Who better to help with 12 Days of Christmas Cookies on “Good Morning America” than Dan “Grossy” Pelosi, aka the holiday cookie exchange host with the most.
Pelosi joined “GMA” on Tuesday for the second consecutive season of holiday baking to share a delicious recipe for sugar cookie cut-out sandwiches.
“Cut-out cookies are a favorite around the holidays. They are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and always decked to the nines,” he said of the below recipe. “While they can be very beautiful, for many home bakers they can seem fussy and intimidating. I want to flip them on their heads, stuff them with icing, and show some great tips to make them easier to bake along the way.”
Plus, Pelosi adds a swirled color pattern to the dough for an extra festive flare.
Sugar cookie cut-out sandwiches
2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
For the frosting
3 egg whites
1 pound (3 ¾ cups) of powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon almond extract
Pinch of kosher salt
Combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup of light brown sugar and ½ cup softened unsalted butter. Mix on medium speed for a few minutes until butter and sugar are light and fluffy. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon extract and mix to combine.
Add flour mixture to the butter in bowl and mix on medium. Stop when the dough just comes together. Remove half of the dough from the bowl, using your hands to form it into a solid ball.
Add 6-8 droplets of food coloring to the other half of the dough in the stand mixer bowl, and mix until the color is evenly incorporated. Finish the dough by forming it into a ball with your hands and remove from the bowl.
Clear a large section of your counter. Crumple a sheet of parchment paper into a ball, and then lay it flat onto your countertop. Now we use the two colors of dough to create a swirled dough for your cookies.
Grab approximately half of each ball of dough. Break the two balls down into small balls and then place them into a heap onto the parchment. Collect the heap in your hands and form into a single ball again, swirling the two colors together as you go.
Flour the surface of your parchment paper and roll the swirled ball of dough into a 1/4 inch thick sheet. The two colors of dough will swirl further into each other as you roll. Place the sheet of dough on to a ½ sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15 minutes minimum. Repeat this process with the rest of each color of dough, laying the second sheet on top of the first in the freezer.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
After 15 minutes, remove one sheet of dough from the oven. Dip the rim of a drinking glass (I use 2-3 rounds, but any work, even a little shot glass) in confectioners sugar and press into your dough, cutting a circle. Repeat until you cut as many circles as possible. Remove excess dough from the pan, leaving your circles on the parchment. Spread your circles out a bit, then place into the oven to bake for 12 minutes. Repeat with the second tray of dough. Let cookies cool completely on a rack.
While the cookies are cooling, let’s make the frosting. Whisk 3 egg whites until they are frothy in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low, add in 1 pound of powdered sugar, 1/8th teaspoon of cream of tartar and a pinch of kosher salt. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium high and beat until thick. The consistency will be peanut butter-like. You can adjust the consistency using water by the droplet, but I like a very thick frosting for these sandwich cookies.
Now let’s assemble our sandwiches. Frost the bottom of a cooled cookie with a ¼ inch layer of frosting, going almost to the edge of the cookie. Place a second cookie onto to the frosting, creating a cookie sandwich. Press the cookies together gently, pushing the frosting to the edge of the cookies. Roll your layer of frosting in sprinkles all along the side of the sandwich for added flair!
Store your cookies in an airtight container with a slice of bread inside to keep them fresh.