We are lucky enough to spend this holiday season at home here in Oregon. We have family flying out to stay with us and a schedule packed with fun activities like wine tasting, hiking and reading lots of books.We may even squeeze in a movie or two, but are being careful not to be too ambitious with our plans
To provide the most comfortable holiday experience ever, I have been baking up cookies and stocking the cupboards with delicious candy. I am now the proud owner of the holiday cookie tin I grew up with. Every year that tin was packed with a variety of holiday goodies. This year I decided to see how full I could get it!
I wanted to share some of the delicious recipes I have been baking up, in case you still have time before the holiday to make up a batch of your own.
Originally published in the December 2009 issue of Sunset Magazine, I’ve been saving this one for a year! They were a lot of work, but so amazingly delicious. I used my homemade raspberry preserves. The buttery shortbread was definitely deserving of such tasy preserves.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- berry preserves
- powdered sugar
- Mix flour, butter, sugar and salt until no longer crumbly, about five minutes or so. Form into a disk and chill for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/8 thick. Use a cookie cutter or mouth of a can to cut into 1 1/2″ shapes. Make sure you have an even number. Then cut a smaller shape into half of them, to make the “window” tops. Chill on cookie sheets for about 15 minutes.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until just turning light brown. Cool on rack.
- Once fully cooled, dust window tops with powdered sugar. Spread 1/2 tsp of jam on whole bottom cookies. Place the dusted window tops onto the cookie and jam, making a sandwich.
Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Cooking Light, this is one version of a traditional German cookie. I doubled CL’s original recipe, so below is my version. They taste even better the next day, once they have softened and the spices have deepened. It is not overly sweet, like many holiday cookies can get, and has a really lovely spiced flavor.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
- powdered sugar
- Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cloves.
- In a separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add water and egg white, beating until frothy.
- Add flour mixture and nuts until just blended. Dough should be sticky.
- Drop roughly 2 tsp. of dough per cookie onto baking sheet, spacing them about two inches apart. Bake at 350 degree for 12 minutes. Cool for two minutes on the pan before removing to a cooling rack.
- Once fully cooled, dust with powdered sugar.
Also called Mexican wedding cakes, there are a million variations of this recipe. This one is based on the Gourmet cookbook. My family makes these every year and they are my favorite tea-time cookie.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup very finely chopped hazelnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Beat butter and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for about four minutes until fluffy. Add vanilla, flour, nuts and salt. Mix until well combined. Wrap and chill for six hours.
- Let dough stand for about fifteen minutes. Roll into 1″ balls and place two inches apart on baking sheet.
- Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, until just starting to brown. Roll warm cookies in a bowl with remaining powdered sugar until well coated. Set on rack to cool.
- Once cooled, roll cookies again in the bowl of remaining powdered sugar.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, or bookmark them for next year. The cookie tin is busting at the seams, but I’m not exactly slowing down with the baking. More recipes to come later this week!