holiday cookie baking

After a long set of final exams, I’m finally back in Miami to enjoy the warmth and the holidays. I wanted nothing more than to spend my first weekend home in the kitchen and surrounded by family. These two desires merged perfectly on Sunday afternoon when my sister, mom, aunts, and I got together to bake holiday cookies. Everyone brought a recipe and ingredients, and we ended up making five very different and very delicious cookies


Mom made incredible Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies filled with ganache. They had a slight hint of saltiness that perfectly matched the richness of the chocolate. These are to die for.


Aunt Susan made Giant Ginger Cookies, full of molasses, brown sugar, and spices. These are soft and chewy and encapsulate true holiday flavor.


Aunt Karen made classic Russian tea cakes. They were buttery, crumbly, and covered in powdered sugar. Simple and incredible.


Erica recreated her favorite French iced sugar cookies. Rolling them out proved challenging given the humidity in Miami, but she devised an ingenious technique of rolling out the dough on a refrigerated metal cookie sheet. It worked like a charm, and resulted in soft, sugarplum colored hearts with a sprinkling of glittery sugar for holiday flair.


I also tried my hand at a rolled cookie, Rugelach. I encountered some challenges in rolling out my dough, and ended up with unruly mounds, rather than uniform crescents. Given their haggard appearance, I lovingly renamed them “ugelach.” Looks aside, they tasted great. The cream cheese dough was filled with apricot jam, cinnamon sugar, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate. I have already made and frozen another batch for Christmas morning. These actually held their shape, so I will post a photo of the non-ugly rugelach soon!

All in all, baking with the family was the perfect way to spend my first Sunday home. This was the first time we’ve done a holiday cookie bake-off, but I hope it will become an annual tradition!


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