Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Gentle reader, this recipe isn’t an original, but I keep coming back to it year after year. This holiday season, if you care enough to give your loved ones something homemade (read: can’t afford/are too late to actually buy them presents), this Martha recipe has everything going for it: It combines the classic holiday-treat flavors of chocolate and gingerbread for an unexpected twist while remaining fully in keeping with tradition; and it keeps and travels well for at least a week or two, pretty much without crumbling or breaking.

The one original spin I put on them is to use M&Ms, sometimes the mini red and green ones, in lieu of the chocolate chunks, to make them look more festive. (And I use regular cocoa powder since that’s what I keep in the cupboard.) Oh, and rather than have the actual shreds of fresh ginger in the cookie, which can have an annoyingly fibrous consistency, I grate the ginger into a bowl—maybe a little more than the recipe calls for—and squeeze the liquid out into the butter.

Of course, the whole point of making Christmas cookies is to give them out to people who fall into that holiday gray area between gifts and no gifts. So you might want to double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe to cover all those folks. I would stack 4 or 5 cookies in a festive cellophane bag from the 99¢ store, and tie off the bag with ribbon and a gift tag.

However, you could also leave a plate of these out on Christmas Eve as your offering for Santa Claus—accompanied by anything from a glass of organic soy milk to a White Russian, depending what sort of Brooklyn dweller you are.

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