Special equipment: a 2-inch oval cookie cutter; 2 pastry bags; a hand-held blender; a shell chocolate mold
For the vanilla sugar cookies: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light, fluffy and blended. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Adjust the mixer to low speed; mix in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until well incorporated, and then the salt. Remove the dough from the mixer, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Use an oval cookie cutter to cut out 24 cookies, placing 12 of the cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Top each of the cookies on the baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon of the chocolate chips, then top each with a second oval-shaped piece of cookie dough, pressing the edges to seal. Bake until the cookies are beginning to brown around the edges, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
For the cinnamon-cream cheese-bourbon jelly: Meanwhile, place the gelatin powder in a small bowl and stir in the water until the gelatin is dissolved. Let sit for 5 minutes, then add the bourbon and mix until combined.
Place the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well with a hand-held blender.
Add the cream cheese and mix until the mixture has a nice and creamy consistency. Add the gelatin mixture and mix until well combined.
Pour into an 8-inch square pan and refrigerate until the jelly is set and completely firm to the touch, about 1 hour. With the oval cutter, cut out 12 pieces of the jelly and place on top of the sugar cookies.
For the rosemary bonbons: Fill a pastry bag with the melted dark chocolate disc. Pipe the chocolate into the shell chocolate mold; tap the mold to remove any air bubbles. Flip the mold over, tap out any excess chocolate, and then scrape the top of the mold to remove any excess chocolate. Refrigerate the mold until the chocolate is hard, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the granulated sugar and glucose syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves and turns into a light caramel. Add the heavy cream and rosemary and cook until the caramel comes to a boil; remove from the heat and let the mixture cool. Strain the caramel through a fine-mesh sieve, add the melted milk chocolate and butter, and blend with a hand-held blender. Spoon the caramel mixture into a pastry bag and fill the remainder of the cavities on the chocolate mold. Place the mold in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, then top off with another layer of dark chocolate. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then release the chocolates from the mold.
For the royal icing: Mix together the meringue powder and water in a bowl. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Adjust the consistency with more water as needed. Divide the icing between 2 bowls. Add the green food coloring to 1 bowl and the black to the other; mix well. Fill 2 pastry bags with the icings.
Decorate the bonbons with alien expressions and use the icing to adhere one bonbon to the top of each cookie. Let set before serving, 15 minutes.
This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Santosh Tiptur