Merry Christmas! Or, Happy Holidays, if you don’t celebrate Christmas. Today, I’m sharing a fun little post – about Christmas cookies! If you’ve been around here much, you know that I really like to bake. I’ve been doing it most of my life and not only do I love eating sweets, but baking is a lot of fun. It’s relaxing for me, and so something I like to do in my free time.
Christmas Cookie Packaging
I always like baking treats around the holidays and in the past would bring them in to share with my office. But, this year, because I work from home now I don’t have any coworkers to help ease my own calorie intake, I decided to make some for family and friends. I made four types of cookies over about two weeks. If you’re going to do a lot of cookies like this I definitely recommend spreading it out. I made a prep list before I started anything and broke it up into smaller tasks I could do quickly. That way if I have a few minutes of free time or wanted a little mental break I could do some prep. And it definitely made things easier. Then I got these treat boxes, this pretty tissue and red ribbon from Target, and the gift tags from Home Goods to package everything up. I just love how festive they are!
Christmas Cookie Recipe Ideas
They’re all very good, but I think the polenta shortbread is my favorite. It’s a refreshing changing of pace that’s not too sweet, bright and citrusy, and has an interesting texture. I followed the recipe almost exactly, except that I halved the amount of powdered sugar in the glaze. Pro tip: if powdered sugar is ever an ingredient I always start with half and work up from there. It’s almost always too sweet for me otherwise.
Because I followed that recipe so closely I thought I’d share a different recipe with you. The Danish Salted Butter Cookies. These are also really delicious (they’re Xan’s favorite!), but were much harder to make, so I thought I’d share the recipe with my changes that make them a little easier. Plus, they would be great year round, not just during the holidays!
Unique Christmas Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled salted butter, cut into pieces
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
- 1 cup white sanding sugar
- A 3-inch-diameter and a 1½-inch-diameter fluted cookie cutter
- Combine butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; scrape in vanilla seeds and discard pod. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in 1 egg. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in 2 cups flour. Separate dough into thirds and form each third into a disk about and inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours
- Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°. Working with one disk at a time, let disk of dough sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Use plastic wrap on top of dough to roll out, this will keep the dough from sticking to your rolling pin. Work on a heavily floured sheet of parchment paper, shifting often on sheet and dusting with more flour as needed to keep from sticking, until about ¼" thick
- Punch out rounds with large cutter; punch out centers with smaller cutter. Transfer each cookie immediately after it’s been punched to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1½" apart. Pat scraps into a 1"-thick disk. Chill one hour.
- Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with 1 tsp. water; brush cookies with egg wash; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Freeze until frozen about one hour. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; let cool. Repeat with scraps and remaining egg wash and sanding sugar.
- This dough is very soft and sticky which can make it hard to work with. But, chilling the dough frequently, using lots of flour, and working in these smaller batches should help.
- You can use 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the place of a vanilla bean if you don’t’ have any on hand.
- I used straight edge cookie cutter rather than fluted, from this set that I own. It’s come it handy so many times, I highly recommended if you cook or bake.
Adapted from: Bon Appetit.