I found this recipe while combing through the holiday edition of Fine Cooking Magazine. I was so inspired by the sophistication of the cookie and the addition of the booze, that I immediately got to baking. I had no intention of going the "cookie route" during this holiday season, but this idea was too intriquing not to. Grand Marnier in a cookie?! I was on it!
The whole recipe makes perfect sense in it's simplicity. This cognac is most popular in Crepes, Chocolate Mousse and Creme Brulee and adding this to any dessert brings an orange citrus flavor to it. I found these cookies to be delicate, soft and buttery. Going into my recipe rotation for sure. In fact...I made them twice. I assumed right the first time, two tablespoons of Grand Marnier in the frosting would be too much for me. I love alcohol, but not the taste in my food or desserts. One tablespoon is perfect for enhancing the citrus flavor of the glaze without the strong alcohol aftertaste. This is strictly a personal preference, as the recipe calls for two tablespoons of Grand Marnier.
(Adapted from Fine Cooking)
10-1/2 oz. (2-1/3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the Grand Marnier glaze:
4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbs. Grand Marnier
1-1/2 Tbs. heavy cream; more as needed
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Pinch of table salt
Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and zest on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing until blended after each addition. Add the vanilla extract along with the last yolk. Mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until moist clumps form, about 1 minute.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal piles on sheets of plastic wrap. Using the plastic as an aid, knead into a smooth dough, shape into flat 5-inch disks, and wrap in the plastic. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.
Working with one disk at a time, roll the dough between lightly floured parchment or on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Dust with additional flour as needed. Using a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Arrange them about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets. Gather, re-roll, and cut the dough scraps up to 2 more times.
Bake, one sheet at a time, until the edges are golden-brown, 9 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. (The unglazed cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month before glazing.)
Glaze the cookies:
In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, Grand Marnier, cream, zest, and salt. Mix until well blended and smooth. If necessary, add more cream a few drops at a time for a thin, spreadable consistency.
Top each cookie with about 1/2 tsp. of the glaze, using the bottom of the measuring spoon to spread the glaze to within 1/4 inch of the edge.
Let sit at room temperature until the glaze is set, about 2 hours. Serve the cookies immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.