I had grand plans of doing different posts for each of the cookies I make for Christmas this month, and posting a lot earlier in the month to give readers more recipe ideas to try, yet its all of a sudden the 22nd and I am scrambling to get so many things done before Christmas and I have only posted 4 of my cookies so far. So I decided to do something different for the rest of my cookie posts. I LOVE baking Christmas cookies and sharing with friends and family. I don’t make all the same ones each year; as there are so many amazing recipes to choose from, but I do have a couple that have become annual staples as well as a few new ones on our plate for Santa this year.
There was only one problem. Where is my cookies for Santa plate?? When we moved in to our new house almost a year ago, we decided to keep most of our stuff in boxes in storage since the house we are renting pretty much sucks in the storage/closet department and we hate packing/unpacking so much and knew that our rental house was a temporary location for us. I am missing one of my Christmas stuff boxes/containers. I know its here somewhere but really don’t feel like going through them all. So my husband, clearly wanting to earn cookie points ( I would say brownie but he really wants to eat all the cookies I have made lately) found this awesome plate for $1 at the local thrift shop. Total score.
How CUTE is this?? So this is our plate for Santa’s cookies this year.
Here are this years cookies for Santa. Some you may recognize from their post the past couple weeks like the Spiced Mushrooms, Salted Caramel Thumbprints and my two gluten free cookies, the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Crinkles. I am assuming Santa isn’t a celiac but in case he is, he has options at our house. Also I added in one of the Snowflake Sugar Cookies I made most recently. The rest are new recipes to this blog and I have split this post in half, mainly because I ran out of daylight today to take pictures of them all. Damn Winter Solstice shortest day of the year sunlight for only one hour today. Or so it seemed.
First up. Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cut Out Cookies.
I haven’t ever made gingerbread cut out cookies before and I debated between gingerbread men and women and the trees. I also had originally planned to make these a sandwich cookie but since these ended up a crispier cookie than a softer one I decided to just leave them as is.
I sprinkled the sanding sugar on these cookies before baking and pressed it in to the cookies so it would stay as they baked. Its supposed to make it look like there’s snow on the trees. Or something like that. I still think I may try the sandwich version, I have a yummy filling for them, but I will have to experiment a little more with the cookie texture.
I subbed half the molasses in these cookies with honey to lighten up the flavor a little. I find molasses to be quite strong in most gingerbread cookies so I think the honey mellowed out the flavor a little. These may stay on regular rotation, I really liked them
Next up, German Pfeffernusse.
These are a childhood favorite. I remember eating them at my grandparents house, along with Lebkuchen and a few other traditional German and Austrian Christmas cookies.
Pfeffernusse is translated as ” pepper nuts” as they are a small spice cookie made with almond four and with lots of pepper, a few other spices and sweetened with molasses. They have a strong molasses flavor and a very subtle pepper flavor. They are a harder more crunchy than soft cookie, but actually soften up a bit after a week or two and you wont feel like breaking a tooth when biting down on one.
When we were at my parents house for Thanksgiving, my mom gave my one of my grandmother’s beloved cookbooks, The Joy of Cooking. My mom said it was the book she used the most. So I wanted to make a cookie from it that she made, I have made these before but never her recipe, so this is the one my grandma always made at Christmas.
And last cookie for today’s post, my oatmeal cookies with pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate chips.
I have been making these cookies for years now, but different ” mix-ins”. I got the recipe from my old hair salon in Portland, OR. I would make my appointments on Saturdays because the owner’s boyfriend baked fresh cookies and, hello, hair cut and color, a glass of wine and fresh cookies totally made my Saturdays awesome on the days I went. Plus my friend that did my hair was awesome and I loved that salon. Sadly the owner sold it and all the stlylists moved on, but I was so lucky to have asked the owner’s boyfriend for his recipe. He handed me a xeroxed copy from a cookbook he had, no clue what book, but there were 4 recipes on it, this basic oatmeal being one of them. He would make them different every time too, my favorite he made were with dried cherries and dark chocolate chunks. I have made those before too. SO GOOD!!!
I love the salty sweet combo here since I use salted pistachios with the dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. I am not normally a huge fan of white chocolate chips in cookies since its the sweeter of all the chocolates, but it totally works in these. I get the shelled pistachios from Trader Joe’s, which seriously saves a ton of time since shelling pistachios is a pain. I haven’t been able to convince my kids to help shell them for me, as they would rather just eat them instead of putting in a bowl for the cookies.
I can’t even tell you how many times I have made these cookies over the years, but this has been my “mix-in” combination for Christmas now for a few years. Plus the cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate chips are like so totally Christmas colors so these cookies are here to stay
- 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. table salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- Coarse clear sugar for sprinkling on cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ c blanched almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 ¼ c powdered sugar
These are best eaten at least a week after baking as they soften up some.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (you can sub in 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for one of the cups of AP flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 cup aka 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups oats ( quick cooking or whole oats)
- *** ADD INS – see my notes after directions
ADD INS Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, apple pie spice etc… (add a tsp or so in with the dry ingredients Chocolate chips (milk, white, dark, semi sweet) Cinnamon chips, butterscotch, peanut butter Nuts – walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts etc Candies – caramel bits, M&amp;Ms, toffee bits etc Dried fruit – raisins, cranberries, cherries, pineapple, coconut, apple Some of my favorite combos of ADD INS are 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup raisins and cinnamon 2 cups dark chocolate chips, 1 cup chopped dried cherries 2 cups white chocolate chips, 1 cup dried pineapple pieces, ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut, ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts 1 cup chopped caramel pieces (or toffee bits), 1 cup dried apple diced up, 1 cup chopped pecans and 1 tsp apple pie spice added in to dry ingredients (this is for a caramel apple oatmeal cookie) I bag of peanut butter M&amp;Ms The possibilities are endless. You can also go for “Kitchen Sink” cookies and throw in any combo of whatever add in ingredients you have on hand. Go crazy put anything in. These cookies are super yummy!! You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate. Just thaw a little before baking