December 20, 2013

Christmas Cookies

We did our annual Christmas cookie bake session earlier this week. It was a lot of fun & we made dozens of cookies! In total, there were 11 different kinds.

As usual, Dad & W spent the afternoon making pizzelles. This year, they made 3 flavors: anise, almond, & lemon. All of them are crisp & flavorful.

Mom made Russian Tea Cakes (the white balls in the picture above) & Brown Sugar Sandtarts (the colorful cookies on the counter in the top right of the pic above). Both are family recipes that she makes year after year. The Sandtarts take a lot of time because the dough is rolled out & cut into shapes, which then need to be decorated before they are baked. They're totally worth the effort though!


I mixed up the most varieties, but they were much smaller batches than the pizzelles or sandtarts.

Shown above are Pfeffernusse Cookies (Eat Live Run) (the round ones on the left) & Coconut Horchata Polvorones (Oh Ladycakes) (the flower shaped cut-outs). The Pfeffernusse were super easy to make & they have a nice spice/nut flavor. I wish I had taken them out of the oven just a little sooner because they are a little dry, so next time I would definitely bake them for less time. The Coconut Horchata Polvorones are not at all what I was expecting! They have excellent coconut flavor, but they aren't crispy like I thought they'd be. Instead, they are soft & doughy. Still good, but I wonder if they should bake longer.

I also made 2 kinds of biscotti - Whole Wheat Cranberry Pecan Biscotti (Eat Live Run) & Coffee Biscotti with Chocolate Bits (My Kitchen Affair). Both are good, although I prefer the Cranberry Pecan flavor. I love that flavor combo! I thought the coffee flavor was a bit strong in the Coffee Biscotti. However, if you like chocolate covered espresso beans, you'll love those cookies!

The dark brown cookies in the top center of the above picture are Peanut Butter Gingerbread Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Chocolate Covered Katie). I doubled the batch & was glad I did, because it still only made 2 dozen. By the time we divided them up to give to my aunt & grandma, & then half for each of us, there weren't many left! They're super chewy & mostly taste like pb cookies, but then they have a little kick from the ginger.

Also shown above in the center, are round brown cookies with pink sparkly edges. Those are Speculoos Buttons (Bon Appetit). If you click the link, you'll see that mine turned out looking nothing at all like the ones in their picture (which are gorgeous, by the way). Dad said mine look like sliced bologna or deer sticks, & he's pretty much right. Ugh. But, they taste delicious, so that's what matters! Maybe I should have put forth more effort & iced them, but they were the last batch to come out of the oven & I was tired...excuses, excuses...

I've been compiling cookie recipes for the past several months on my Cookie Bakin' Pinterest board, so there were plenty that I didn't get to. Lots of time for that during the rest of the winter!

Happy baking!

See last year's baking:


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