A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a virtual cookie exchange organized by my sweet friend, Rebecca over at DisplacedHousewife, which I thought was just the coolest and most genius idea ever! I mean, when else do you get the opportunity to try sweet treats baked up from a talented baker/friend who lives on the other side of country??
Our names were exchanged and we all mailed out our boxes of delicately wrapped cookies right before Thanksgiving, which have been trickling onto everyone’s doorsteps all week long! I was overjoyed with the two wonderful ladies I was paired with! ❤️
I received this sweet antique tin filled with fragrant cardamom-fig cookies and berry granola in the mail from the beautiful Asha over at Food Fashion Party and it just put the biggest smile on my face! I’ve been “Insta” friends with Asha for a long while now, and although we’ve never met in person, receiving these delicious treats that she made in her own kitchen, kind of made me feel like we were neighbors and she had just walked across the yard to bring over a plate of freshly baked treats! You must check out her amazing cookie recipe, along with all of the other mouthwatering dishes on her blog, which is linked below!
I got to send cookies to Traci all the way up in Washington state! Traci is a talented photographer/recipe developer over at Vanilla and Bean, a vegetarian blog full of the most delicious recipes and gorgeous photos…ah, I just admire her so much! 😍
I was super excited when I got her name…and then I was scared! What was I supposed to make for this talented baker?! I’m always a bit nervous when making treats for people and it usually takes me a bit of time to actually decide on what I’m going to make. I just really want to choose something they’re going to enjoy! It totally doesn’t help when you’re an indecisive person left with the plethora of options under the category “cookie” either, haha!
I decided to make a classic shortbread cookie with a few different mix-ins, that way she’s bound to have at least one flavor she enjoys. I mean, you can’t go wrong with shortbread, right?! 😉 These are simple “slice and bake” shortbread cookies, also referred to as icebox or refrigerator cookies. The cookie dough is shaped into a round log, wrapped in parchment and stored in the refrigerator (freezer for more long term) and can easily be sliced, baked, and served in 15 minutes! It makes the perfect treat to keep on hand for those unexpected visitors, last-minute gift, or a quick dessert.
With Christmas only a month away and all the parties and cookie exchanges to come, having a good solid list of cookie recipes will definitely come in handy—trust me! I’m sooo happy to be teaming up with an amazing group of talented bloggers and bakers to share 18 scrumptious cookie recipes, from shortbreads to crinkles and snickerdoodles, we’ve got you covered in the Christmas cookie department! We’re tagging all of our cookie pics this holiday season with the hashtag #holidaycookieparty2016 across social media too, so please join in on the fun by tagging your cookie creations!
In the meantime, check out all of these amazing holiday cookie recipes:
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (vegan butter or coconut oil can also be use, but cookies may spread a little more)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used this blend: ⅔ cup finely ground almond flour, ⅔ cup brown rice flour, & ⅔ cup corn starch) Regular all-purpose flour can also be used.
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- optional mix-ins:
- –zest of 2 lemons + 2–3 tablespoons poppy seeds (to taste)
- –1/2 cups each coarsely chopped pistachios + dried cranberries
- –2/3 cups coarsely chopped dried apricots + 2–3 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme (to taste)
- parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and maple syrup. Mix until well blended. Add almond flour, brown rice flour, cornstarch, and salt. Blend until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes, and then mix in vanilla extract. Dough will be thick, but soft and a little tacky.
- Stir in optional mixings and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the dough onto two large squares of parchment paper. Shape dough into a 6 to 8-inch log. Fold one side of the parchment over the dough and tuck under the log shape. Continue to roll the dough in the parchment, until all the parchment is wrapped around and dough is pretty evenly distributed. Twist each end of the parchment to keep tightly wrapped, like a candy wrapper. Refrigerate logs for several hours, or until completely chilled. This helps the cookies hold their shape.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and cut log into ¼-inch slices. Place slices about 2-inches apart onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. The cookies will be pretty light in color. Allow to cool fully before removing from pan. Can be crumbly if handled when they're hot. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in a cool place.
- Alternatively, you can roll chilled dough out to about ¼-inch thick (I recommend rolling between two pieces of parchment paper to keep dough from sticking to the rolling pin) and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place shaped cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are lightly browned.