Category Archives: Favorite Cookie Recipes

Wishing You A Gingery Holiday

Ginger cookies, anyone? These might just be too good to share.

What would the holidays be without a perfect ginger cookie?

A whole lot of blah humbug, that’s what.

When these cookies go in the oven, the spicy fragrance that fills the kitchen is intoxicating.

With one whiff, you just know Christmas time is here.

“Molasses-Ginger Cookies” is from the new cookbook, “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy, by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day. They are the founders of the Back in the Day Bakery in Savannah, Ga. Cheryl is a former “Soul Train” dancer. Griffith is a funk musician. They met in their early 20s over a love for music, then reconnected 15 years later over a passion for baking.

Their bakery opened a decade ago. They actually got married inside of it, too. The cookbook reflects that very personal touch. It’s filled with homespun treats rooted in Southern tradition, everything from ‘Nana Cream Pie to Plum Custard to Butter Mints.

These cookies are big-fisted, possessed of a crackly sugary top and a chewy-good center — all things you want in a Christmas-time ginger cookie.

Don’t be alarmed by the generous amounts of ground spices used, including a whopping 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. That may seem like way too much. But the resulting flavor in the baked cookies is not overwhelming at all. The taste is spicy, but balanced.

A tiny bottle of Fresh Ginger essence with a big pop of flavor.

For good measure, I even upped the ginger quota by using a sample of Aftelier Chef’s Essences ($16.95 to $19.95) in Fresh Ginger, available at Williams-Sonoma. These tiny bottles of essential, all-natural oils come in a variety of flavors, including Asian Lemon, Sweet Basil and Warm Nutmeg. Of course, I had to try the Fresh Ginger one, being the ginger fiend that I am.

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Potato Chip Cookies

Yup, there are potato chips in these cookies. Plenty of them, too.

Yes, it’s potato chips and cookies all in one.

Talk about the ultimate guilty pleasure.

When it comes to home decor and entertaining, Martha Stewart may be all about what’s prim, proper and precisely right. But you gotta give the woman a hand for sticking up for her fair share of junk food.

Her “Potato Chip Cookies” do just that.

Not only will you find crumbled potato chips in the dough, but rolled all around each cookie, too.

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Can’t Miss Vanilla Shortbread Cookies and A New Sweetener

Vanilla and European butter are all you need to make these cookies sing.

There are some people who will turn up their nose if a baked good has cardamom in it. Or raisins. Or coconut. Or even chocolate (if you can believe that).

But nobody ever shuns vanilla.

Nope, not ever.

It’s the most popular flavor for so many things because it is the pure taste of childhood memories.

Of ice cream dripping off cones on a hot summer day. Of birthday cake with candles to blow out. Of cupcakes with a mountain of frosting to get all over your face.

That’s why I guarantee nobody will turn down one of these “Vanilla Shortbread Cookies.”

The recipe is from “Bon Appetit Desserts” (Andrews McMeel) by the magazine’s former editor-in-chief, Barbara Fairchild.

European butter makes these cookies extra rich. Powdered sugar and cornstarch makes them very tender, yet nicely crumbly. With a teaspoon of vanilla extract, the dough gets rolled into logs to chill until firm. Then, slices are baked until golden on the edges.

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Souvenir From Hawaii — Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts direct from Hawaii star in these indulgent cookies.

When visiting Hawaii, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, flip-flops, sunscreen — and Costco card.


The cavernous membership warehouse store has some of the best — and best priced — Hawaiian souvenirs you can find. I’m talkin’ surf T-shirts, bags of taro chips, lilikoi cookies, Kona blend coffee, and of course, macadamia nuts. My husband had to buy another tote bag for the plane for all the goodies he brought back home on our trip to the islands last year.

Me? I was content with a big bag of macadamias for a steal.

After all, it’s always good to have a ready supply for when the baking mood hits.

And it did big-time with this recipe for “Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies” from Alice Medrich’s “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies” (Artisan), of which I received a review copy. Only, I changed it up, substituting dark chocolate for white — TCHO Dark Chocolate Disks 68 Percent ($7.98 for 8 ounces) to be exact, of which I also received a sample. With macadamias one of the richest tasting nuts around, I prefer them with the slight bitter-earthiness of dark chocolate rather than the often cloyingly saccharine white chocolate.

The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least two hours or overnight, so plan accordingly.

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Figgy Cookies

Ground figs and ground pecans give these cookies unique flavor and texture.

These cookies are fig-tastic.

Oh, they’re not like your familiar Newtons with an abundant filling of sticky fig paste. Nope, instead the dried figs in these cookies are ground up and incorporated into the cookie dough, itself.

As a result, the figs take on a more subtle quality, especially when mixed with ground pecans.

The recipe is from “The Gourmet Cookie Book” (Houghton Mifflin), of which I received a review copy last year. The book features the now defunct magazine’s best cookie recipe of each year from 1941-2009. These “Fig Cookies” hark back to 1964. A true oldie but goodie.

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