Christmas Cookies

The holidays are our favorite time of year, especially with all of the delicious baking that comes with them. We have three amazing cookie recipes for you to try. If you wish, all of them can be made with gluten-free all-purpose flour. Made with molasses and black pepper, German Pfeffernusse Spice Cookies are a holiday tradition. Tahini Millionaire Bars have an addictive twist of sesame added to the caramel that we think you’re going to love! And, of course, we had to include a decadent chocolate chip cookie with the addition of toffee and browned butter, making it one of the best we’ve ever tasted. Make one or make them all, and share the warmth of the season.

German Pfeffernusse Spice Cookies

German Pfeffernusse Spice Cookies

Makes: 4 doz
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 15 min per batch

2¼ c all-purpose flour
¼ t baking soda
¾ t cinnamon
¼ t ea allspice, ground cloves and nutmeg
½ t ea ground cardamom, ground ginger and freshly ground black pepper
¼ t salt
½ c butter, softened
¾ c brown sugar, packed
¼ c molasses (not blackstrap)
1 lg egg
½ t vanilla
1 c powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or use nonstick pans). Combine flour, soda, spices and salt. Set aside. Beat together butter, brown sugar and molasses in mixer until fluffy, 3 min. Add egg and vanilla, combining well. Add dry ingredients and mix very briefly, just until combined. Using a teaspoon, make small balls and place on sheet pan, slightly spaced apart. Bake 13-14 min, until cookies are firm and small cracks appear. Cool completely and roll in powdered sugar.

Tahini Millionaire Bars

Tahini Millionaire Bars

Makes: about 36
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 25 min

Shortbread
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1 egg yolk
¾ t vanilla
½ t salt
2¼ c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 13×9” baking pan with parchment paper. Beat butter until creamed, approx. 3 min. Add sugars and beat until fluffy, 1 min more. Add egg yolk and vanilla, scraping down sides. Add flour gradually and sprinkle in salt. Do not overmix. Dough will be loose. Turn out into the pan and press evenly with hands until dough covers entire pan. Dock (poke) dough with a fork every ½” or so. Bake 25 min, until edges are lightly browned. Cool before adding caramel layer.

Tahini Butterscotch
1¼ c brown sugar, packed
½ c butter, cut into chunks
¾ c heavy cream
1 t kosher salt
½ c tahini
1 t vanilla

In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, 3 min. Whisk in cream and salt. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 min. Remove from heat and stir in tahini and vanilla. Pour over shortbread and chill completely before adding chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache
2 c chocolate chips or chunks
½ c heavy cream
½ t vanilla
flake salt and sesame seeds, for garnish

Combine chocolate and cream in a glass bowl and microwave in 30-sec intervals until completely melted together, stirring to combine. Add vanilla and pour evenly over butterscotch/shortbread, lifting and turning pan to spread chocolate. Chill completely. Cut into squares and top with scant pinch of flake salt and sesame seeds.

Browned Butter Chocolate and Toffee Chip Cookies

Browned Butter Chocolate and Toffee Chip Cookies

1 c butter
2½ c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
½ t sea salt
1 c dark brown sugar
½ c sugar
2 lg eggs, beaten
2 t vanilla
2 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 Skor toffee bars (1.4 oz ea), cut into small chunks
flake salt, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan melt butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until butter passes from foamy to light amber and smells nutty (do not scorch). Immediately remove from pan, pouring butter into a mixing bowl, stirring to quickly stop cooking. Set aside. Combine flour, baking soda and sea salt and set aside. Add to the browned butter: sugars, eggs and vanilla, stirring to combine, then pour into flour mixture and stir with a spatula or spoon. Add chocolate and toffee. Drop onto baking sheet in 2 T portions, 2” apart, arranging a few chocolate chips on top. Bake 10-12 min until edges are golden. Sprinkle with scant pinch of flake salt, as desired. Cool on sheet for few minutes before transferring to rack to cool.