#11 Bizcochitos


I have two links to New Mexican food…my sweet sister-in-law has some extended family from there originally and a friend took a culinary and artistic road trip through Santa Fe and Albuquerque a few years ago.

Apparently bizcochitos are a very famous New Mexican sugar cookie made with lard (they sure seem to use a lot of lard in their food), sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and flavored with anise seeds. 

#10 Las Lunas de Sevilla


A friend and I created this cookie while she was taking a Spanish class a few years ago.  Her instructor was from Spain and she was given the task of bringing treats one night.  Wanting to make something that actually was Spanish, the two of us set about researching.  My friend makes wickedly delicious flan, but she really wanted to make some kind of cookie.  What we discovered were very few cookie recipes in our research, so we decided to create something with Spanish ingredients.  We had 2 ideas: Seville orange marmalade–made from bitter oranges in the city of Seville and dark Spanish chocolate (we used Blanxart).  We then concluded that the best way to combine them was with a shortbread cookie.

#8 Sour Cherry Hamantaschen

Okay, so really technically, this is a Purim cookie, but they’re really good and sour cherries are pretty Christmasish, right?  The filling is sour cherry jam and dried sour cherries and a little vanilla.  The recipe always makes more than it does cookies which is good for me because it’s awesome on toast.  This morning I had it on some spelt bread that I made yesterday from this recipe.


I can dig 7 swans, but anyway…

#7:  Florentines


My favorite Italian confection.  We had these cookies at our wedding baked by our favorite Italian place in town.  These had to be about the most fun “cookie” to make (it’s more like an almond nougat that you then bake)–you make the almond mixture and then put about a tablespoon of it on the baking sheet and 10 minutes later they pop become these enormous cookies.  I made them beforehand and we decorated them with chocolate on one side.  The surprise in them is this delicious candied orange peel I got from my favorite spice store

I’m curious if you’ve ever seen a goose egg?

#6 Linzers

My Mom started making Linzers at work a few years back in an effort to make cutout cookies slightly more interesting and jam cookies classier.  I always make a couple jam cookies, but this is the first year to make more traditional linzers.  These have hazelnuts in the dough per this recipe and I filled them with lingonberry jam which I couldn’t pass up because it was so pretty in the jar.


What kind of golden rings are they really?  Plain?  With jewels?  White gold, yellow gold?  For such a high point in the song there is a curious lack of helpful description.

#5 Meringues


There are two cakes that I LOVE more than anything to bake: Baumkuchen, which is a major project and Buche de Noel which looks like a major project but is actually pretty quick and dirty.  If you put me in a room and my only task was to make a ton of meringue mushrooms, I could be very happy for a long time. 

No turtledoves, just

#2–Cutout cookies (one in a series)

This is probably the only other mandatory cookie besides spritz.    These are from my Mom’s recipe which are ultra thin, crisp, tender, and nutmeggy (I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I like it), not thick like a lot of people roll their cutouts.  I’ve eaten these in every shape imaginable.  Gram used to have this plastic Santa cutter that embossed the dough when you cut them.  This year I couldn’t find what I thought were all of my cookie cutters (I borrowed them from Mom)–I apparently just have miniature ones and plain and scalloped graduated circles.  Undeterred, I set about a different plan which was to make plain circles, ice them in plain powdered sugar frosting and have people decorate them with royal icing.  I think they all did a nice job.