Originally posted December 20, 2015. Revised and updated July 28, 2016.
Christmas is coming, and what could be better than having the smell of freshly baked cookies floating through the house, enticing everyone to sneak into the kitchen?
I enjoy preparing different kinds in larger quantities than I need, and giving some away as presents.
Besides, I think you can never actually have enough cookies in the house!
Here are three great recipes that are easy to prepare, and so delicious to eat.
One important aspect that unites all of these cookie recipes is the fact that the dough needs enough time to chill.
Half an hour is the minimum amount of time that you should let it rest in the fridge, to allow the ingredients to meld together and to attain the proper texture.
Don’t shy away from these treats due to the seemingly high amount of butter in the recipes. Keep in mind that you are going to make about 50-60 cookies with each of them, and you certainly won’t eat a full batch yourself.
Well, you probably won’t…
Plus, the butter helps them to become wonderfully tender and crumbly!
The preparation process itself can be finished quickly, and only a little patience is required to shape these tasty goodies.
Now there’s nothing left for you to do other than choose one of the tasty recipes below (or all three), and perform some magic in the kitchen!
Vanilla is and old standby, and this is a classic treat that you just have to try. Its gorgeous vanilla flavor and the cute look of these babies is delightful.
The trickiest part is probably forming the cookies into small crescents.
In Germany, this problem has been solved by the producers of kitchen equipment who brought specifically shaped baking trays to the market just for this job, which can give your cookies a uniform crescent shape.
You may also be able to replicate the look by using a cookie cutter like this one:
Crescent Moon Cookie Cutter available on Amazon
Despite the availability of these useful gadgets, I enjoy rolling them by hand. In fact, I think this is what cookie baking is all about.
Some additional tips for the preparation:
- If you don’t have vanilla beans on hand, use natural vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract.
- Don’t like vanilla at all? Try making some cinnamon crescents instead – just replace the vanilla with a teaspoon of the warming spice.
- Use blanched almonds for a brighter look, ground almonds with their skin on for a more rustic appearance. Or, skip the nuts altogether if you or your loved ones have a food allergy.
Well, these biscuits don’t actually look like little snowflakes. But I imagine this is what they would taste like if snowflakes were cookies, because they are so unbelievably tender and melt right on your tongue.
A great benefit to making these is that this easy-peasy recipe can be prepared quickly.
Made with just 5 ingredients that you probably keep in stock at home, you can bake them in less time than you would need to go to the grocery store and buy some.
Let me tell you, as soon as they’re out of the oven, they’re irresistible.
- Mixing bowls
- Flat or rimmed baking tray
Black & White Cookies
This one is another nice and easy recipe that gets the best out of just a few ingredients.
Especially when you’re busy doing lots of other holiday prep, it’s more practical to be able to make the dough one day in advance, and serve oven-fresh cookies the next day.
This way, the two different shades of dough will also stick together much better.
You can even get creative and turn them into all kinds of fancy treats, besides the checkerboard and snail patterns.
Share the Holiday Baking Love
What are you waiting for? Now that you have three new recipes under your belt, you’re ready to head to the kitchen and get started!
Don’t forget to include the little ones during the holiday season. Not only will they love eating these sweet treets, they’ll enjoy helping to make them as well.
Are these three cookies not enough? Shhhh… I’ll throw in another recipe for you! Try my recipe for German-style cookie cakes!
What will you whip up from scratch in your home kitchen during the holidays this year? Do you have any questions, or troubleshooting tips? Share with us in the comments!
Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.