Have a presidential Christmas in your home with these recipes from chefs who served at the White House under the current and previous administrations.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, soft, unsalted
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Icing (see recipe below)
Combine sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 8-10 minutes, with an electric mixer and paddle attachment.
Add eggs and vanilla, and blend.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add. Mix until a dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least two hours or overnight before using.
Roll on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out desired Christmas shapes such as bells, Santas, snowmen, stars, candy canes and other holiday shapes.
Place cookies on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper, or grease the baking tray if no paper is available.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. (Baking times depend on the oven.) Rotate baking tray halfway through the baking time. Do not overbake or cookies will get too hard. These cookies should be soft.
Let cookies cool completely before decorating. Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cutters.
2 egg whites (from large eggs)
4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Liquid food color, as desired
Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Sift powdered sugar. Gradually add sifted sugar to eggs as mixer is running on low speed; may require a little more or less sugar depending on size of egg whites used.
Add lemon juice and vanilla, and blend well. Divide icing into small bowls and color as desired. Decorate cookies as you wish.
Note: Decorate cookies without icing by brushing them with a slightly beaten egg white and sprinkling colored sugars on top before baking.
Source: Former White House Chef Thaddeus Dubois and ABC's "Good Morning America."
Current White House pastry chef Bill Yosses' light, flaky pie crusts have earned him the nickname "The Crustmaster" from President Obama.
His trick to making fruit pies worthy of a president is to bake the bottom crust first, then fill and top the pie and bake it again.
WHITE HOUSE APPLE PIE
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 ounces unsalted butter, cold, cut into small chunks
3 ounces lard, cold, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup ice water
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Sugar, for sprinkling
To make the crust, in a food processor pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and lard, then pulse briefly until the mixture forms small crumbs. Add the ice water and pulse just until a dough forms. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
When chilled, to prepare the pie shell, on a floured surface roll out one disc to a 14-inch circle using a rolling pin. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased, deep 9-inch pie pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate the crust in the pan for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
When ready to bake the bottom crust, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the cold crust with foil and fill with baking weights, rice or dry beans to hold it in place. Bake the pie shell for 30 minutes and remove from oven. Leave the oven on once the crust is done.
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large saucepan, toss together the apples, sugar, honey, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest and juice. Let sit for 20 minutes.
Bring the fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the fruit thickens. Let cool.
When the bottom of the filling has cooled, pour it into the baked crust. Roll out the second disc of dough to about 12 inches.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with the salt. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg on the edges of the cooked crust. Place the top crust over the filling. Using a fork or crimper, gently crimp the top crust, sealing the pie around the edges.
Slit the top of the crust with a paring knife in several places to create steam vents. Brush egg wash over the crust, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top crust is golden brown. Let cool for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serves 8.