Birch Tree Cookies

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I made these pretty birch cookies for Holiday hand-outs.  I bundled them with ribbon and jars of cocoa for my son’s teachers.

Nordic roll-out Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

If you need a visual step by step for the cookie roll out process please look at my Valentine Cookies.

Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add agave and combine.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add zest and vanilla to and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients but do not over mix or cookies will be tough.

Divide dough in half and llay dough on plastic wrap; refrigerate at once. Can be in fridge for a number of days.

I use cookie spacers on my rolling pin to ensure the same thickness each time.

I would highly suggest placing your rolled out shapes in the freezer for 10 minutes.

When ready roll out to desired thickness and cook at 350 for 9 to 12 minutes. I used a 4 inch square cookie cutter.

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If you have a recipe you favor please use your favorite one. Royal Icing is hard to work with and I use what works for me.

Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Colors I used were Americolors in sky blue, and red.

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Once I mixed my frosting I used plastic bottles to trace and flood my cookies then let them sit for 24 hours.

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Once the icing was hard enough I used these great stencils to add the birch trees and birds.

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Then I simply took the red color and painted the cardinals on the trees.

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Fennel and Snap Pea Salad

Summer is here, let’s make this… This is a great side dish, I ‘ve even served it along side pizza.  It’s a great way to offer a health alternative for your guests.

INGREDIENTS

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil                                                                          1 Tablespoon walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups sugar snap peas, ends removed, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots                                                                       small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into thin strips 
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon if you have fresh if not you can used dried.
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup toasted walnuts

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INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, shallots, tarragon and salt in a large bowl.

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Slice your snap peas into small pieces.

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Add the , peas, fennel, tarragon to bowl.Toss to coat and season to taste with pepper.

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Garnish with fennel fronds and top with toasted walnuts.

 

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This is a great side dish for your spring and summer gatherings.