Snickerdoodles with brown butter are a cinnamon surprise from the U.S. I decided that they are perfect for the season. In case you don’t know, snickerdoodles have a similar base as sugar cookies, but are then formed into balls which are then rolled in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon before you bake them. As far as I know you can find snickerdoodles in the U.S. throughout the year, however, due to their cinnamon flavor I decided to make some during the season.
As is tradition in Germany, we are celebrating the advent, waiting eagerly for Christmas. Therefore each Advent Sunday (there are always four in total, leading up to Christmas) is super special and for that reason I brought along some ginger cookies or Spekulatius, the German name for these nicely spiced cookies. I decided to make them with a neat little cookie cutter, it was so much fun cutting out my blog name. Look at it, such fine and thin lines! If you are scared of sugar cookies or shortbread, don’t be, I give a lot of tips in this blog post.
Yay, tomorrow is the official beginning of the season! That’s why I brought along some super cute santas made from sugar cookie dough. I stumbled across the idea last year when I visited one of my favorite blogs, Tieghan made these cute little santas for her cookie box and I was hooked immediately. So finally, one year later, I can scratch off this item from my baking list. Oh, and in case you didn’t know, we have a special day here in Germany on December 6th, Nikolaus is yet another day when children put their freshly polished boots outside the door and then secretly they are filled with sweets and the like. So typically, I wanted these to be ready for December 6. I just hate it when bloggers post the idea on the day itself, I decided to give you the chance to actually make these little cuties on time, so that’s why I am starting the season with them!
Don’t they look amazing? I find them perfect for a cookie box, as a little gift, to show your love, there are so many ideas when to take them with you. I even managed to freeze them, sugar cookies are super easy to freeze when plain, but I even froze these santas sucessfully with royal icing aka their beards. Seriously, why not invite a friend, turn on some music and make these santas? Preparing the dough doesn’t take long, and forming the santas is so much more fun when you have company.
I honestly can’t imagine Christmas without gingerbread. Every year at the end of November I am faithfully going to make gingerbread of some kind. Be it to decorate the Christmas tree, traditional gingerbread men, or be it gingerbread cut into stars, angels, and stockings. Today I am going to present the cutest mini gingerbread houses you can decorate your mugs with. Prefect for a dinner invitation or as a gift. You can print out the mini houses here.
I do agree that anything made from gingerbread requires a lot of work, but I feel nothing says Christmas more. I really do enjoy starting the season this way. Gingerbread may require a lot of work, but there is one advantage to it, you can take a break after every stage and you can make gingerbread in advance. You can easily store the gingerbread dough for a week in your fridge. Undecorated gingerbread will also keep for weeks if stored in an airtight container, and even fully decoarted gingerbread is safe for consumption. Mind you, I at least happily munch away my Christmas tree decoration every year after Christmas. So I invite you to decorate some gingerbread with some friends. Have them come over, prepare some hot cocoa and just give it a go!
I’ve decided to open the season, it is time for Christmas cookies! Have you started yet? Every year I promise to start early and then I end up with a long, long, long list of cookies I want to bake, but nothing happens other than the list getting longer. Well, maybe this blog entry with my ten favorite Christmas cookies will also make your list longer, but maybe you will actually bake some, that would be actually awesome. Please let me know in the comments if you do!
#1 Tiny gingerbread houses
Seriously, I feel Christmas is not complete without gingerbread. Gingerbread houses, gingerbread men, ugly sweater cookies made with gingerbread, you name it. My recipe also includes some printables for these cute little gingerbread houses.
I urge you to try these cute little gingerbread houses
#2 Alfajores with chocolate and a slight hint of orange
Hands down, my favorite cookie from my country of birth Uruguay. It is filled with dulce de leche, do I need to say more?
Alfajores, a cookie made with cornstarch, filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate
#3 Cute little Santas
These cute little santas are a simple sugar cookie with ermine frosting, I just love them, check the recipe for further details!
If you really want to get into Christmas, make these cute little Santas!
#4 Peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies with caramel and sea salt
This may not be the traditional Christmas cookie, but all these flavors, I promise, you won’t regret making these!
All my favorite flavors combined, peanut butter, chocolate, caramel and sea salt, yes!
#5 Meringue cookies that actually look like mushrooms
You have some egg white left over? How about these little cuties? They only contain two ingredients, egg whites and sugar and are glued together by some chocolate.
You are making a yule log for Christmas? How about decorating it with these little mushrooms
#6 Linzer cookies
Another Christmas cookie I can’t do without. Who can say no to these cookies with a slight hint of almond and yummy jam filling?
This is one of the traditional Christmas cookies in Germany, go ahead and try it!
#7 Stained-glass cookies
They are easier to prepare than you may think. Obviously I give a lot of tips in my blog post to guide you along.
They look so cool and actually are not that hard to make, try these beautiful stained-glass cookies, they are a perfect gift and wonderful decoration.
These snickerdoodles are made with a lot of brown butter for extra awesomeness.
Oh, this joy of cinnamon and brown butter called snickerdoodles!
#9 Heidesand cookies
You may not know this traditional cookie from Germany, but it has brown butter and real vanilla. So buttery, so good!
These shortbread cookies are prepared with lots of brown butter and real vanilla. Traditionally from the north of Germany and so good for Christmas.
#10 Vanilla stars with chocolate ganache
If you are a chocolate lover, these cookies are for you. Instead of jam or buttercream, these cookies are filled with wonderful chocolate ganache.
If you can’t decide if you want to do chocolate or vanilla, why not combine these two flavors? Make these vanilla stars with chocolate filling.
So which one is your favorite Christmas cookie you can’t do without?
Recipes with a story behind are the best in my opinion. This definitely holds true for these Heidesand cookies. For that reason I feel especially honored to introduce them here. The recipe was passed down from the lovely lady Mrs. P. Mrs. P was busy baking these cookies for her granddaugther when the handyman who was working at her place asked why it was smelling so nice in her kitchen. Mrs. P. replied that she was preparing Heidesand cookies as these were the favorite of her granddaugther and immediately handed a cookie to the handyman. He was so excited about the cookies after he tried them that he continued praising them as soon as he returned home. The girlfriend of the handyman listened to his story and immediately requested that he ask for the recipe the next day when he was about to return to Mrs. P’s house. He glady returned the favor and asked Mrs. P. for the recipe. She got very excited, immediately sat down and wrote down the recipe for him, which he then faithfully passed on to his girldfriend. And this is the point where the story takes a tragic turn. Because Mrs. P. passed away shortly after. But had passed on the recipe to the girlfriend, who has baked this recipe many times and now passed on the recipe to me. I will definitely hold it very dear in my recipe collection.