Portland's Secret Holiday Cookie Club

The cousins behind Salt & Straw are collaborating on holiday cookies with Portland, Oregon's best food artisans.

The cousins behind Salt & Straw are collaborating on holiday cookies with Portland, Oregon's best food artisans.

Portland, Oregon has become the pickling, foraging, local-ingredient-worshipping capital of the universe—as anyone who watches Portlandia knows. Satirical possibilities aside, the city’s rep has a lot to do with the community spirit that brings its food artisans together. That’s especially true for an incredible ice cream company called Salt & Straw.

Part of Salt & Straw’s genius is its brilliant collaborations. Flavor mastermind Tyler Malek works with farmers, salt harvesters, cheesemakers, nut growers, chefs, mixologists-any kind of food artisan he can find—to create ice creams ranging from basic (vanilla with chunks of his grandmother’s almond brittle and chocolate ganache) to highly experimental (improbably delicious bone marrow with bourbon-smoked cherries). Malek even came up with a cheeky schnitzel-and-loganberry flavor in honor of Portland newcomers Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp, the great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp of The Sound of Music.

Recently, Salt & Straw’s founder, Kim Malek—Tyler’s cousin—organized a holiday-cookie potluck for some of their most inspiring ice cream collaborators. The party itself was a joint effort: Kim enlisted her friend Thomas Lauderdale, the bandleader of eclectic pop orchestra Pink Martini, as co-host. And the von Trapps—who collaborated on Pink Martini’s latest album—led the whole elaborately interconnected group in a round of Christmas carols.

Here, seven terrific recipes from Salt & Straw’s holiday-cookie potluck:
Raspberry Rugelach
Noel Balls
Chewy Salted Oatmeal Cookies
Gingersnap Sandwich Cookies
Gluten-Free Chocolate-Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Milk Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Sandies

Best Store-Bought Holiday Cookies
20 Incredible Christmas Cookies
F&W's Ultimate Holiday Guide

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