Get out your apron and measuring cups and get ready to make the most memorable Christmas cookies this year! There are so many options when it comes to Christmas baking, so there’s no need to stop at a basic short bread cookie. Cookies can be the perfect gift, comfort food, and post dinner treat to share in your home this year. Here are some delicious recipes from Martha Stewart that are sure to impress your guests.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsulfured molasses
- Royal Icing
- Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into snowflakes with a 7- inch snowflake-shape cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
Put icing in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe designs on snowflakes; immediately sprinkle with sanding sugar. Let stand 5 minutes; tap off excess sugar. Let icing set completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.
Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 3/4 cup melted semisweet chocolate or raspberry or apricot jam, for filling
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a food processor, pulse hazelnuts with 1/4 cup flour mixture until very finely ground. Add remaining flour mixture and process to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolks and vanilla and pulse until dough just comes together. Form dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between floured parchment paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Stack dough in parchment on a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes. With a lightly floured 2 1/2-inch fluted round cutter, cut out dough. (If dough becomes too soft, refrigerate a few minutes; reroll scraps, if desired.) Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets. With a 1-inch cutter, cut out dough in centers of half the cookies. Bake until cookies just begin to brown at edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. If desired, bake small cutouts separately, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely.
Lightly sift confectioners’ sugar over cutout tops. Spread about 2 teaspoons chocolate or jam on bottoms of remaining cookies and sandwich with sugar-dusted tops.
Shaped Icebox Cookies
Mix-Ins (Choose One Combination)
- 3/4 cup each chopped toasted blanched almonds and dried cherries
- 3/4 cup each chopped dried apricots and pistachios
- 1 cup chopped toasted blanched almonds plus 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel
- 1/2 cup each chopped white chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, and dried cherries
- 1/2 cup each chopped dried papaya, macadamia nuts, and shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped dried cranberries plus 1/2 cup chopped candied orange peel
- 1/2 cup each chopped semisweet chocolate, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup each chopped candied citron and glaceed cherries
- 1 cup chopped toasted blanched almonds plus 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar or 1 1/2 cups ground toasted walnuts
Once the flour is incorporated according to dough recipe, beat in the desired mix-in. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Shape each into a 10-inch log (or a 10-inch-long triangular, rectangular, or square-shaped log). Coat each in ground nuts or sanding sugar, if using. Wrap in parchment. Refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.
Slice dough crosswise slightly thicker than 1/8 inch. Reshape if needed. Bake at 350 degrees on parchment-lined baking sheets until firm, 12 to 14 minutes.