1. .Bake from Scratch Special: Holiday Cookies 2018

Makes about 24
Every December, I kick o my holiday baking
with this recipe. It fuses quite a few of my favorite
things: warm and golden brandy, jewel-like dried
apricots, crunchy pearl sugar, and a dose of silky,
tangy crème fraîche.
⅔ cup (85 grams) diced dried apricots
½ cup (120 grams) brandy
⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
1 large egg (50 grams)
½ cup (120 grams) crème fraîche
2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (200 grams) pearl sugar*

  1. In a small saucepan, bring dried apricots and
    brandy just to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer,
    stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid is
    evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from
    heat, and let cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fi tted with the
    paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated
    sugar at medium speed just until combined,
    1 to 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks and egg. Add
    crème fraîche, beating until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together fl our,
    baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With
    mixer on low speed, gradually add fl our mixture
    to butter mixture, beating until combined.
    Gently stir in cooled apricots. (Dough will be
    sticky.) Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line
    3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Place pearl sugar in a small bowl. Using a
    1½-tablespoon scoop, scoop dough, and roll
    into balls. (If dough is sticky, you can dampen
    your hands with water to roll into balls.) Roll
    balls in pearl sugar, and place 2 inches apart on
    prepared pans. Flatten slightly with the palm of
    your hand.
  6. Bake, one batch at a time, until cookies are
    set but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool
    on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and
    let cool completely on wire racks.
    *I used Lars Own Swedish Pearl Sugar.

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