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New cookie recipes just in time for the holidays

An aerial shot of trays of different cookies
Our latest collection of holiday cookies — all vegan or gluten-free — to get you baking.
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times; Prop styling by Kate Parisian)

Holiday cookie season is upon us, and this year, I wanted to do things a little differently. Instead of coming up with a collection of cookies with one or two options for vegans and gluten-free friends, I decided to make all the cookies enjoyable for everyone. So the 2021 collection is half vegan cookies and half gluten-free cookies that even those of us who swear by the butter-and-flour life can get behind.

For the gluten-free crowd, I rely heavily on ground nut flours for their flavor and texture. In my Candied Gingerbread Macarons, I spice up almond flour with lots of ground ginger and nutmeg, bake the batter into crisp rounds studded with candied ginger, and then sandwich them with Meyer lemon curd.

Hazelnut flour and oats add texture to cakey Oat and Hazelnut Chess Bars with Raspberry-Lime Jam, a spin on Southern chess bars that also happens to be a lazy person’s Linzer. A layer of cream cheese custard bakes up over the nutty base and the jam on top adds a pop of brightness.

Superfine almond flour and sugar keep things delicate and light in my Eggnog Dreams, a riff on Swedish “dream” cookies. Here, though, they’re flavored with nutmeg, cloves and rum extract to amp up the boozy tipple’s characteristic flavor. Baker’s ammonia, the O.G. cookie leavener, is employed to achieve a shattering texture in the cookies that’s more fun to experience than it should be.

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For the vegan side of things, I make a from-scratch version of one of my favorite cookies, McVitie’s jaffa biscuits. I infuse a vegan shortbread-like dough with orange zest, juice and liqueur before rolling it in turbinado sugar. Once baked, it’s dipped in chocolate and garnished with a strip of candied orange peel. If chocolate and orange is your thing, you must try these.

A new flavor pairing I love but that might take some convincing for you to try is licorice and almond paste. The two are combined in my Salty Black-and-White Chocolate Crinkles, which are chewy and rich and perfectly balanced between the anise-y licorice, sweet and creamy almond paste and the bitter cocoa. A pinch of flaky sea salt on top further enhances the complexities of this cookie.

And for the final cookie, a piece of fudge :) But not just any fudge, this one is a vegan spin on jamoncillo de leche, the popular Mexican fudge made by caramelizing milk and sugar. In my version, I use coconut milk and coconut cream and add ground canela for toastiness. Luxardo cherries and toasted walnuts are added for crunch and a heady aroma, and yet another pinch of flaky sea salt helps keep all the necessary sugar in check.

Make one, or make them all, and rest assured knowing that everyone you serve will be able to indulge in holiday cookie time this year.

Eggnog Dreams

Inspired by Swedish drömmar (“dream”) cookies, these light-as-air, eggnog-flavored cookies are ideal for anyone who loves the creamy, spiced flavor of the holiday tipple. Egg yolks, nutmeg, a pinch of cloves and a splash of rum extract work together to intensify the flavor of eggnog in these cookies.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours.

A platter of white circular cookies
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

Candied Gingerbread Macarons

All the flavor of gingerbread but in the lightest package possible, these festive macarons are a great treat for anyone too full from all the holiday eating. The homemade Meyer lemon curd isn’t necessary but certainly balances the sweet cookies with a soft acidity.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 2 hours 20 minutes.

A large plate of macarons
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

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Oat and Hazelnut Chess Bars with Raspberry-Lime Jam

Think of these as a more relaxed version of Linzer cookies: You don’t have to cut out shapes and centers and tediously fill each with jam. They make the perfect cookie for a holiday party or even Christmas dessert.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours.

A tray of pastry
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

Spiked Orange and Chocolate Biscuits

Chocolate and orange are a classic pairing and holiday treat for anyone who’s ever gotten one of those Terry’s chocolate spheres in their stocking. Here, the flavors are married in a homemade version of McVitie’s jaffa biscuits, a British cookie packed with orange flavor and coated on one side in chocolate.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Plates of cookies covered in chocolate
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

Salty Black-and-White Chocolate Crinkles

These chewy crinkle cookies get their unique flavor from the trifecta of rich and anise-y licorice, creamy and sweet almond paste chunks and bitter cocoa powder. The quality of the cookies depends on the quality of the ingredients, so seek out high-quality soft, black licorice and cocoa powder.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours.

A wiry plate of chocolate cookies dusted with powdered sugar
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)

Cherry-Walnut Mexican Milk Fudge

In this vegan version of the Mexican candy jamoncillo de leche, coconut milk and coconut cream add richness to the fudge, which is teeming with toasted walnuts, candied cherries and ground cinnamon. The flaky sea salt on top helps balance the intense sweetness of this candy, so don’t skip it.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 45 minutes, plus 4 hours cooling.

Geometric-shaped plates with fudge squares
(Silvia Razgova/For The Times)


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