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!
Mexico: Wedding Cookies
Mexican wedding cookies are curiously named. In Mexico they’re known as polvorones, but they aren’t generally served at weddings. Even more mysteriously, they share a recipe with Russian tea cakes, which are believed to have Mexican origins, too. Whatever the reason for the name, these nutty, buttery mounds are a favorite at holiday time.
Pepparkakor are thin, crunchy ginger cookies. You’ll encounter them year-round in Sweden, but they’re especially popular to nibble around Christmas. These cookies can be paired with milk for the kids or a warming glass of hot cider or mulled wine for the adults.
For some crafty fun, you can cut pepparkakor into festive shapes, decorate them with frosting, and hang them from ribbons as decorations.
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.
Step one: Sprinkle one tablespoon granulated sugar on your surface.
Step two: Roll a pie crust over the sugared surface until it’s an even thickness.
Step three: Spread ⅓ cup of jam over the crust.
Step four: Roll the crust into a log shape, then trim the ends with a knife. Sprinkle the top with more sugar.
Step five: Cut the roll into thumb-width pieces.
Step six: Bake at 400° F for 22-25 minutes.
Step seven: 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
Step one: Preheat your oven to 300° F.
Step two: Mix oats, flour, sugar, and coconut.
Step three: Melt the syrup and butter together.
Step four: Mix the baking soda with boiling water, and then add it to melted butter and syrup.
Step six: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Step five: Scoop
s 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 Simply Recipes 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
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
Step one: 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.
Step two: Add one of the eggs (reserving one for later) and the almond extract. Beat together until just incorporated.
Step three: Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl and add it to the standing mixer. Mix until just combined.
Step four: Pour the mixture out onto plastic wrap, form it into a disc, wrap it up, and chill in the fridge for two hours.
Step five: 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.
Step six: 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.
Step seven: 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.
Step eight: Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies start to turn a dark golden color on top.
Step nine: Remove and let cool on baking sheets for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step ten: Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.