Christmas cutout cookies are a fun holiday tradition and I’m excited to share my latest recipe for making them! So, pull out your cookie cutters because we are making chocolate dipped, candy cane dusted cookies from pasta frolla, the Italian sweet pastry dough. They are a great way to use up extra dough and yummy enough to make a batch of dough just for the cookies.
I have that info directly from my daughter, who requested we make another batch of pasta frolla just so we could have these cookies while we decorated the house and trimmed our tree.
Maybe it’s the chocolate. 🙂 But, even without the chocolate, pasta frolla is easy to make, rolls out beautifully, and has a great, tender texture which makes a great cookie.
One thing I won’t promise you though is perfect edges. It’s sets up nicely in the oven and doesn’t turn into a blob or anything, but this is not the recipe for crisp edges. So, pull out your simpler cutters and have some fun!
This year I’m not going to be making too many cookies since we aren’t going to be going to Vermont for Christmas, like we usually do. (And I’m in charge of cookie baking. 🙂 ) Instead, we are off to Bonaire just before Christmas we’ll be back just before New Years.
It’s a family trip and my sister-in-law has had a need to go to Bonaire at Christmas for at least a few years now, but it hasn’t worked out. And this year is the year.
It’ll be odd have the holidays in the sun. And doubly odd not making large batches of cookies in the days leading up the Christmas Eve. So I suppose it’s good that I got some of my cookie baking itch scratched by making these cutout cookies for the blog!
Before I continue, I want to direct your eyes up to the picture above. See how one tree is properly shaped and one is all squished?
Do not roll out the dough more than twice! All the gluten will turn into rubber bands and give you weird cookies. (Note: the cookie tasted perfectly fine, but I wouldn’t want to bring to any holiday gatherings.)
Another bit of advice is to remember that these cookies are going to be tender, not crisp. (Hence the softer edges.)
This means that dipping the cookies into the chocolate can result in broken cookies, depending on how thick your chocolate is. Therefore I scoop up the chocolate with a spoon and spread a layer of chocolate over the cookie. It’s a quick process and less messy than dipping, so win/win!
After that all you need to do is give them a quick sprinkle of mint and wait for them to set.
As with my cranberry cupcakes (which would make an awesome holiday dessert!), these cookies were approved by my local troop of Girl Scouts. They are excellent recipe testers. 🙂
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
The Italian pastry dough, pasta frolla, is great for pies and tarts, but it is also great rolled out for Christmas cutout cookies! We like ours decorated with chocolate and mint. So easy!
- 1 recipe pasta frolla, link in the notes
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3-4 candy canes, crushed
Preheat oven to 350F.
Make the pasta frolla and put it in the refrigerator to rest.
Take one disc of dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit out until it is pliable. Once the dough is ready, put it on a well floured board, sprinkle some more flour over the top and roll it out to a 1/4 inch thickness.
Using your cookie cutters, cut out your shapes and place them on a baking sheet. Once you have no more room for another cutter, gather up your scraps of dough, roll out one more time, and cut out cookies. (Do not roll out more than twice.) Repeat the process for the second disc of dough.
As you fill up a baking sheet, put it in the oven and bake for 7-9 minutes for ~2 1/2 inch cookies. Mini cookies will take less time (my mini cutters take 5 minutes to bake) and large cookies might take more. When you take the baking sheets out of the oven, let the cookies rest for 1 minute, then transfer them to cooling racks.
When you are done baking cookies, make the chocolate topping.
Set a heat proof bowl over a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips and butter to the bowl. Stir occasionally with a silicone spatula. Once the chocolate is nearly melted move the bowl to a kitchen towel and keep stirring until the chocolate is completely smooth.
Either gently dip or spread the chocolate onto the cookies, keeping the chocolate to the top of the cookies. I like to spread the chocolate over the cookies with a spoon since the cookies are fairly tender and breakable.
As you top each cookie with chocolate, sprinkle it with some of the crushed candy canes and then place the cookie on a sheet of wax paper to set. Cookies will last up to 5 days if kept in a sealed container.
- Step by step Pasta Frolla Recipe.
- To crush the candy canes put them in a plastic bag and then either hit or press on them with something hard. A clean hammer, the flat side of a meat tenderizer, or a rolling pin you don't care about are all good choices. Don't skip the bag though or you will end up with bits of candy cane everywhere.
- Chocolate topping: If you want to completely cover the cookies with chocolate, you will need to double the amount of chocolate and butter. Also, I find that for completely covering cookies, tempered chocolate works better since it is thinner and easier to use as a dip. (Noting that tempering chocolate is a long and time consuming process.)