The Crunch: Holiday cookies, 3 ways

It’s cookie season, and this recipe gives you a budget-friendly way to make all the cookies you’re craving from one batch of dough.  And, with enough dough for 4 dozen cookies, you’ll have more than enough to dole out to your friends as a holiday gift or a mid-exam week pick-me-up. 

Use almond extract in the dough if you can; it adds a nutty flavor that complements the raspberry in the Linzer cookies and is masked by the peppermint and ginger in the other variations.

Try all the variations or make a big batch of your favorite. 

 

Holiday cookies, 3 ways

For the cookies:

1 cup butter

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 Tbsp almond extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

Optional special equipment: 3- to 4-inch holiday cookie cutters

For the ginger chocolate-dipped cookies:

½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted

3 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger

For the Linzer cookies:

¼ cup raspberry preserves

Powdered sugar for sprinkling

For the peppermint cookies:

1 stick butter

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tbsp milk

½ cup crushed peppermint 

 

Make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, use a mixer on low speed to beat together butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and almond extract and mix until just combined. On low speed, mix in flour, baking powder and salt.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces, flatten into discs and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to flatten one piece of the dough to ⅛ inch in thickness. Use cookie cutters or an inverted glass to cut the dough. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Collect the leftover trimmings from the dough and refrigerate to reuse.

Repeat with remaining dough. For the Linzer cookies, cut shapes out of the center of 12 cookies. Let cookies cool completely before icing.

 

For the ginger chocolate-dipped cookies:

Dip a cookie in melted dark chocolate, using a spoon to coat the cookie evenly. Sprinkle pieces of ginger on chocolate-coated half. Let sit until chocolate cools and ginger sets, about 1 hour.

 

For the Linzer cookies:

Sprinkle powdered sugar on cookies with cut out centers. Spread a thin layer of preserves on one cookie and place the powdered sugar-covered cookie on top.

 

For the peppermint cookies:

Make buttercream frosting: Combine sugar, softened butter, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl, mix on medium speed until fluffy.

Spread a layer of frosting on each cookie, top with peppermint.

Sugar cookie recipe adapted from Goodhousekeeping.com