A collection of holiday recipes to sweeten every table
By Edible Pioneer Valley, with help from our readers | Photography by Dominic Perri
No matter what you’re celebrating, nothing says “welcome!” like a tray of cookies. This holiday season, our gift to you is this collection of cookie recipes: Recipes from fellow readers, recipes from family, recipes from friends. We hope they make your winter memories that much sweeter.
Edible Pioneer Valley reader Geraldine Borrell says, “I make pistachio cookies every year for our family holiday party. The recipe developed from one for a pistachio tart crust that was not appealing, but I love pistachios so wondered how the crust recipe would work as a cookie. It was a hit then and is every year.” These keep well when stored in a tightly sealed cookie tin.
The name of these Swiss sandwich cookies means “bad boys,” or “little rascals.” Reader Lanis Monfried isn’t sure why these delicious bites have been tarred with a less-than-kind name, but despite their bad reputation they are a vital part of her holiday cookie tray. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.
This recipe from Black Trumpet: A Chef’s Journey Through Eight New England Seasons, is a showstopper. As Chef Evan Mallett says, “They are the perfect two-bite morsels of party food, somewhere between a s’more and a s’gone.” Chef Mallett serves these bites with chile marshmallows––find the recipe in the Recipes section of our website. Read more about Chef Mallett’s new cookbook on “Close to Home” on page 10. Makes 48 small bites.
These addictive bites are crunchy-sweet nibbles, loaded with caramel and toasted nuts. Reader Chryssa Giannini serves these every year and they are one of the first cookies to disappear from the holiday table. Makes 30 bites.
Cookbook author Betty Rosbottom tells us that “without fail, people love the assertive lemon flavor of these buttery cookies, which comes from the zest in the cookie dough and the lemon juice in the glaze. An herbal accent of fresh rosemary is more subtle, but is just as pleasing since it gently complements the citrus.” Makes 16–18 cookies.
Kim (Drake) Godfrey shared her mother’s recipe with us. As she says, “This recipe has been around so long, my mom can’t remember where it came from or who gave it to her. Most likely it came from my gram or one of those cookbooks put together by one of the churches in Amherst many years ago. She has been making Ginger Snaps for over 60 years and, to say the least, they are one of our family’s favorites."
These cookies come to us from Carley McKee. She says, “For me, thumbprint cookies are as classic as eggnog and nutmeg. Sometimes fancy, decorated sugar cookies and gingerbread men outshine the thumbprint on those platters you bring over to your neighbors each year. But underneath those flashy cookies lies the thumbprint. It has the delicate flavor of a linzer tart but the humble presentation of something less formal and far more familiar.”
“When I was a little girl, I helped my mom and grandma make these—our family favorites—every Christmas. Now I bake them with my grandchildren—who love them, and love making them, as much as I do.” With that invitation from Karen Smith, dive right in and enjoy these delightful cookies.
These cookies are a delightful addition to any cookie tray or breakfast table. Use any jam you’ve got on hand, but if it’s very chunky or seedy, it’s best to strain it before using. Makes 16 rugelach.
Every cookie platter needs at least one frosted cookie. These are a favorite––they are more like shortbread, so they are not as sweet as a typical sugar cookie. These are baked until they are golden, which brings out a nutty, brown-butter flavor. Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.