Cookies



Cookies may be fun to make but they're even better to eat. And with thousands of variations spanning so many flavors and shapes, there's a cookie out there for every taste. Creative bakers have made them into sandwiches and bars, coated them with ganache, filled them with jam and even stuffed them with candy. There's really no end to the possibilities. F&W's guide to these tiny desserts offers tons of holiday ideas, healthy recipes (yes, really) and lessons from the experts for perfecting your techniques.

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Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies
Pastry chef Paola Velez's recipe for these chocolate sandwich cookies creates crisp, buttery cookies filled with rich, fluffy milk chocolate ganache. The creamy filling is made with chocolate and butter instead of the usual heavy cream, resulting in a softer ganache. After you bake and form the cookies, have fun decorating them with stripes and squiggles of melted dark chocolate, or dip them into the melted chocolate. Because the ganache is so soft, it's best to keep the cookies refrigerated until a few minutes before serving.
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Sourdough Cookies
Rating: Unrated 1
These richly spiced, chewy sourdough cookies are an excellent way to use excess sourdough starter or discard, which is never in short supply for habitual sourdough bakers. The trick to the cookie's bold character is using as many freshly ground spices as possible—their strong punchiness is pleasantly balanced by the rich flavor of the flours and unrefined sweeteners. A spice grinder is best for preparing whole spices into a fine powder for measuring, but a clean coffee mill works just as well. Using this combination of stone-ground spelt, rye, and buckwheat flours leads to a robust grain flavor, thick cookie, and slight chew. This is a thick, hefty dough; Sarah Owens sources heavy-duty vintage ice cream scoops to make portioning easier. For a stronger flavor and more tender crumb, ferment the dough in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before scooping and baking. 
Dark Chocolate Vanilla Cookies
Rating: Unrated 1
"It's not often that we find someone who doesn't like a great, soft, crumbly chocolate cookie, so these are our go-to treats that serve many purposes," say Todd Porter and Diane Cu. "When there are new neighbors, we welcome them to the neighborhood with a platter. If our mail carrier or UPS driver is working hard and delivering heavy packages to us, we'll send out a thank-you in a bag of these cookies. Need to apologize to someone? These are the perfect catalysts to start the conversation again and to admit that you screwed up. Dark Chocolate Vanilla Cookies double as the perfect holiday baked good, too, because the light dusting of powdered sugar adds the perfect analogy to soft, drifting snow. Better yet, pairing these with some eggnog or hot apple cider is a fabulous finish to a feast. These chocolate cookies are best eaten while still warm (aren't most cookies?) or at least on the same day."
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Matcha-Butter Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle
Matcha powder adds festive color to these crisp butter cookies from Aiko Cascio, a Japanese cooking instructor with the League of Kitchens in New York City. Cascio learned how to make these not-too-sweet matcha tea–flavored cookies from a friend who owns a bakery in Tokyo, where they are popular during the winter holiday season. Matcha powder is made from finely milled green tea leaves and imparts a slightly bitter and earthy flavor to these cookies, and melted white chocolate boosts the sweetness and gives them a festive look. Due to the high ratio of butter in the dough, it softens quickly at room temperature; chill it in between rolling and cutting for clean cuts.
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More Cookies

Kourampiedes (Greek Christmas Cookies)
Blanched and toasted almond pieces bring a lovely crunch to these crumbly, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth Greek Christmas cookies. Some versions of kourampiedes add orange zest, but League of Kitchens Greek cooking instructor Despina Economou, who shared this recipe, prefers the simple flavors of butter, sugar, almonds, and vanilla. This recipe can easily be doubled.
Alfajores de Maizena (Sandwich Cookies Filled with Dulce de Leche)
Rating: Unrated 2
Extra-thick dulce de leche between two buttery cookies rolled in shredded coconut all add up to the perfect bite in these alfajores de maizena. Argentinian League of Kitchens instructor Mirta Rinaldi learned how to make these melt-in-your-mouth sandwich cookies from her mom. One of the most popular cookies in Argentina, they're found in all sizes at bakeries there and are picked up by the dozens for special occasions and celebrations year-round. Because of the generous amount of cornstarch in the dough, the cookies remain tender and soft after baking. Seek out dulce de leche repostero, which is made for pastry and baking, for this recipe; it's extra thick, with a firm body that won't squeeze out past the edges of the cookies in between bites.
Double-Chocolate Rye Cookies
Rating: 5 stars 1

A mix of unsweetened cocoa and bittersweet chocolate bars gives these fudgy cookies a deep chocolate flavor. Dark rye flour adds a lightly savory note that balances the sweet intensity of dark chocolate well and plays off the crunchy sea salt garnish. The addition of light brown sugar makes these cookies extra chewy and helps to extend their shelf life. Don't skip the chilling time; the dough will be soft when first mixed and will spread too much if baked immediately. The cookies are a treat on their own, but they can also be filled with Vegan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to make vegan ice cream sandwiches. (To assemble, scoop about 1/3 cup ice cream onto flat side of 1 cooled cookie; top with a second cookie, flat side down. Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze until ice cream is firm, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately, or freeze up to 3 days.)