Candied Onion Cut Out Cookies
These tender sugar cookies have a savory touch that is balanced by a rich sweetness thanks to a candied onion puree flavored with citrus and cinnamon that is incorporated into the dough. Whether shaped with small or large cutters, these cookies are delicious served as is or you can add your favorite frosting and seasonal decorations.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 90 minutes chilling
Baking time: 30 minutes
Makes about 48 small cookies
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons grated white or yellow onion (about ¼ medium onion)
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
Make the candied onion by melting the tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir constantly for 1 minute. It will thicken and resemble a paste.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the orange juice and brown sugar. Continue to stir for 30 more seconds until it becomes a deep brown, thick sauce. Stir in the orange zest. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.
To make the cookies, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and turn the speed to low, then medium. Mix for 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until light brown and well blended.
Mix in the egg on medium speed. Add the cooled candied onion from the skillet. Mix on medium until all ingredients are blended. Add the salt.
Add about 1/3 of the flour at a time with the mixer on low. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the speed to medium and mix about 30 seconds until a ball of dough forms in the center.
Divide the dough into two equal portions. Flatten into disks and wrap each with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Working one disk at a time, remove a disk from the plastic wrap and roll it out on a floured surface to ¼ to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut out 16 cookies. These cookies spread very little so about 16 small cookies should fit on a baking sheet. Shape any leftover scraps into disk, rewrap, and place back in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the baking sheet with the cut cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until firm and very slightly browned on the edges. Let cool for 1 minute on the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Repeat cutting, freezing, and baking the rest of the cookies. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The onion flavor will intensify the longer the cookies are stored.