We all have pleasant memories tied to holiday cookies. No matter which holiday you celebrate, these small, sweet bites stick out in our minds because they mark good times at the end of the year and remind us of good times with family.
It’s with that in mind that I bring you this year’s collection of holiday cookies, each created by a different pastry chef or cook in Los Angeles. This group of chefs have made some of the most exciting sugar-based treats in the city this past year, and their inspirations come from all over the world — from the abundance of California to Tel Aviv, Lebanon, Argentina and Mexico. You have chewy, deeply spiced saucers next to simple butter-and-vanilla pillows, and rich, cakey bars next to crumbly, nutty shortbread filled with gooey dulce de leche.
But what you won’t find this time around are crazy sparkling sugars, dyed decorations or cutters that test your nerves with intricate, hard-to-free-dough-from designs. Instead, we offer a batch of simple but delicious cookies that require the barest of equipment or skill, reflecting the simplicity of passed-down family recipes. In a year mostly devoid of fellowship, these homestyle pleasures hearken back to a time of togetherness with family and the memories of holidays past.
Alfajor de Nuez, a walnut-studded cookie created by Arturo Enciso and Ana Belén Salatino.
Cardamom lightly perfumes these chocolate chip cookies, enriched with tahini and topped with sweet halva candy, by Zoë Komarin.