Cookie Recipes to Celebrate
Winter evenings are so much cozier with the aroma of cookies wafting through the air. That’s why we fully support National Cookie Day on December 4—or any other day of the year! So tie on your aprons, be of good cheer, and bake your way around the world!
Egypt: Kahk Cookies
In Egypt, kahk cookies are popular delicacies on Eid al-Fitr, the celebration at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Made with ghee, cinnamon, honey, and nuts, then rolled in powdered sugar, they’re a sweet stuffed delight. And after a month of fasting, they taste that much better during the three-day celebration of Eid in Egypt’s streets and homes!
These bite-size pastries are often eaten during Hanukkah (and other occasions) in Israel. Rugelach are very versatile, with fillings ranging from chocolate to jam to dried fruit to chopped nuts. Their appearance also varies, from traditional twisted crescents to log-shaped rolls.
Try this easy recipe using premade pie crusts, and let your kids experiment with the fillings.
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
- 2 premade pie crusts (if frozen, thaw before using)
- ⅓ cup jam or jelly
- More filling ideas: chocolate chips, dried cherries, cinnamon and sugar, raisins, cream cheese, or a mix of any of the above.
- Sprinkle one tablespoon granulated sugar on your surface.
- Roll a pie crust over the sugared surface until it’s an even thickness.
- Spread ⅓ cup of jam over the crust.
- Roll the crust into a log shape, then trim the ends with a knife. Sprinkle the top with more sugar.
- Cut the roll into thumb-width pieces.
- Bake at 400° F for 22-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Australia and New Zealand: Anzac Biscuits
During World War I, wives and women’s groups made and sent these biscuits to troops in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) because the treats traveled and kept well. These biscuits are still near and dear to the hearts of people in both countries, so much so that there are strict rules about what can be called an Anzac biscuit. (One to keep in mind is never, ever call them cookies!)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ cup dessicated coconut
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup*
- ½ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon boiling water
- Preheat your oven to 300° F.
- Mix oats, flour, sugar, and coconut.
- Melt the syrup and butter together.
- Mix the baking soda with boiling water, and then add it to melted butter and syrup.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Scoop teaspoonfuls of the mixture on a greased baking sheet, evenly spaced, and bake for 20 minutes.
* If you can’t find golden syrup, substitute equal parts of honey and light corn syrup.
China: New Year Almond Cookies
Chinese almond cookies are traditionally enjoyed at Chinese New Year celebrations, but we think they’re also perfect for a chilly winter afternoon.
Made to look like coins, these crunchy delights symbolize good fortune and are thought to bring good tidings for the new year. The multiple flavors of almond—almond flour, almond extract, and sliced almonds—in this version are the perfect burst of flavor to pair with other holiday sweets and warm drinks.
- 1 ⅓ cup almond flour, lightly packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Sliced almonds
- Place the almond flour, butter, and salt into the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed for three minutes. The mixture will be coarse and chunky looking.
- Add one of the eggs (reserving one for later) and the almond extract. Beat together until just incorporated.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl and add it to the standing mixer. Mix until just combined.
- Pour the mixture out onto plastic wrap, form it into a disc, wrap it up, and chill in the fridge for two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 325° F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Beat the egg you saved in a small bowl and have a pastry brush ready.
- Take pieces of dough and roll them into balls, about one inch wide. Place on the prepared baking sheet and gently press them down with your palms to flatten into coin shapes.
- Take your pastry brush and brush the tops of the cookies generously with the egg wash. Then place a sliced almond on top, pressing gently to keep it in place.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a dark golden color on top.
- Remove and let cool on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Italy: Christmas Cookies
Italian Christmas cookies are another yummy holiday treat. Flavored with anise or almond with an airy, cake-like texture, they stand out on holiday tables for their distinctive taste and round shape. The glaze on top of them offers opportunities to decorate in a variety of ways (festive sprinkles are common), as well. They take a long time to bake, but they’re well worth the effort!