Christmas Cookie Box

Hey! I am so glad you stopped by to check out my recent bakes. My name is Kelsey. I have dedicated 2021 to baking from my favorite baking publication – Bake from Scratch. Each quarter is dedicated to one main category of baking: cakes, breads, pies/pastries, cookies/miscellaneous. I am so excited to learn how to master (or try to master) each of these. Follow me along on my journey!


I have made a cookie tin for my friends and family the past three years. Each year I learn more about baking, experiment with new flavor combinations, and try cookies I have had my eye on (or failed at) in the past. I definitely fell in love with my cookie tin this year. One of my favorite things is to watch my friends and family try my cookies, it is so rewarding! Below I have linked each recipe I used. My top three cookies this year would have to be the Brown Sugar Maple Ginger Cookie from Half Baked Harvest, Linzer Cookie from Bake from Scratch Vol. 2, and the Gingerbread flavored Ghirardelli Dipped Meringue.

Brown Sugar Maple Ginger Cookie – from Half Baked Harvest

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
    • I left out the chocolate chips, I wanted to focus on the fall flavors, maple drizzle and molasses flavors.
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Add egg and molasses, mix until combined.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt until combined.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips – if you desire.
  6. Roll or scoop into tablespoon size balls. Chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes. The centers should be slightly doughy. Let cool on the pan.
  8. Melt butter, add syrup, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk until desired thickness. Drizzle or dip the glaze on each cookie.

Cranberry Orange Shortbread

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried cranberries or craisins
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Directions:

  1. Combine cranberries with ¼ cup of granulated sugar in a food processor, process until cranberries are broken down into smaller pieces.
  2. Combine flour and remaining sugar in large bowl.
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the cold, cubed butter. You are looking for very small crumbs.
  4. Stir in extract, cranberry/sugar mixture, orange zest and orange juice.
  5. Knead the dough until it comes together and forms a ball.
    • I had to add about 2 tablespoons of cold water for it to form a ball.
  6. Shape dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 72 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  8. Cut dough into slices about ¼ inch thick.
  9. If desired, coat slices in sugar.
  10. Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.
    • They will not have a lot of color, if you are concerned they are not baked long enough, flip one over and the brown should be slightly golden brown.
  11. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for several minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Spitzbuben (Linzer) Cookie from Bake from Scratch Vol. 2

Ingredients:

  • 5½ cups flour, sifted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup jam of your choice
    • I chose a Strawberry Jam made by a local vendor
  • powdered sugar for finishing

Directions:

  1. In stand mixer, beat flour, sugar and salt until mixed.
  2. Add cold, cubed butter and beat until crumbly.
  3. Beat in egg. Mix until dough starts to form.
    • If too dry, add cold water one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Knead until the dough is smooth.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  7. On heavily floured surface, roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Using desired cutter, cut dough and place on prepared pans. Using a smaller cutter, cut centers out of half the cookies.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes. They should stay pale and not turn golden brown.
  9. Let cool on pan for several minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
  10. Before cookies are completely cooled, place about 1 teaspoon of jam onto each solid cookie then place cutout tops on top, press gently to seal the cookies together.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar.
    • I also kept the middle cut outs and created small liner cookies by adding a tiny bit of jam and pressing two cutouts together.

Holiday Flavors of Ghirardelli Dipped Meringues: Peppermint Candy Cane, Eggnog Hazelnut and Gingerbread Pistachio

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  2. In a small saucepan, add sugar and water, cook until mixture begins to simmer. Use a wet pastry brush dipped in cold water to wipe down the sides as the sugar will spray up and crystallize. Continue to cook sugar until it reaches 240ºF.
  3. In stand mixer, whip the egg whites on high until stiff peaks form.
  4. Pour the sugar syrup down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the egg whites so it will not overheat the whites. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed and whip until cool – about five minutes.
  5. Evenly divide the meringue into three separate bowls.
  6. In the first bowl, add the peppermint oil.
  7. In the second bowl, add ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg and the Cognac/Whiskey.
  8. In the third bowl, add the cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
  9. Transfer each meringue flavor into three separate piping bags fitted with a large round tip for each bag (Ateco #806 or #808).
  10. Pipe 1 inch wide meringues into rows, spacing ¼ inch apart. They should not spread.
    • To create the peaked shape: Hold piping tip 1/2-inch directly over baking sheet, gently squeeze bag until 1-inch wide base is formed, and then gently pull bag up until meringue breaks away from tip forming a peak.  
  11. Bake for two hours with the oven door slightly ajar, until dry to the touch.
  12. Meanwhile, place the crushed candy canes, pistachios and hazelnuts into separate bowls.
  13. Melt assorted chocolates into separate bowls.
  14. Dip the Peppermint Meringues into the dark chocolate and then directly into the crushed candy canes. Place back on parchment or silpat mat to dry.
  15. Dip the Eggnog Meringues into the white chocolate and then directly into the hazelnuts. Place back on parchment or silpat mat to dry.
  16. Dip the Gingerbread Meringues into the milk chocolate and then directly into the pistachios. Place back on parchment or silicone mats to dry.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peppermint Glaze

I used a mix of several recipes, here is what I ended up baking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (plus more if needed)
  • ½ cup finely crushed peppermint bits

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs one at a time.
  5. Add vanilla extract, mix.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture until just combined.
  7. Scoop cookies on baking sheet 2 inches apart, bake 8 minutes. They will look slightly under-baked.
  8. Cool on baking sheet several minutes, then transfer to wire cooling rack.
  9. For glaze: In small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, peppermint extract, and milk.
  10. Once cookies are cool, drizzle glaze on top. Sprinkle crushed peppermint on top.

Hersey’s Secret Kisses Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • about 36 Hersey Kisses
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Add flour and walnuts. Stir until well blended.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  5. When dough is firm enough to handle, get about 1 tablespoon in your hands and form it around the Hershey kiss, roll it to make a ball.
  6. Place balls on prepared baking sheet, bake 12 minutes until cookies are set but not browned.
  7. Cool slightly, roll in powdered sugar while they are still warm.

The gallery below shows close-ups of each cookie in my 2022 cookie tin.

Shop the products I mentioned and love!

1 Quart Saucepan
Unbleached Parchment Paper
Amazon Basics Silicone Baking Mat
Silpat Baking Mat
Christmas Cookie Boxes
Biscuit Cutters – used for circle cutters
Small Cookie Cutters
Ghirardelli Melting Wafers

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s