Ashland Living - Daily Independent Winter 2018 - Page 22

PISTACHIO  WREATH  COOKIES 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 teaspoon fine salt 2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting 1 cup coarsely chopped pistachios 1. In a food processor, process butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until smooth. Add flour and pulse until a dough forms. Stir in pistachios. Divide dough into 2 disks; wrap each in plastic and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with one disk at a time, roll out on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round fluted cutter, cut out wreaths. Using a 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out centers of wreaths. Reroll scraps. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until cookies are set and barely golden at edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies on sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. TIPSY DATE SQUARES 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/4 cup best-quality candied orange peel, finely chopped 1 cup pitted Medjool dates, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup port 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment. Whisk to combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. 2. In a separate bowl, beat brown sugar, molasses, and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; beat in eggs. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Fold in orange peel, dates, and walnuts. 3. Transfer batter to pan; smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until surface is set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cake rest in pan 5 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack; peel off parchment. Brush bottom side (now facing up) with 3 tablespoons port. Let stand 30 min- utes. Flip cake over on rack, and brush other side with remaining tablespoon port. Let stand 1 hour. (Cake can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic, up to 1 month.) 4. Cut into 3/4-inch squares, wiping knife with a damp cloth between cuts. Squares can be refrigerated in an airtight container (layered between sheets of waxed paper) up to 1 week. 22 | WINTER 2018 | ASHLAND LIVING