Swedish Christmas Cookies
"My version of Martha's Cranberry Shortbread - my sister in law, Meredith, made these and they are now my favorite holiday cookies aside from my mom's sugar cookies. I added the white chocolate because I figured after failing 3 holidays in a row to properly melt this finicky chocolate that I was not going to let it defeat me and I finally got it right!" —Erin Adamo, SE ad sales director
Coconut Macaroons with Salted Caramel
"The cookie part of this recipe is very closely adapted from Joanne Chang's new Flour cookbook (the subtitle, "Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery and Cafe," is totally legit—the recipes are incredible and the bakery is too, as any Bostonian will attest!). At the bakery, Chang's version is mammoth—eating two is a challenge—so I prefer to make mine smaller. The Salted Caramel (based on a recipe from Food & Wine) was meant to replicate a particularly memorable flavor combo I'd tried recently, and is otherwise my own addition to what's an already fabulous recipe." —Nikki Goldstein, SE Gadgets columnist
Clinton Street Baking Company's Spiced Brookies
Chocolate Eggnog Cookies
Egg Nog Fudge with White Chocolate and Walnuts
Spicy Gingerbread Cut-Outs
Russian Tea Cakes
These were baked by Natalie Podrazik, SE tech support and good pal.
Traditional Jewish Mandelbrot (Mandel Bread)
"Family recipes aren't as set in stone as we all like to think. Like for example, this mandel bread. I called my mom for the recipe, which I'd attributed to my Grandma Ruth, only to find out that my mom had started making Nick Malgieri's recipe years ago. So, here is our new family recipe for mandel bread. Thanks to Mom, Grandma, and Nick." —Ben Fishner, SENY Apps Only columnist
Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies
Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
"I was going to make the Turtle Cookies from this same 2010 issue of a Cook's Illustrated, but the whoopies were much less work and seemed more festive. The peanut butter filling was inspired by my local Foodtown market, which for some appalling reason doesn't have marshmallow Fluff—the base for the filling in the original recipe." —Liz Gutman, SE chocolate columnist
Ginger Sandwich Cookies
Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies with Aji and Chipotle
Adapted Momofuku Compost Cookies
Milk Chocolate Cookies with Ginger and Toffee
Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cinnamon Raisin Rugelach
"Back in 1996 I went to a rugelach making class at the Eldridge Street Synagogue led by Herb Schon, proprietor of Grandma's Recipe Rugelach. He told the story of how he started his business: when he was recuperating from a broken limb, some friends brought him some rugelach. He thought "my grandma used to make this - I wonder if I can find the recipe." He tracked down the recipe and made a batch, which he consumed in one sitting. He made another batch for his friends, who told him he should go into business baking rugelach, which is exactly what he did. The recipe reflects that his grandmother, who did all the family cooking, was relegated by her American-born daughters at Thanksgiving to making just a little something sweet. In addition to the traditional cinnamon, raisins and nuts, there is also whole-berry cranberry sauce, which was around at Thanksgiving and which cuts some of the sweetness. I use pecans rather than the traditional walnuts because my family in Texas used to grow pecans, and I think they make pretty much anything better." —Christopher Stephens, Slice intern
Spicy Pandan Cashew White Chocolate Cookies
Butterscotch Pistachio 'Cookies'
"I basically used Irma, The joy of Cooking (1970s edition). I loosely used her butterscotch brownie recipe. My grandma on my dad's side, Grandma Surber, as we called her because my mom's was Grammy. My Grandma Surber raised eight children, so whipping up anything usually took her all of like five minutes. And the nice thing about Butterscotch Brownies or 'Blondies' is that she always had those ingredients in house, so no trip to the store was required. Whenever we were good, she'd pull them out of thin air. A nice glass of truck delivered milk and Grandma's Butterscotch Brownies. So, when I was thinking of cookies I thought I should do a tribute to her. Because I miss her. Especially around the holidays. I think that'll always be the case. She was my inspiration for heading into the kitchen and I'm always trying to fill her boots. I added some raw pistachios because I wanted to add another layer of caramel goodness and a bit of texture. I had them lying around, so in they went." —Wayne Surber (and Tracie Lee), FoSE
Double-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
"The recipe is adapted from this Epicurious one for Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. My version is Double-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies (I left out the white chocolate chips and skipped the chocolate drizzle on top). I also doubled the salt. I chose this recipe because I love cranberries and oats, and everyone else loves chocolate." —Alaina Browne, SE general manager
Alexis Stewart's Brown-Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies
I was dreading the cookie swap. A room full of foodos with the mandate to produce homemade baked goods? Yeah, like that's not a recipe for a serious pissing match. My secret weapon? Alexis Stewart's Brown-Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yeah, Martha's daughter Alexis.
If you follow Alexis's blog, you know she's serious about baking, and has been for a while. She developed these cookies when she was 12 — I think I read somewhere that they were an attempt to win her mother's approval. No small feat that. Did it work? Well, I've also read in various places that these are Martha's favorite cookies. And if they're good enough for Marty, I figured they'd be good enough for the folks here at HQ.
I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I pretty much had to scramble to salvage a couple of my own cookies. What's the appeal? Um, how 'bout a POUND OF BUTTER and THREE CUPS OF SUGAR? Approval never tasted so rich ... and chewy ... and crisp. —Adam Kuban, SE editor
Since Cookie Swap eve fell on the same night as our prime rib tasting, my baking time was limited. I didn't get home until after 11 p.m. and, gulp, I did it. I used a mix. The horror! But..nobody seemed to notice because they were Dumpling-shaped. [Note: I did make the cookie cutter shape from scratch.]
Nobody even really asked about the recipe though, except our intern Carly who picked up on the nutty, spelt-like texture. I used Hodgson Mill's whole wheat gingerbread mix. They came out, fittingly enough, a dog biscuit texture. They weren't anything to write home about but, bottom line again, Dumpling-shaped!
The color was off—he's more of a sandy shade, not this dark molasses-brown—but they accurately portrayed his occasional lazy eye (with off-centered chocolate chips), and floppy ears (some featuring his famous one-ear-up-one-ear-down phase of yore). —Erin Zimmer, SE editor