Christmas is one of the holidays that come with so many traditions and among the ones that most people have confessed as their best is sitting around for Christmas cookies. There is an assortment of cookies that you can make for your family during this important holiday and they range from the old family favorites to the ones with the modern twist.
Among the old favorites of the best Christmas cookies in most households are butter cookies, which are known to be very fragile and simple to make. You can easily make the dough a day before you actually bake them.
You do want to have an assortment of cookie types and ingredients. This assures that you can always provide a varied, colorful and interesting plate for impromptu visitors and also tasty treats for the kids.
A well-rounded assortment might include bars, sugar cookies, brownies, oatmeal-raisin, chocolate chip, fruit-filled shortbreads, fudge (although not technically a cookie, it’s a must-have on your Christmas cookie recipes list), gingerbread men, meringues, macaroons, and biscotti.
For those people who will simply die for anything with chocolate in it, the chocolate peanut butter bonbons are a good option, especially a family with kids. These cookies have a universal taste and are totally different from other kinds of cookies as they are small creamy and chewy little candies.
Another chocolate option and a firm family favorite is the triple chocolate cookie. These chewy chocolate cookies, work all year round for us, they are simply too delicious to wait all year for!
- Here’s the recipe for Triple Chocolate Chewy Cookies:
Triple Chocolate Chewy Cookies
- 2 cups AP flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ -teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs whisked
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1cup Milk chocolate chips
- ½ -cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (melted)
- 4oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped (melted)
- First melt the semi-sweet chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.
- In another mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat another minute. Add eggs beating them a little bit before adding it to the mixture. In addition to adding the eggs, add the vanilla extract.
- Gently add the cooled melted chocolate and beat until combined.
- Now add the dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt (mixing them together first before adding to mixture) Mix slowly until just combined.
- Finally mix in the chocolate chips gently. The dough should now be well blended.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least a half hour, or at room temperature for around 45min-I hour
- Remove your dough from the fridge, let it sit ten minutes, then scoop up and place the cookies on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased making sure you space them out at least an inch from each other.
- Bake for around 8-10 minutes or until the edges are slightly firmer than the center.
- Cool cookies on sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.
In some households, Christmas cannot be the same without Starlight mint cookies and the fact that these cookies entail different tastes is what appeals to most people. The basic ingredients for these cookies are dough made from brown sugar and mint candy. The crispy edges on these cookies come as a result of the brown sugar that is added to it.
Apart from their flavor, another good thing about these cookies is that they have a very good texture that certainly appeals to most people. Diabetic patients should however avoid these cookies for the sake of their health.
The butter pecan variety is also among the best Christmas cookies. Baked in the shape of a bar, these cookies have the same appearance as turtle candies. The cookies also have a crust that entails much caramel and chocolate that will certainly appeal to people with a sweet tooth as well. People who are keen on watching their weight might however not think of them as such a great idea.
Should you want even more variety, Borrowing from other cultures for some new and unusual taste treats is a great idea when thinking about which Christmas cookie recipes to bake. For example, Dutch letter cookies are a Netherlands tradition at Christmas time. These flaky, tender cookies are filled with almond paste and are guaranteed to disappear from the cookie plate in a heartbeat. They are traditionally shaped into letters of the alphabet. Cute, delicious and a cookie among cookie greats!
- Here’s the recipe for Dutch Letter Cookies:
Dutch Letter Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (purpose)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup butter (chilled)
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 8 ozs almond paste
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 tbsps milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (decoration)
- Make Dough – In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Chop in chilled butter and mix until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add ice water gradually while stirring with a wooden spoon until mixture forms dough.
- Cover your dough and chill for 1/2 hour.3. Make filling – In a small bowl, beat the almond paste until smooth and add the sugar. Add the eggs and mix well.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thick square, and cut into 6inch long strips about 1 1/2 inches wide.
- Using a pastry bag, pipe almond filling down the centre of the strip starting halfway down. Fold one side of dough over the filling, then the other side and pinch the fold shut from end to end.
- Shape strips into desired letters, traditionally an “S” and place on baking sheet.
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Prick with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
From Netherlands to Greece, The Greek Melomakarona is another traditional type of christmas cookie ate during the holiday season, made with honey, walnuts, orange juice, whiskey, cloves and cinnamon, giving an irresistible sweet moist texture – these cookies certainly do melt in the mouth! This is a cookie recipe you should try this holiday season if you want something different.
- Here’s the recipe for Melomakarona:
Melomakarona: Honey & Spice Cookies
- 6 – 8 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/3 cup of brandy
- Orange zest
Syrup and topping
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 cups of honey
- 3 cups of water
- Orange peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 – 4 cloves
- 2 cups of finely chopped walnuts
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- 1-2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Beat the olive oil with sugar together, on full speed, about 10 minutes. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice together with the brandy and add to the mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients: cinnamon, cloves and flour (mixed together first) and add to fluid mixture a little at a time. Add the orange zest and knead the dough until it sticks to your hands, the dough may be slightly oily.
- Tear off small balls of dough and shape into log shaped cookies around 2 inches long, or shape them round as long as they are around 1 inch thick
- Press the dough gently with your fingers on one side to flatten slightly, and Place on parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven (180ο C) for about thirty minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- In the meantime prepare the syrup by placing in a pan the sugar, water, honey, cinnamon, cloves and orange peel. Bring to boiling point skimming if needed. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Before the cookies cool down, dip them in the syrup for around 30 seconds to 1min holding them down with slotted spoon if necessary.
- Remove the cookies with slotted spoon and place on platter and immediately sprinkle the finally chopped walnuts, cinnamon powder and sesame seeds on top of the cookies.
Melomakarona don’t generally keep for more than 4 0r 5 days, nor are they refrigerated. Cover them well with plastic wrap or store in tins so they don’t dry out, and they’ll last for several days.
Others to try are the Mexican Tea Cakes. The making of these cookies will entail tender and hot short bread being rolled in container with sugar. After cooling the bread, sugar is once again used to coat the cookies. They are then filled with chocolate kisses and pecans and these are what will also lend them their great taste.
Another one of my favorites is the swiss Basler Brunsli, these delicious cookies from Switzerland, call for ground almonds and kirsch; a cherry liqueur. Mostly for adults these chocolate nut cookies come highly recommended for almond lovers.
- Here’s the recipe for Basler Brunsli:
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped,
- 1 Cup of natural ground almonds
- 1 Cup of toasted ground hazelnuts
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 3 Cups of confectioner’s sugar,
- ½Teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ Teaspoon of cloves
- ¼ Teaspoon of salt
- 2 Large egg whites
- 3 Tbsp Brandy or kirsch
- 1oz of semisweet chocolate, melted, for decoration
- 1oz of white chocolate, melted for decoration
- Place the unsweetened chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, cloves, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until finely ground. Mix together with ground almonds and hazelnuts.
- Whip the egg whites until frothy using an electric mixer and add around 2 1/2 cups icing sugar in two batches, whipping well between additions, until firm peaks.
- Gently fold in the chocolate-almond mix and add the brandy/kirsch until it forms dough. Knead the dough until no longer sticky, adding the remaining confectioner’s sugar as needed. Roll the dough into a 14 x 9-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick, adding more sugar to prevent sticking. You can either form into two rectangle shapes, or simply leave in a ball and wrap in plastic and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Remove from chilling and generously sprinkle the work surface with confectioner’s sugar before you cut the rectangle into 2 1/2 x 1-inch diamonds. Or roll out dough and cut out heart or star shapes, using confectioner’s sugar to prevent sticking.
- Transfer them to the cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until slightly firm and puffed. (Do not overbake.) Cool on the sheets on wire racks. Drizzle with melted chocolates.
When it comes to Italian cookies, most people come up with the biscotti or the amaretti, but for something differnet and more traditional I want to share with you the italian cookies that are high up amongst the family favorites is the “Baci di Dama” These old-fashioned peidmontese cookies make pretty petits fours. The name translates to Lady’s Kisses, and they make a perfect and welcome Christmas cookie gift.
- Here’s the recipe for Baci di dama:
Baci di dama (ladies kisses)
- 50z butter, softened
- ½ cup castor sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ tsp almond essense
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1½cups plain flour
- 2oz plain chocolate
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk, almond essense, ground almonds and flour until evenly mixed. Chill and firm for about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 160 c- 325 f, and Line 3-4 baking sheets with non-stick paper.
- Break off small peices of dough and roll into balls with your hands making around 40 altogether. Place the balls on the baking sheets, spacing them out as they will spread whilst baking in oven
- Bake the cookies for 20 minutes for until golden. Remove the baking sheets from oven, lift off the paper then place on wire racks to cool.
- When cookies are cold, lift them off paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Sandwich the cookies in pairs with the melted chocolate. Leave to cool and set before serving
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That’s about all you need to know to bake up your best Christmas cookie recipes ever!