Holiday Cookies!

Whether you’re rolling out dough with a loved one, mailing some to friends, or leaving some out for Santa; cookies are essential to the holidays! Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection has over 100 variations of cookie recipes. My family always makes several dozen Linzer Tarts and Peanut Butter Thumbprints, but this year I decided to spice it up. Cookie dough holds so well in the freezer so I’m using my free time in the beginning of the month to stock up on doughs. This way everything will be fresh and worry free if I need a last minute gift or just want 1 or 2 before bed. 

I started with 3 recipes this year, Mighty Australian Ginger Cookies, Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies, and Tahini Cookies. If I'd remembered Peppermint Extract, I would have tried out the Mint Chocolate Wafers & Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. Next time!

Mighty Australian Ginger Cookies

Yields 1 dozen

Ingredients

Recipe 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, beat butter & sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Next add grated ginger, golden syrup, and eggs and beat until combined; being sure to scrape down sides. Mix in crystalized ginger and while mixer is on low, gradually add flour mixture. 

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm. 

Scoop balls, roll in sanding sugar, then transfer to baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Transfer tray to freezer until dough is firm again, about 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake until edges are golden, 17-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Tahini Cookies

Yields about 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup All Purpose Flour

  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda

  • ½ tsp Salt

  • 8 TBSP or 1 stick Butter, softened

  • 1 cup Sugar

  • 1 Egg

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • ½ cup Tahini, stirred well

  • ½ cup Sesame Seeds, lightly toasted

Recipe

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until pale; about 2 minutes.

Slowly incorporate flour mixture until just combined. Cover, and chill until firm; about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sesame seeds in a shallow dish. Scoop cookies, form balls, and roll into seeds, then transfer to baking tray lined with parchment. 

Bake cookies until golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for upto 5 days. 

Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies

Yields 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 TBSP or 1 stick Butter

  • 2 ¼ cup All Purpose Flour

  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder

  • ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground (I used Masala Chai here instead)

  • ¾ tsp Salt

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar

  • ½ cup Brown Sugar, packed

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • ¾ Powdered Sugar

Recipe 

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to medium & simmer until foamy. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom until butter turns golden brown & milk solids separate into brown specks that sink to the bottom; 2 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat & cool. (I did not cool mine enough and it made almost a caramel when poured over the brown sugar, so make sure it cools at least 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients. Stir ½ cup granulated Sugar and all brown sugar into the butter until combined. Then, stir in eggs & vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour or upto 2 days. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour remaining granulated sugar + powdered sugar in two separate bowls (I mixed them together which is what prevented my crinkle). Scoop balls of cookie dough, roll into granulated sugar and coat with powdered sugar, do not shake off excess. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between each. 

Bake until edges are set (about 15 to 18 minutes) rotating pan halfway through the bake. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 

Since I made these for the holidays, I choose to roll dough into sheets and cut shapes with cookie cutters. For rolled, round cookies; if you do not have a scoop on hand, I recommend flattening out your dough and dicing it into equal pieces in order to portion your cookies. As you probably noticed throughout the recipe, I had a couple hiccups with my Brown Butter Crinkle Cookies but thanks to SKORDO Masala Chai, they were still very delicious. Thanks to the generous yields of each recipe, I baked half and froze the remaining half of each dough with plans to bak fresh cookies closer to the holiday. The Australian Ginger Cookies are super tasty and a nice change from a traditional gingerbread cookie. Simple white sanding sugar gave these a really nice sparkle. I hope you find a favorite among these, and take the time to explore the rest of this beautiful book full of opportunities and inspiration!  Happy Holidays!

Shannon Mahoney

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