- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Crisco® Butter-Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
- 1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- finely crushed hard fruit-flavored candies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Beat shortening, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, cardamom and nutmeg in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a medium bowl using electric hand beaters until well combined and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Beat in eggs on low speed, one at a time for 1 minute each, scraping the bottom of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Slowly mix in dry ingredients in two batches. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating by hand using a spatula to ensure that all of the flour is incorporated.
- Divide dough into two disks, wrap each disk in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hour or overnight is best.
- One at a time, roll each disk to a ¼-inch thickness between two sheets of well floured parchment paper. The bottom parchment will be floured, the cookie dough placed on top, lightly flour the top of the cookie dough and press another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough to roll.
- Use a 2 ½-inch holiday cookie cutter to cut shapes from the dough and place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a decorative hole in the center of each cookie and remove from the baking sheet. It’s easiest to cut out all of the cookies and stack them on a small baking sheet or plate layered with parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Place oven racks in the center and upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 8 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from the oven momentarily and sprinkle the hollow inside of each baking cookie with a heaping ½ teaspoon crushed candy. Return to the oven and bake for 4 minutes more until the cookies are lightly brown and the candy is melted.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet completely before using a thin spatula to carefully remove to a cooling rack. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature before serving or gifting.