Packing Up Christmas: The Christmas Cookies

It’s been a wonderful two weeks and now, in just a couple of days, my kids will be returning to our daily routine & school. As I wind down and reflect back on the things that we have enjoyed so much, there are a few things that I want to wrap up with extra care, as we wrap up Christmas. First things first are the cookie recipes. Well, then there’s also the tree, and the stockings, and the ornaments & all of the festive little things that I have hiding in almost every corner, but the cookies were one of the real highlights of the season.

One of the trays.

I kept a delightful tray of an assortment of Christmas cookies, right in the center or our kitchen, so that anyone walking past could enjoy a nibble or two, throughout the day.

There were cookies being made by the dozen’s. It became a game fun for the kids to guess that I was making next!

Here are the tops of the alaforjes.
These are the biscotti in progress.
These are the peppermint blossoms, waiting for their caps. 🙂
The caps. 🙂
Biscotti in the making.
The power. (Lol!)

Here are five, out of maybe ten, recipes that I made this Christmas, that I think, four of them at least, should be a staple to your Christmas “pantry”.

Grinch cookies.

The Grinch Cookie

If you are making cookies this Christmas (or next) and you have kids or you are going to someone’s house the has kids, then (unless there’s a food color aversion or some other allergy), you need to make the Grinch cookie.

Why? Because kids love the Grinch cookie! They absolutely do! You can have a dozen other varieties of festive looking cookies, and if there’s any cookie that they’re going to go for first, it’s going to be that one!

Peppermint Blossoms

The next kid-favorite are the peppermint blossoms. Kids love the peppermint blossom cookies. Why? Because they have those yummy candies in the middle.

Peppermint blossom cookies.

In fact, my kids call these, the “Candy Cookie”. After all, who doesn’t like a cookie with a cute little piece of candy on top?!

Holiday Biscotti

Now this year, I did not make my original holiday biscotti recipe as I have done in Christmas’ past, but I did make a variation of biscotti and the adults seem to gravitate towards this one.

The (biscotti) loaf, before cutting & the second bake. Biscotti literally means, “twice cooked” or “twice baked”.

Maybe because it’s not super sweet or maybe because it’s reminiscent of something to be enjoyed with a morning cup of coffee? No matter what the flavor. My biscotti is always a hit. I tend to stick with recipes that balance a fruit with a nut or a chip, or something that can be an unexpected note within the texture.

Pre-bake, biscotti loaves.

I also found that I personally enjoyed a smaller slice of biscotti, than the usual longer strips that I typically make.

Russian Tea cakes

You can’t make Christmas cookies without making Russian Tea cakes or as some may call them, “snowball cookies”. You just can’t do. Don’t. You can’t. You have to make these come Christmas-time. And if you don’t make any other cookies for your family, friends, or neighbors, than make these.

Russian tea cakes.

They’re simple, easy to make (you don’t even need any eggs!) and have a classic flavor that will send a reminder to anyone’s taste buds of Christmas.

Russian teacakes on a plate before their second dusting.

Without fail, if you make these and take them somewhere, someone, at least one person will say:

“My aunt used to….” or “My grandmother used to….” or “My mother used to….” These are the type of cookie that create or bring back memories, so make them. So make them for sure!

Alajores

I wouldn’t necessarily call these a Christmas cookie because they are really a great to have year-round but they are one of the cookies that I made this Christmas.

Alajores

Alajores are a Latin-themed cookie which are basically made up of a two tender shortbread cookies, sandwiched together with a caramel called dulce de leche, that are then dusted in powdered sugar.

The alajores tops.
Dusted.

I actually dust my cookie tops before I sandwich them together to give them a nice, clean look.

Alajores complete!

I loved having a festive plate of cookies for my family to enjoy during the holiday season! It was just one more way that the magic of Christmas was felt!

Christmas cookie tray. 🙂