Iced Pink Champagne Cookies
Celebrations of the Yuletide season and Christmas are typically abundant with rich dessert offerings. Such indulgences often lead us feeling the "weight" of these yummy cakes, pies, fudges, and puddings all throughout the next week! Thus, as New Year's Eve approaches, heavy desserts can be the last thing we need or want.
This recipe is for a much lighter dessert—a simple but attractive cookie that incorporates champagne. The original recipe was one sent by an online friend. But though her recipe was nice, I found the overall taste a little dull. So I began experimenting and came up with a twist to the recipe that includes a little ginger and almond flavoring to give the cookies a more delectable taste.
While I usually make these cookies for New Year's Eve, I did have an occasion to bake them for a friend's daughter's Sweet 16 birthday party. They went over very well, and I was asked to share the recipe with three of the moms.
Although the recipe calls for pink champagne, white champagne may be substituted. Prepared as white icing cookies, you will have fitting snacks for wedding and baby showers.
Approximate Prep and Baking Time
For the cookie dough:
- 2 1/4 cups pink champagne
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 dashes powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar, separated in half
- 1/3 cup shortening
For the icing:
- 2 cups powdered sugar, well-sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Pour the champagne into medium saucepan over high heat. When a boil is reached, reduce the champagne to ¾ cup (this should take 15 to 20 minutes).
- Place the reduced champagne into an unbreakable measuring cup. Chill in refrigerator 60-90 minutes, or until cold.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, dash(es) of powdered ginger, and baking powder.
- In a large bowl, cream the shortening and ½ cup of the sugar. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add ½ cup of the chilled champagne reduction. Stir together (expect a clabbered consistency). Fold in the combined flour, ginger, and baking powder. Stir all ingredients together until they make a soft dough.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is getting hot, line one large or two medium-sized baking sheets with baking parchment. Form the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll the balls in the other half of your sugar. Place the dough balls onto the parchment on your readied baking sheet, approximately 1 inch apart.
- Lightly press center of each ball and flatten into round cookie shape.
- Place sheet(s) in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cookies are done when the edges are slightly firm and beige in coloring. Remove sheet(s) from oven and allow cookies to cool (typically about 15 minutes) before moving.
- TO MAKE ICING: In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar along with the rest of your reduced champagne, almond extract and the pinch of salt. Whisk this icing mixture well, until it has an even consistency.
- Carefully dip one side of each cookie into the icing. Allow excess to drip off, then transfer cookie onto wax paper. After your icing has been allowed to set for two to three minutes, sprinkle the iced tops with decorations, such as sugar pearls, dragées* or white chocolate sprinkles. Allow the icing to set well and serve.
*Due to FDA claims that silver dragées are unsafe for human consumption, I suggest using gold or other colored dragées for baking purposes.
- Nutmeg or cinnamon may be substituted in place of the ginger.
- When substituting white champagne for pink, I recommend decorating the finished iced cookie with powdered sugar or shredded coconut.
Caution: never substitute cooking wine for champagne, as cooking wine contains higher levels of sodium.