Alex's Little Black Dress Cookie Recipe — It's Good for Everything

By: Sarah De Heer

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

I grew up in a house where holiday cookie baking would always reach a fever pitch and the result is this recipe. Why? It is a butter cookie, somewhat crumbly (and grumpy if you’re not nice to it) with the simple taste of clove added. So tasty and they go great with eggnog. The powdered sugar on the exterior is very “retro” and leaves you licking your fingers as you reach for another cookie. Want a plain butter cookie? Omit the cloves. Want to make a chocolate cookie? Make the chocolate ganache at the bottom and serve it warm, on the side, for dunking or dip the cookies once they’re baked and cooled in the chocolate and put them on a rack to set slightly before serving. The melted candy cane in the chocolate adds a fun peppermint touch, but you can also leave it out and just have the flavors of chocolate and butter speak for themselves.

Greek Christmas Cookies with Chocolate Candy Cane Sauce

Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 45 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus additional for coating
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
About 45 whole cloves

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and salt and whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar, egg, brandy, and vanilla and beat until all of the ingredients are integrated. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add sifted flour to the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, remove the dough and transfer it onto a piece of wax paper or parchment. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

After the dough has cooled, pinch off small pieces and roll them into about 1-inch balls. Place them in a single layer with space in between each, on a greased baking sheet. Repeat the process until all of the cookie dough has been rolled. Place a clove in the center of each cookie. Alternatively, shape the ball into half moons with a clove in the center of each.

Place the sheets in the oven and bake until the cookies are just slightly brown, about 15 minutes. Allow them to cool thoroughly, and then roll them in powdered sugar.

Chocolate Candy Cane Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1 candy cane, broken into pieces (optional)
½ lb semi sweet chocolate
Pinch Kosher salt

1. In a small pot, bring the cream and candy cane pieces (if using) to a gentle simmer. Lower the heat and allow the candy cane pieces to melt into the cream. Place the chocolate in a bowl that fits over the pot and place it over the cream like a makeshift double-boiler. Stir the chocolate from time to time as it melts.

2. When the candy cane is melted into the cream and the chocolate melted, pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until blended.

3. Serve on the side for dunking with the cookies or coat the cookies with the chocolate and place on a rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Next Up

Alex Guarnaschelli's Egg Nog Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

Celebrate the holiday season with Alex's Egg Nog cookies.

7 Vegan Recipes That Change Everything

No meat, no cheese -- no problem!

50 Salad Dressing Recipes

Give weeknight salads a makeover with dozens of new dressings from Food Network Magazine.

Spotlight Recipe: Simple Salad Dressing

Make a batch of this simple salad dressing and use all week to top salads, dip veggies or marinate chicken, fish or vegetables.

Spotlight Recipe: Black Bean Salad

This deliciously simple dish is the perfect picnic side. Amazingly, there’s no oil or other fat added to it -- meaning it's fat-free. Instead, you get tons of fiber from the beans, corn and other veggies. A touch of pineapple adds a sweetness to combo, too.

Spotlight Recipe: Breakfast Cookies

Ellie Krieger dubs these her "breakfast cookies" -- thanks to the added rolled oats and bran flakes. They work well as a mid-morning snack, paired up with herbal tea, or a breakfast on the go.

Chatting with The Little Beet’s Franklin Becker, Author of Good Fat Cooking

Instead of completely eliminating fat from your diet, focus on eating the right kinds for a more nutritious and satisfying approach to eating.