When Thanksgiving rolls around, something in my brain fires. Or misfires. Suddenly, I’m combing my cookbooks and Pinterest pages, revisiting old favorites and hunting down new challenges. I want to make a crap-ton of cookies.
I can’t just make a batch of chocolate chips and call it a day. I have to make a variety of cookies. They have to be delicious.
Maybe it’s because, growing up, we did most of our baking around the holidays. My mom made what she called chocolate robins: chocolate cookies made sweet and dark and dense by ribbons of molasses. These were brightened by mini M&Ms. We also made the ubiquitous peanut butter blossoms. While she was still well, my grandmother, Cici, joined us in this, unwrapping Hershey Kisses by the dozen. My dad still makes his poor man’s cake, and now my mom makes addictive cake mix cookies studded with dried cherries and almond extract.
So here are the cookies I made this holiday season:
Grapefruit Poppy Seed Buttons from Real Simple
Real Simple had a giant cookie calendar this year, which provided no end of daydreaming. However, these sounded unique, and I love citrus and poppy seeds. The result: a bite-size, crumbly cookie that walked the line between sweet and savory.
Key Lime Cookies from Dessert Now, Dinner Later
I first made these cookies a few years ago, and their sweet-tart pucker-y-ness has gained them a place in my heart. The lime juice in the dough perks things up, and the white chocolate chips provide a satisfying crunch for your teeth. The lime glaze really puts these over the top.
Holiday Sables from Food52
I guess a theme this year was glazes, huh? These are a tad more time-intensive since you have to roll the dough into logs, chill them, cut them into thin slices, bake, cool, and frost. But it’s worth it. They’re light and tiny and adorable, and you can top them however you like. I preferred the candied ginger…
This is the first time I’ve made meringues, and while it was kind of a pain, I learned a lot about egg whites. This video from The Kitchn was very helpful as was this guide from AllRecipes. I used this recipe to guide cooking times and oven temps. You can see from the photo that some of the meringues cracked while baking, but the flavor and texture came out beautifully.
I took a platter of cookies into work and was also able to fit a bunch into my suitcase going home for the holidays. That’s my favorite part of baking: sharing the goods with other people. What did you bake this year?