In this version of these traditional German spice cookies, the edges are slightly crisp and the middles, soft and chewy. They're topped with a confectioners' sugar icing that is thicker than the classic see-through glaze. It's important to freeze the soft batter until very firm, so it can be easily scooped onto the baking sheets.
"My father used a lot of ginger in his baking," says Kevin Sbraga. "It adds that burst of flavor that makes you think, Wow." This sweet, candied-ginger dough can be rolled out and cut into any shape or formed into logs and refrigerated for simple slice-and-bake cookies.
These marvelous Christmas cookies combine chocolate with spicy gingerbread. "I was tired of basic gingerbread," says Matt Lewis. "And my connection to chocolate is really deep." An added benefit of these cookies: The supple dough is very easy to work with, and the scraps can be rerolled and cut out.
Karen DeMasco beats the dough for these buttery cookies with an entire vanilla bean, so the oils in the pod add deep vanilla flavor. By rolling the dough in demerara sugar before slicing and baking the cookies, she makes them extra-crispy.
These sweet and chewy two-bite macaroons have only five ingredients (not including the delicious bittersweet-chocolate drizzle). Baker Danny Cohen, a.k.a. Danny Macaroons, doesn’t think all macaroons have to be round. “Make whatever shape you want,” he says. “There are no rules.”
Using a recipe Nancy Silverton taught her for a super-buttery dough, Dahlia Narvaez made vanilla-scented cookies shaped like mezzaluna ("half moon") pasta and filled them with a mixed-berry jam she found in Panicale.