Bakers and tasters of all ages participated in our Holiday Cookie Contest sponsored by Domino Sugar on Monday, December 17. This year’s panel of judges included (left to right) Delegate Brooke Lierman, Peter O’Malley of ASR/Domino Sugar, and Senator Bill Ferguson (selfie by Bill).
After a blind tasting and much deliberation, our judges named the following winners of this year’s contest:
First Place: Lexi Fisher
Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Mint Frosting
- 1½ cups butter, softened
- 2 cups Domino white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3½ cups all purpose flour (17.5 oz)
- 1½ cups cocoa (4.5 oz)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour or up to 48 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place about half the dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll to about ¼ – ½ inch thick. Peel off the top wax paper, then replace gently. Flip the dough and peel off the other piece of wax paper. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies about 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes on pan, then transfer to wire rack to completely cool before decorating.
- Repeat with other half of the dough. Leftover dough will be easier to use if refrigerated prior to rerolling.
Royal Icing (Mint) Ingredients
- 2 lb Domino powdered sugar
- ¾ cup room temperature water
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 5 Tbsp meringue powder
- Gel food colors, as desired
- Sprinkles, etc., as desired
Place the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, combine water, peppermint extract, cream of tartar, and meringue powder. Stir well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the powdered sugar. Beat on low to combine, then on medium-high to high until stiff peaks form. Keep covered, with saran wrap directly in contact with the frosting to prevent drying, at room temperature until use. Thin with water to the right consistency prior to use. Divide into portions and tint as desired.null
Second Place: Jen McLaughlin
Eggnog Blossoms from the Food Network
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup Domino sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1 small pinch ground cloves
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 24 foil-wrapped striped milk chocolate-white chocolate drops, such as Hershey Hugs, unwrapped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Beat the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the cream, rum extract, cloves, egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of the nutmeg and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just combines.
- Roll the dough into twenty-four 1-inch balls using a 1/2-ounce ice cream scoop or a tablespoon. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons nutmeg in a small bowl. Roll the balls in the spiced sugar to coat, and then arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until golden brown at the edges, about 14 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven, place on wire racks and immediately press a chocolate drop in the center of each cookie while it is still soft and warm. Do not move the cookies until the chocolate has completely set and the cookies are cool, at least 1 hour.
Third Place: The Johnson Family
Chocolate Truffle Cookies from Taste of Home
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup butter, cubed
- 1 cup Domino sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Domino confectioners’ sugar
- In a microwave, melt 1 cup chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs 2 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually beat into chocolate mixture. Stir in remaining chocolate chips. Refrigerate, covered, until firm enough to handle, at least 3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°. With lightly floured hands, shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until lightly puffed and set, 10-12 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.