Today’s winter gathering wasn’t just visually stunning… it comes with a few great seasonal recipes! First up, Boulder’s Tee & Cakes shares their recipe for creating beautiful stamped cookies. (They’re actually much easier than you might think!) The only problem is they might be too pretty to eat. And of course, you can’t have cookies without a toasty beverage! Prema (floral design and event styling) gives us the recipe for Spiced Pepper Tea – a warming beverage that boosts your immune system and is great for the skin! We have a feeling that these are 2 holiday recipes that you’ll want to make all year long…

SUGAR COOKIES & ROYAL ICING:
COOKIE INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Switch the mixer to low and add the egg and vanilla. Stop and scrape down the bowl and then continue to mix on low until incorporated. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough forms, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm; 3 hours or overnight.

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to a 3/8″-1/4″ thickness. Cut out shapes and place them on a parchment lined tray and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are just very lightly browned around the edges.

This dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.

ICING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:
4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp. meringue powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
5 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. lemon extract

Beat all the ingredients on low until thoroughly combined. Switch mixer to medium and beat until peaks form, approximately 5-7 minutes.

STAMPED COOKIES:
TOOLS:
Rubber stamp that has only been used with food coloring
Gel food color in the color of your choice
Paintbrush
Royal icing (see recipe)
Sugar cookies (see recipe)
Fondant
Rolling pin
Offset spatula
Parchment paper
Cookie cutter

INSTRUCTIONS:
Make a simple royal icing to act as glue for your cookie.  Set aside.  Gather the food color in the color of your choice.  Make sure the food coloring that you use is a gel based color as they are a touch thicker and are easier to brush onto the stamp.

Take your paintbrush and paint the stamp until fully coated.  Press down lightly on a piece of parchment to test the design.  See where you might need to make adjustments.  When you are ready repeat this process and stamp directly on the fondant.  Let dry for an hour or so.

Ice your cookies with a spatula.  (This does not need to be perfect as it will all be covered up by the fondant circle!)  Just make sure to not let the icing bleed over the edges.  Before the icing has a chance to dry place the fondant circle on and press lightly being careful to not touch the stamped area.  Let dry and package as you wish!

SPICED PEPPER TEA:
Fill a large pot with water.

Add in:
5 cloves
10 black peppercorns
6 green cardamom pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 or 3 threads of saffron
1 whole chunk of ginger root, finely sliced

Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for a few hours. Most of the spices sink to the bottom, so you can ladle out your tea without needing to strain it first. Add milk or milk substitute and honey, and drink up for your good health!!