When Christmas rolls around I like to have a cookie tray filled with different cookies for my guests to enjoy. Although there will be few holiday visits this year I still wanted to have a few special cookies in the house for the family.
The recipe for patchwork peppermint cookies is a new cookie that I modified from the patterned cookie recipe. The cookies are sweet with a hint of peppermint and are colourful on any tray.
The recipe is a bit fussy and the assembly of the cookies takes a little longer than usual but it is worth the work. The cookies can be made in two and a half hours. This includes the time the batter rests in the refrigerator.
The recipe can be modified for different holidays. Change the colour of the food colour and add a different extract to make your holiday cookie special. For example, for a summer birthday use yellow food colouring in half the dough and add lemon extract. Yummy! Orange and red can be used for fall with maple extract.
Walnut ginger cookies are great for tea time. The cookies are sweet and crunchy with a subtle zip of crystallized ginger. They’re so easy to make you can whip them up in 1/2 hour, make a pot of herbal tea ,and be ready for entertaining.
My favourite spice is ginger and I like how the subtle heat of the spice comes through in baked goods. This recipe used dried ginger and crystallized ginger to flavour the dough. If you have fresh ginger you can grate it and substitute 1 tbsp for the dried spice.
I used walnuts in this recipe but if you don’t like them you could use chopped almonds. I’ve tried chopped cashews but find them too sweet combined with both types of sugar. If you have a sweet tooth though, you could add them, add some dried coconut and reduce the brown sugar by 1/4 cup.
If you want to serve these on a Christmas platter and need to jazz up the cookie appearance I’d use coloured sprinkles mixed into the batter. Icing on this cookie is too sweet for my taste.
This recipe takes more time than many of the icebox cookies but the results are worth the effort. The designs are pretty and the cookie is delicious. You’ll need an afternoon to bake these cookies so make an extra batch while you are baking and freeze the leftovers.
1 cup soft butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Mix first butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add flour and salt to the mixture. Blend until just combined. Do not overwork dough.
Mae’s shortbread is a recipe that my mom received from a close friend when I was little. My mom took the recipe and made it into a special treat for holidays. She’d meticulously cut out shapes of birds, bells and trees. These days I just roll the dough in a log and cut into disks for when I need a quick treat for friends and family.
Christmas chip cookies use rainbow Christmas chips for a unique flavour. They’re a little sweeter than your average chocolate chip cookie and the dough is soft and tender. They’re great with hot cocoa or cider.