Tag: Christmas Cookies

After School Snack Ideas

After School Snack Ideas

With school starting later this month, I wanted to share a few favorite After School Snack Ideas that our girls enjoyed when they were young. Simple and easy to prepare, these snacks will satisfy kids of all ages–young and old. Our daughters always rode the 

Double Chocolate Biscotti with Almonds

Double Chocolate Biscotti with Almonds

I’m a huge fan of biscotti and always thought it would be too difficult to make, but it’s so easy! This recipe for Double Chocolate Biscotti with Almonds is delicious and earned a thumbs up from my family. Perfect for a Holiday Cookie Tray, a 

English Shortbread with Pecans

English Shortbread with Pecans

Try this classic recipe for English Shortbread with Pecans this holiday season. Perfect for an shared afternoon tea with a friend or loved one. Not too sweet, with the perfect amount of nuttiness from the pecans, plus hints of vanilla and orange. So good.

(Recipe modified with new photos on 1/10/22.)

Making English Shortbread with Nordic Ware Snowflake Pan

My husband loves this shortbread. And I love how it turned out using my Sweet Snowflakes Shortbread Pan by Nordic Ware. The pan turns out 8 rather large pieces of shortbread, which are pretty and quite delicious.

 

Ingredients to Make English Shortbread with Pecans

  • butter, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • orange zest
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • chopped pecans

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray shortbread pan with cooking spray.

I like to use Baker’s Joy on my specialty pans and Bundt cake pans to ensure the items come out of the pan easily, and with little clean-up afterward. 

Zesting an Orange - Scones - Shortbread

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table. Zest an orange so that you have 2 teaspoons of zest.

Using a nut chopper or knife, chop the pecans.

 

Making the Shortbread

In a large mixing bowl, cream the (room temperature) butter for 1-2 minutes.

If you are using unsalted butter, you may want to add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt for this recipe.

On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add orange zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract.

Mix in the flour and chopped pecans just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand 6-8 times until the dough is easy to work with.

Place Dough in Shortbread Pan

 

Place the dough into the prepared shortbread pan. Using your fingers, press the dough into the prepared shortbread pan so that the dough reaches all edges.

Small Pastry Roller - Norpro

I then like to use a small Pastry Roller to go over the top of the dough until it is smooth and even. This also ensures that the pattern will be nicely imprinted on the bottom.

Press the Dough into the Shortbread Pan and Poke with Fork or Roller Docker

Poke the top surface with a fork or Roller Docker to allow steam to escape and help prevent bubbles from forming.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned along the edges.

Turn Baked Shortbread onto Large Tray or Plate

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then loosen the edges with a plastic knife and turn out onto a cutting board or flat surface. Slice pieces while warm, and then allow to completely cool on a wire rack.

Sliced Shortbread

This recipe makes 8 large pieces of shortbread. May store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks. Serve with your favorite cup of tea such as Rosy Earl Gray or Lady Gray.

See more Tea Party Ideas Here. View more Holiday Baking Ideas Here. Browse Cookie Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for English Shortbread with Pecans

English Shortbread with Pecans

Try this classic recipe for English Shortbread with Pecans this holiday season. Perfect for an shared afternoon tea with a friend or loved one. Not too sweet, with the perfect amount of nuttiness from the pecans, plus hints of vanilla and orange. So good.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Cookies, Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: English
Keyword: Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking, Nordic Ware Pans, Shortbread, Tea Party
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

Nut Chopper
Shortbread Pan
Pastry Roller
Roller Docker

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups butter room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray shortbread pan with cooking spray, such as Baker's Joy.
    Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Zest an orange so that you have 2 teaspoons of zest.
  • Using a nut chopper or knife, chop the pecans.

Make the Shortbread

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the softened butter for 1-2 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add orange zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  • Mix in the flour and chopped pecans just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand 6-8 times until the dough is easy to work with.
  • Using your fingers, press the dough into the prepared shortbread pan so that the dough reaches all edges.
    I then like to use a small Pastry Roller to go over the top of the dough until it is smooth and even. This also ensures that the pattern will be nicely imprinted on the bottom.
  • Poke the top surface with a fork or Roller Docker to allow steam to escape and help prevent bubbles from forming.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned along the edges.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then loosen the edges with a plastic knife and turn out onto a cutting board or flat tray.
    Carefully slice pieces while warm with a sharp knife, and then allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Serves 8.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted. 

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 153mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 538IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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German Springerle Christmas Cookies

German Springerle Christmas Cookies

A few years ago I made these hard, licorice-flavored cookies for the first time and had such fun learning about the history of them. There is a great deal of history and baking knowledge when it comes to German Springerle Christmas Cookies. Beautiful Molds that 

Cherry Pistachio Biscotti Cookies

Cherry Pistachio Biscotti Cookies

These Cherry Pistachio Biscotti Cookies are absolutely wonderful. Crunchy butter cookies flavored with dried cherries and chopped pistachio nuts. So delicious, and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. (Recipe modified with new pictures on 12/21/21) They make delightful Christmas food gifts. Just wrap 

Spiced Speculaas Cookies

Spiced Speculaas Cookies

These Spiced Speculaas Cookies are delicious and nearly identical to those windmill cookies you can buy in the store. Only better. Try them. One of my favorite cookies and perfect to serve with hot tea.

(Recipe modified with new photos on 1/6/22)

Springerle Molds

I’ve made these cookies with a windmill cookie cutter, and also with Springerle cookie molds. Springerle molds can be purchased in various stores online, but I like to buy them when on sale either at King Arthur Baking or from Fancy Flours, where you’ll find a huge selection. They make such pretty cookies for Christmas and are kitchen heirlooms quality.

 

Ingredients to Make Spiced Speculaas Cookies

  • all-purpose flour
  • almond flour
  • Speculaas Spice – Purchase Here or see homemade spice mix below.
  • kosher salt
  • baking soda
  • butter, room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • large egg
  • slivered almonds

Homemade Speculaas Spice:

  • ground cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • cloves
  • aniseed
  • cardamom
  • ginger
  • ground white pepper

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Stir Speculaas Spices into the Flour

In a small bowl, combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, Speculaas spice, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Using a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar. Add in vanilla extract and the large egg. Mix until well blended.

Gradually stir in the flour mixture until dough forms.

Wrap Dough in Plastic and Refrigerate

Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

Group Almond Slices onto Baking Sheet

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. If desired, sprinkle placement areas with slivered almonds. The almonds will be on the backside of the cookies.

Using Springerle Molds to Make Cookies

On a well floured surface, roll out one half of the dough at a time and roll to 1/8″ thick. Press the dough using a Springerle Cookie Mold or a windmill cookie mold/cutter, cutting out each cookie, one at a time.

To prevent dough from sticking to molds, brush mold with powdered sugar each time you press, and then press down hard enough to create a good impression.

Place Cookies on Baking Sheet

Using an offset spatula, transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, carefully placing cookies on areas where slivered almonds have been sprinkled. Freeze for at least 30 minutes to help retain the design.

Spiced Speculaas Windmill Cookies

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on pans. Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on the size of molds.

 

Make Homemade Speculaas Spice

In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, aniseed, cardamom, ginger, and ground white pepper. Mix well.

Store spice in a container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Makes almost 4 tablespoons.

See more Cookie Recipes Here. Browse Holiday Baking Ideas Here. 

 

Recipe for Spiced Speculaas Cookies

Spiced Speculaas Cookies

Here's a delicious cookie that is nearly identical to those windmill cookies you can buy in the store. Only better. Try them. One of my favorite cookies and perfect to serve with hot tea.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Dutch
Keyword: Almonds, Butter Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Holiday Baking, Speculaas Spice, Tea Party
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Refrigerate/Freeze: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 12

Equipment

19" Rolling Pin
Windmill Cookie Cutter
Offset Spatula
Baking Sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 5 teaspoons speculaas spice to make your own, see below.
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • slivered almonds

Homemade Speculaas Spice

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground aniseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Instructions

  • Gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare Dough

  • In a small bowl, combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, Speculaas spice, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar. Add in vanilla extract and the large egg. Mix until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in the flour mixture until dough comes together.
  • Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours.

Form the Cookies

  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. If desired, sprinkle placement areas with slivered almonds.
  • Once the dough has chilled, roll out one half at a time and roll to 1/8" thick. Press dough with Springerle cookie molds or a windmill cookie mold/cutter, cutting out each cookie, one at a time.
    (To prevent dough from sticking to molds, brush mold with powdered sugar each time you press, and then press down hard enough to create a good impression.)
  • Using an offset spatula, carefully transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets where almonds have been sprinkled.
  • Freeze for at least 30 minutes to help retain the design.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on pans. Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on the size of molds.

To Make the Homemade Speculaas Spice

  • In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, aniseed, cardamom, ginger, and ground white pepper. Mix well.
  • Store in a container in a cool, dry place. Makes almost 4 tablespoons.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
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Neapolitan Tea Cookies

Neapolitan Tea Cookies

These little Neapolitan Tea Cookies are full of flavor–strawberry, coconut, and chocolate–perfect for your next tea party! Just looking at them reminds me of family birthday celebrations with Angel Food Cake and mounds of Neapolitan Ice-Cream.  And they are not that difficult to make. Simply 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies have two of my favorite ingredients in them–chocolate and peanut butter. These cookies are perfect for holiday gift giving. I love to add this recipe to my cookie trays. When deciding which cookies to make, I always try to select varying 

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies are a delicious addition to your next tea party or for the holidays. Sweet butter cookies dotted with a dab of raspberry jam and coated with rich dark chocolate on the bottom. So yummy!

(Recipe modified with new photos on 1/13/22.)

Who doesn’t love Spritz Cookies? You know those little cookies often referred to as Swedish Butter Cookies, that you can buy in a round tin at the store? But they are so much better when you make them in your own kitchen!

Serving Raspberry Spritz Cookies with Sprinkles

Spritz cookies, which are called Spritzgebäck in German (to squirt) are simple butter cookies that are pushed through a cookie press to make fancy designs. Children of all ages love to help make these traditional Christmas cookies. And they make such a pretty addition to any holiday cookie tray.

 

Ingredients for Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

  • butter, room temperature
  • granulated sugar
  • salt
  • large egg
  • almond extract
  • vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • raspberry jam
  • decorating sugar
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Variations for this Recipe

Green Colored Spritz Cookies without Raspberry Jam

Want a variation of Spritz cookies for your cookie tray? Here are a few options that are easy to incorporate into this recipe.

  • You may omit the chocolate on the bottom, if you so desire…they are delicious either way!
  • Use red or green candied cherries instead of raspberry jam.
  • Add a little baking cocoa to the dough to make chocolate Spritz. Or add food coloring to make green Christmas trees and wreaths, or red bows and poinsettias.
  • Sprinkle with silver or red sugar pearls, colored nonpareils, and/or decorating sugar.

 

A Note About Cookie Presses

When shopping for a cookie press, be sure to read product reviews. I purchased my press, which was all stainless steel, years ago and it is no longer available.

OXO Cookie Press

Our oldest daughter has an OXO Press that she enjoys using, and the reviews for it appear to be very good. I also like that it offers a lot of specialty discs that go with this press, including a set for Christmas. I purchased this press prior to the holiday season and enjoyed using it!

 

Instructions for Making Spritz Cookies

Ingredients for this Recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather all your equipment and ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, and salt until well blended. Add large egg and vanilla and almond extracts. Mix until combined.

I have also used Fiori di Sicilia in place of the almond extract. This is a citrusy vanilla, floral flavor that I use in some of my baking. If you opt to try this in the cookies, use only a scant amount, as a little goes a long way. A quarter teaspoon will probably be plenty. See my Recipes that use Fiori di Sicilia — Flowers of Sicily. 

Mix in flour until a nice, soft dough forms.

Press Cookies onto an Ungreased Baking Sheet

Fill cookie press cylinder with dough and press cookies out onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Follow instructions for your cookie press. I like to coat my cylinder with cooking spray before using. Then I roll my cookie dough into a log that will fit my cylinder. I prefer doing that rather than pushing the dough into the press. 

 

Decorate the Cookies

Adding Raspberry Jam to the Center of the Cookies

Fill a decorating press or a squeeze bottle with the raspberry jam and dot cookies in the center with jam.

If desired, sprinkle cookies with decorating sugar, nonpareils, and/or sugar pearls.

Cool Baked Cookies on a Wire Rack

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until cookies turn golden brown along the edges. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

 

Prepare the Dipping Chocolate

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave in 60 second increments until silky smooth.

Coating Bottom of Cookies with Chocolate

Using a decorating knife, glaze bottom of cookies with chocolate and allow to dry upside down on wire racks.

Serve Spritz Cookies at Christmas Tea Party

Serve spritz cookies at a Christmas Tea Party or give as gifts. You may store the cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2-3 weeks. Makes 30-36 cookies.

See more Cookie Recipes Here. Browse Holiday Baking Ideas Here. 

 

Recipe for Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Here's a delicious recipe to make for your next tea party or for the holidays. Sweet butter cookies, dotted with a dab of raspberry jam, and coated with rich dark chocolate on the bottom. So yummy!
5 from 3 votes
Print Rate
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Christmas Cookies, Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Holiday Baking, Raspberry Jam, Spritzgeback
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 16

Equipment

KitchenAid Mixer
Cookie Press
Christmas Discs
Glass Mixing Bowls

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Gather all your equipment and ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until well blended. Add egg and extracts, and mix until combined.
  • Mix in flour until a nice, soft dough forms.
  • Fill cookie press cylinder with dough and press cookies out onto an ungreased cookie sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart.

Decorate the Cookies

  • Fill a decorating press or a squeeze bottle with the raspberry jam and dot cookies in the center with jam.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 14-17 minutes until cookies turn golden brown along the edges. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Prepare the Chocolate

  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave in 45 second increments until silky smooth.
  • Using a decorating knife, glaze the bottom of cookies with the melted chocolate and allow to dry upside down on wire racks. Store in refrigerator. Makes 30-36 cookies.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted. 

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
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Christmas Wreath Macaroons

Christmas Wreath Macaroons

Christmas Wreath Macaroons are so festive and delightful, I know you will enjoy making them for your Holiday Cookie Tray! Not only are they pretty, they are quite yummy, AND they are simple to make. Plus, they are gluten free, which is always nice to