- Prep time 40 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes 3 dozen cookies
Panettone is the type of bread that I love to eat but don't ever attempt to make myself. In addition to being labor-intensive, panettone at home would never come out as good as what I'd find at a panetteria. So instead of baking one, I used panettone as a muse to add a little holiday razzmatazz to this year's cookie boxes.
During the holiday season, shortbread cookies are always on the nice list. In addition to being incredibly simple to make, they’re highly customizable. Once you’ve assembled the buttery dough (which takes only a few minutes), you can add pretty much anything your holly-jolly heart desires, making them the perfect vehicle for this cookie version of panettone.
Traditionally, the pillowy, enriched panettone dough is studded with lots of dried fruits and nuts. The add-ins can vary, but for me, a great panettone has plenty of orange. So in addition to golden raisins and dried cherries, I add both fresh orange zest and candied orange peel. You can add any other dried fruit you’d like: dried pineapple, cranberries, etc. Just be sure to give everything a good chop before adding to the dough.
Before baking, the dough is rolled into a log and chilled in the fridge before being sliced. But if you don't want to bake them all at once, you could pop the log into the freezer and slice off cookies as you need them.
Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they’re dipped in white chocolate and garnished with toasted almonds and additional candied orange. They’re wonderful eaten on their own, but in true holiday spirit, I like to serve them with a nip of amaretto. —Grant Melton
2 1/2 cups
(300 grams) all-purpose flour
freshly grated nutmeg
sticks (1 cup/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(200 grams) granulated sugar
freshly grated orange zest
(75 grams) finely chopped candied orange peel
(45 grams) finely chopped golden raisins
(45 grams) finely chopped dried tart cherries
1 1/4 cups
(8 ounces) chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
(70 grams) finely chopped toasted almonds, for garnish
(35 grams) finely chopped candied orange peel, for garnish
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Once combined, set aside.
- In a bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest and vanilla and mix for another few seconds until combined. On the lowest speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. The dough may take a while to come together. Once the dough becomes slightly tacky, after about 1 to 2 minutes, add the orange peel, raisins, and dried cherries. Continue to mix on a low speed until the dough can easily be molded into a ball in your hands.
- Dump the dough onto a work surface. Using your hands, mound the dough into a big ball. Cut the ball in half and roll each half into a 10-inch-long log. Wrap each log tightly in wax or parchment paper, twisting the ends, so you have 2 logs of dough. Place the wrapped dough into the fridge and chill for 1 hour, or put it in the freezer for later use.
- When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F and remove the dough from the fridge to soften up a bit. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Unwrap the cookie dough and, using a sharp knife, trim the rounded ends off the log and slice the dough into ½-inch-thick disks. Place the disks onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they start to brown and look dry on top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- To decorate, place the white chocolate in a double boiler to melt. Once melted, dip half of each cookie in white chocolate. Garnish each with chopped almonds and candied orange.