Holiday Cookies

By Liz A. RSS Fri, December 23, 2016

Genevieve Tierney, pastry cook at Osteria, shares some of her favorite holiday cookie recipes from around the world. Genevieve is a graduate of The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.

Holiday Cookies

Baking Notes

  • Many cookie doughs are easier to shape and will bake taller when chilled.
  • Doughs can be made, chilled, and shaped for later baking (or made, chilled, shaped, and then re-chilled for baking) 1-2 days in the fridge, 1-2 weeks in a freezer (wrap well).
  • If baking in a convection (fan) oven, reduce the recipe temp. by 25-50°, depending on your oven—maybe also reduce the bake time.

Konjakskransar (Swedish)


  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 3 tbsp liqueur (Brandy, Amaretto, etc.)


1. Combine all ingredients and mix until dough is just smooth. Roll out sections of dough into logs, approximately 4-inches long.
2. Twist together two ropes and press edges together, forming a wreath shape. (If dough is too crumbly, add more liqueur or warm slightly.)
3. Bake at 350°, 13-15 minutes, until lightly brown.

Gingersnaps (German)


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 ¾ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves


1. Paddle butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy.
2. Add eggs, molasses, and vinegar.
3. Sift together dry ingredients
4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and mix on low until just combined.
5. Chill dough until firm.
6. Scoop dough, roll into balls, and press balls in sugar to coat.
7. Bake at 375°, approximately 10 minutes, until light brown on top but still soft in center.

Cranberry Oat (American)


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 ½ cup dried cranberries (or raisins, cherries, chopped apricots, etc.)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Paddle butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
3. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mix to combine.
4. Add oats, dried fruit, and nuts if using, stir to combine.
5. Chill dough.
6. Scoop dough, roll into balls or drop onto tray without shaping.
7. Bake at 350°, approximately 10-12 minutes.

Rugelach (Eastern European)



  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup cream cheese


  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup nuts, toasted and chopped small
  • ½-¾ cup jam (can also add chocolate, dried fruit, etc.)
  • 1 egg beaten



Mixer directions (for room temperature dairy):

1. Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2. Beat in salt.
3. Add flour, beat until it disappears.
4. Form dough into a disc, wrap, and chill.
5. Chill dough 30 minutes in the freezer (up to 2 weeks) or 2+ hours in the fridge (up to 2 days).

Food processor (for cold dairy):

1. Pulse to combine flour and salt.
2. Add cream cheese in large chunks, pulse to disperse into flour.
3. Add butter in large chunks, run machine until dough starts to clump.
4. Form dough into disc, wrap, and chill
5. Chill dough 30 minutes in the freezer (up to 2 weeks) or 2+ hours in the fridge (up to 2 days).


1. Mix together cinnamon and sugar (filing).
2. Divide dough into quarters and roll first quarter out on a floured counter into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 7-8 inches long, with the wider side to you.
3. Thinly spread dough with jam, leaving a bare strip of ¼ inch along the wide side furthest from you.
4. Sprinkle 2 tbsp cinnamon-sugar, then 4 tbsp nuts.
5. Roll dough into a log, as tight as possible, and seal edge with beaten egg.
6. Chill in freezer 10-15 minutes.
7. Cut into desired shape.
8. Brush with egg, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
9. Bake at 350°, approximately 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Happy Holiday Baking (and eating) from Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center (CLC)!

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Wonderful cookies. i love it.
Brand - Philippines
Sunday, April 9, 2017