itโ€™s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar. Prepare an oiled spatula.

6. Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula.

7. Quickly add dragonfruit powder to the mixer bowl and mix for a minute to combine; pour pink mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula.

8. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

9. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary.

10. Decorate with edible silver flake, if desired (moisten top of powdered marshmallow with a bit of water so flake will stick). It won’t add any flavor, but is nicely festive. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.