Let’s Get Frosted



Whether you’re hosting a holiday cookie swap, sending goodies to friends or simply baking for Santa, the end of the year usually brings sweets of the sprinkled, iced and spiced variety. Though we’re partial to a warm, chewy gingersnap and practically anything peppermint (these homemade coconut oil peppermint patties are heaven-sent and healthy), we sat down with the city’s best bakers to uncover their favorite wintertime treats— and yes, we’ve even scored the recipes! From Milkbar’s Christina Tosi’s cranberry gingerbread cake to Magnolia Bakery’s Bobbie Lloyd’s thumbprint cookies, here’s what should make it onto your treat plates this season, plus a special cookie for all of our gluten-free friends, because, if lengthy family meals sitting next to that random second cousin are in your near future, who are we to say you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Happy holidays!
(*All treats pictured above)

Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolate | Chocolate Chip Cookie
2 c minus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 2/3 c bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
1 c plus 2 tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 lbs bittersweet chocolate disks, at least 60% cacao
Sea salt

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside. 2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5-10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24-36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. 3. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside. 4. Scoop 6 3 ½ -ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18-20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more.


Christina Tosi, MilkBar | Cranberry Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread Cake (makes 1 qtr sheet pan)
1/4 c butter                           1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c light brown sugar        3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar                           1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs                                   1/4 c ginger
2 tbs molasses                    2 tsp salt
1/2 c grapeseed oil            1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 c buttermilk

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. 2. Combine butter and sugars in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs and molasses and mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more. 3. On low speed, stream in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4-6 minutes, until the mixture is practically  twice the size of your original fluffy butter-and-sugar mixture and completely homogenous. Don’t rush the process. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. 4. on very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, and allspice. mix for 45 to 60 seconds, just until your batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 5. Pam-spray a quarter sheet pan and line it with parchment. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. 6. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes. The cake will rise and puff, doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger: the cake should bounce back slightly and the center should no longer be jiggly. Leave the cake in the oven for an extra 3-5 minutes if it doesn’t pass these tests. 7. Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack or, in a pinch, in the fridge or freezer (don’t worry, it’s not cheating). the cooled cake can be stored in the fridge, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.
**Tosi’s recipes are notoriously detailed. For the full cake recipe including cranberry sauce and cranberry milk crumb fillings, a cream cheese frosting and pie crumb topping, email us at [email protected]


Bobbie Lloyd, Magnolia Bakery | Jammy Thumbprints
1 c pecans pieces (substitute almonds or pistachios)
1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c (8oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c jam, flavor of your choice 
1-2 c of buttercream in assorted colors and holiday decorations of your choice.

1. In a food processor, process nuts with ¼ cup flour and salt until fine. Remove from processor, place in a bowl and add 1 1/2 cups flour, set aside. 2. In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup of butter until creamy and light in color. 3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. Mix on low, scrape down bowl. 4. Add flour/nut mixture in 3 parts just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. You may have to do this by hand. Dough should barely come together when you squeeze it. 5. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. 6. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. 7. Roll into 1″ balls and set 2″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet. 8. Gently press your thumb into the center of the cookie, making an indent and fill with a teaspoon or more of jam ½ way through baking time. 9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Watch the cookies very closely. They should just ever so slightly brown on the bottom. 10. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. 11. Fill with assorted colors of buttercream and decorate.


Candace Nelson, Sprinkles Cupcakes | Iced Sugar Cookie
2 c unbleached, organic flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c unsalted, organic butter
3/4 sugar
1 egg, large
2 tsp organic, whole milk

3 tbsp meringue powder
4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c warm water
food coloring optional
Extra: sprinkles and any other toppings to decorate

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 3. In a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and blend until combined. 4. Slowly add half of flour mixture, mixing on low. Add milk and blend until combined. 5. Slowly add rest of flour mixture on low and mix just until incorporated. Remove dough from bowl and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest dough in refrigerator for at least two hours. 6. Remove dough from fridge and break in half. Roll on a floured or powder sugared surface with a floured or sugared rolling pin until 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out into shapes and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. 7. Bake for approximately 9 minutes.
Icing: 1. Beat all ingredients until icing forms stiff peaks, about 7-10 minutes. This stiffer consistency is great for piping borders or doing detail work. 2. For “flooding consistency” add water until consistency resembles maple syrup. Another test is to draw a knife through the middle of the icing. The line should disappear by the count of 10. If not, add more water a teaspoon at a time.


CITIPHILE | Gluten-Free Salted Hot Chocolate Cookie
2 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar
1/2 c dutch pressed, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp espresso powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 large egg whites, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, bar cut into chunks
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, bar cut into chunks
Optional: 1/2 c mini marshmallows, sea salt for top

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, 1/4 tsp sea salt and espresso powder. Combine thoroughly with spoon. 2. Add egg whites and vanilla and stir until dough forms. Add semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate and the marshmallows if using. 3. Using an ice cream scoop, form 6-8 mounds on your baking sheet. Don’t press down. Top with sea salt. 4. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops crackle. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. CP



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