Yield: About 6 dozen cookies
These holiday lights icebox cookies look like Christmas decorations with the green pistachio layer and red candied cherry layer. They also taste delicious. If you have a pistachio lover in the family, they will really appreciate these decadent cookies. These cookies store well after being cooked, and freeze well, too − either prepared or in dough form.
2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 a teaspoon baking soda
1/8 of a teaspoon salt
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 of a cup pistachios, finely chopped
Green food coloring paste
1/3 of a cup red candied cherries, finely chopped
Red food coloring paste
Line a 23 x 12 cm metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, tearing enough wrap to allow it to extend over the edges of the pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, use a mixer set on medium speed to cream together the butter and sugar. Scrape the side of the bowl several times. The mixture should be light and fluffy, taking approximately 4 minutes.
To the sugar mixture, add the egg and almond extract, mixing until well blended.
Reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add in the flour mixture just until blended.
In a medium bowl, add 1 rounded cup of the completed plain dough. Add the chopped pistachios and green food coloring, mixing well to combine.
In a second medium bowl, add 1 rounded cup of plain dough. Into this dough, add in the cherries and red food coloring, mixing well to combine.
In the bottom of the loaf pan, pat the pistachio dough into a layer. Place the pan into the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer.
Create a plain dough layer on top of the pistachio layer. Freeze for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer.
Add a layer of cherry dough on top. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is firm and easy to slice, about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
Remove the dough from the loaf pan and discard the plastic wrap.
Starting at one end of the dough, cut slices 1 cm thick, just as you would a cake. Then, cut each slice into 3 cookies, using the layer line as a guide.
On a large, ungreased baking sheet, place the cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies about 10 minutes. The cookie centers should be firm and the edges should be golden brown.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully move the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.