Are you always looking for fun and different cookies you can make in December for the holidays?
I admit, I am. We make biscotti every Christmas…but often we’ll search for something different or unusual that we haven’t made before. We love making spritz cookies (the cookie press is so fun to use) but I’m often disappointed by the bland flavor. We like making sugar cookies, especially multicolored ones that you roll up. But what else is out there?
Elisabet der Nederlanden’s Holiday Cookies has tons of holiday cookie options—many of which I’d never even heard of before!
What will you find in Holiday Cookies?
Food stylist and professional recipe developer Elisabet der Nederlanden is a resident of Berkeley, CA, but was born in and grew up in Sweden. She learned to bake as a child and worked in a bakery as a teen. She loves decorating for Christmas (and all its associated celebrations, like St. Lucia Day) and baking wonderful cookies and treats. So, she brings her love and experience with baking and goodies to this book, which truly is a labor of love. She searched out, prepared, and selected 50 unusual and delicious cookies whose origins are from countries all over the world.
What I really love about this cookbook is that you’ll find the usual suspects of Christmas cookies (like bark, gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies) but they are livened up with gorgeous decorations, unusual flavors, and unexpected tweaks that make cooking, and decorating, more enjoyable and fun. The pictures are absolutely breathtaking and they WILL make you want to scurry to the kitchen and bake! It’s also written in a lovely conversational manner that will make you feel as though der Nederlanden is sharing her fabulous cookie wisdom with you.
She begins with cookie-baking and decorating tips (including a great section on royal icing, which makes rolled cookies so beautiful), helpful ideas for shipping cookies and storing them. And then the fun begins! Der Nederlanden has divided her book into 6 sections with 8 recipes each:
- Very Merry Classics (with gingerbread cookies, black and whites, Red Velvet Crackle Cookies, stenciled shortbread rounds)
- Cookie Exchange Party (where you’ll find Bejeweled Chocolate Cookies, Malted Milk Chocolate Cookies, Red-and-White Meringue Kisses and more)
- Warm Holiday Spice (which includes Saffron Pistachio Biscotti, Cinnamon-Sugar Palmiers, and Thumbprints with Spicy Plum Jam)
- Around the World (Swedish Pepparkakor, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Italian Pignoli Cookies, and other fun recipes)
- Holiday Confections (with goodies like Apple Cider Caramels, Matcha Chocolate Bark with Berries and Coconut, and Smoked Almond and Cacao Nib Brittle)
- and finally, Decorated Delights, where the author shares recipes for cookie ornaments, Gingerbread Place-Card Cookies, Stained-Glass Snowflakes, and even a Gingerbread House
The recipes all seem to be well-researched (and tested) and the directions are very clear and easy to follow. (Of course you’ll still want to read through the cookie recipes before you prepare them; some of them have ingredients that you might not have on hand.)
We LOVE Swedish Pepparkakor. The St. Lucia celebration is so beautiful, and pepparkakor cookies are served then. The cookies are crisp and carry ginger and cloves (and of course, a bit of pepper). I don’t have der Nederlanden’s fun goat and pig cookie cutters, but we do have lots of others!
I like the saffron biscotti recipe as well. It is beautiful and colorful, thanks to the saffron, which I’d never have imagined as a biscotti ingredient!
Other favorites include the Minty Spritz Cookies (I told you I needed a good spritz recipe!), the Gingerbread Place-Card Cookies (although honestly my hand doesn’t have beautiful cursive handwriting with icing!), and the Citrus Sugar Cookie Ornaments. So many fun recipes to add joy to Christmas celebrations!
More about the author:
Elisabet der Nederlanden’s website
DISCLAIMER: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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