Recipes: 12.06.18

Seasons by the Sea: Holiday Cookies, Sweet Memories

You can find recipes for sugar cookies anywhere, same for gingerbread, so let’s try some different recipes. If you have silicone Silpat liners for cookie sheets, that makes baking so much easier than greasing and occasionally flouring baking sheets. 


Brown Sugar Cookies

This recipe for brown sugar cookies is from Kathleen King’s “Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook.” It is simple and excellent.

Makes 40 cookies.


2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (or you can use light brown with 1 Tbsp. molasses)

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda.

In mixer, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour mixture and pecans. Drop by tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheet. 

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until cookies feel firm in center. Remove to wire rack to cool.


Almond Cardamom Butter Balls

I don’t remember which newspaper I clipped this recipe from years ago, either The New York Times or Washington Post. These are easy and delicious and keep well in an airtight container.

Makes two dozen.


1 cup flour

3/4 cup light toasted slivered almonds (about 3 1/2 oz.)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. freshly ground cardamom

1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

Pinch of salt

Powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 325.

Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine meal, using on/off turns. Then process continuously until dough begins to come together.

Form dough into one-inch balls. Space one inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake until just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Sift powdered sugar over cookies, then store in an airtight container.


Ginger Cookies

I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this recipe before, but it is worth sharing again. This is from “Stars Desserts” by Emily Luchetti, with a foreword by Jeremiah Tower. 

I like these ginger cookies crisp. If you like them soft, bake for less time. You can either roll these into balls and press down on them with sugar, or do what I do. Chill the dough for a little while, then roll the dough into logs. Chill for a few hours, then slice and bake. Much faster, work-wise. I also sprinkle them with turbinado sugar before baking for extra crunch.

Makes three dozen cookies.


1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

8 oz. butter, softened

l large egg

1/3 cup molasses

2 tsp. ground ginger (I use more)

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

2 1/4 cups flour


Preheat oven to 325 (if baking right away).

Put three-quarters cup sugar, brown sugar, and butter in bowl of the mixer. Cream on medium speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Scrape down bowl occasionally. Add egg, beat some more, then add molasses and continue beating. On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into three-quarter-inch balls and roll them in remaining sugar. Line baking sheet with parchment (or aforementioned Silpat pad). Place cookies on baking sheet about two to three inches apart. Flatten them slightly.

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until golden brown and set around the edges but still soft inside. Let them cool for a few minutes, then remove from baking sheet.