This spectacular cookie has been part of my holiday baking repertoire since my high school days. Regrettably, I don’t remember how the recipe came to me. But, more important—it did! This is what I call a “fussy” cookie, which means it has lots of steps and takes time. But, it is worth the effort. The cookie is a good keeper, looks fantastic on a cookie platter, and tastes fabulous.
Notes for this cookie: Use unsalted butter only, no substitutes. Use pure vanilla extract. Due to the number of steps required to assemble this cookie, do each stage completely before moving onto the next. For example, measure out all the balls, then roll and shape the wreaths, then brush all the wreaths with egg white, etc. To insure that cookies do not stick to the sheets, remove them immediately to wire racks to cool.
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 c.confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. finely grated orange peel
2-1/2 c. flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Additional granulated sugar
Red and green glaceed cherries for garnish
Preheat oven to 375. Have handy 4 ungreased cookie sheets. Cut 8 red glaceed cherries in half and cut each have into quarters—one piece for each cookie. Cut green glaceed cherries in half and cut each half into 6 or eight pieces—2 for each cookie.
Cream together the butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, and orange peel and mix to combine. On low blend in the flour.
Using a 1 Tbsp. scoop measure out all the dough. Roll each portion into a pencil thin strip 5 inches long. Form the “wreaths” by shaping each strip into a circle with overlapping ends and place on cookie sheets. Brush each “wreath” with lightly beaten egg white, sprinkle with sugar. Place a piece of red glaceed cherry where the ends of the “wreath” overlaps, and a piece of green glaceed cherry on each side.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until the cookie is set, but not browned. Rotate sheets half-way through baking time.
Remove cookies from sheets to wire racks immediately. Cool completely. Store in air tight container separated by was paper.
Makes about 4 dozen.