Christmas cookie recipes from around the world
Published: Friday December 18, 2009 in Food
As the holidays are getting closer, we wanted to give you a head start in your baking ideas. Here we offer you a list of Christmas cookies from around the world that you can share with your friends and families during New Year's and Christmas celebrations.
Enjoy and let us know how they turned out!
Easy Ghurabia, Armenian Christmas cookie
This recipe is a faster, easier version of the classic Armenian Christmas cookie, Ghurabia. This new version and the traditional one share the same taste of shortbread. This version is for those aspiring bakers who have busy lives, yet still want to make homemade cookies for their families during the holidays.
Traditionally served at Christmas, these small shortbreads actually make wonderful tea cookies any time of year. They keep for at least two weeks in a tightly covered tin. They also freeze well (well-wrapped) for longer periods.
1 pound unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
shelled pistachio nuts for decorating
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Soften the butter and cream well with the confectioners' sugar.
Gradually add the flour and knead/mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the dough is soft and pliable.
Take about a walnut-sized piece of the dough and roll into a cigar shape (about ½ inch in diameter).
Very gently curve the "cigar" around to form a circle, and place on the cookie sheet.
As the cookies tend to expand during baking, place about an inch apart on the sheet.
At the place where the two ends of the roll meet, impress a pistachio nut.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cookies are showing some color around the edges - but have not yet browned.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Belgian Christmas cookies
2/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped blanched almonds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons red decorator sugar
2 teaspoons green decorator sugar
Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, then stir in the almond extract. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Turn into a greased 15×10×1 inch jelly roll pan and spread evenly to edges.
Sprinkle a mixture of almonds and cinnamon over batter, then sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugars.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cut into bars while still warm.
Nutritional information per serving: |Calories: 111 | Total Fat: 5.7g | Cholesterol: 25mg
German anise Christmas cookies (Springerle)
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon anise seed, ground
1 tablespoon anise seed, crushed
Sift together the flour and baking powder, set aside. In a large bowl, whip the eggs and sugar until thick and light. Stir in the lemon zest and ground anise. Add the flour mixture, mix well. Cover and chill dough for about an hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ½ inch thickness. Traditionally, you would roll over the dough with a springerle rolling pin, but the dough can be cut into small shapes of any kind. Place cookies ½ inch apart on baking sheets, sprinkle with anise seed and leave out uncovered, overnight.
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes.
Nutritional information per serving: |Calories: 116 | Total Fat: 0.8g | Cholesterol: 24mg
Polish Christmas cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
7 ½ cups all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ ounce anise extract
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
Cream the butter, shortening and the sugar together. Stir in the eggs and continue to beat. Add the anise flavoring. Stir in 7 cups of the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Mix until the dough is soft. Add the additional cup of flour if needed. Chill the dough.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies on greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 12 to 15 minutes. Frost and decorate when cookies are cooled.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 122 | Total Fat: 5.9g | Cholesterol: 21mg
French cookies (Belgi Galettes)
2 pounds dark brown sugar
1 pound butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar and butter until smooth and creamy; then add eggs and vanilla, and beat well. Gradually stir in flour. Set bowl over a hot water bath, and stir to blend ingredients. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the galette iron.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and place in the galette iron. Close the iron, and cook the cookies. This should take about 30 seconds in an electric galette iron, or 2 to 4 minutes in a handheld iron over a medium flame. Carefully remove cookies and cool on wire racks.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 71 | Total Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 17mg
Italian holiday cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
canola oil for frying
1 cup honey
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, lemon peel, vanilla and salt. Add eggs and 2 cups flour; mix well. Turn onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour (dough will be soft). With a floured knife or scissors, cut into 20 pieces. With hands, roll each piece into pencil shapes. Cut "pencils" into ½-in. pieces.
In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees.
Fry pieces, a few at a time, for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place in a large bowl.
Heat honey to boiling; pour over cookies and mix well. With a slotted spoon, spoon onto a serving platter and slowly mound into a tree shape if desired. Decorate with candy sprinkles.
English tea cakes
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
60 walnut or pecan halves, toasted
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls into greased miniature muffin cups; flatten slightly. Press a walnut half into the center of each.
Bake at 350° F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.