Holiday Cookies to Make in December
Key Lime Macarons
These tangy, one-bite sandwiched meringues from Uyen Nguyen, executive pastry chef at L.A.’s Manhattan Beach Post, get a surprise pop of flavor courtesy of fennel seeds.
Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Cookies
“Mallomars are my absolute favorite sweet treat,” says Della Gossett, executive pastry chef at Spago Beverly Hills. “In my variation, crunchy peppermint candy nicely balances the pillowy marshmallow filling.”
Molasses Thumbprints with Cajeta
“The cajeta filling for these cookies was a natural twist at a Mexican restaurant,” says pastry chef Ivan Arturo Marquez of Broken Spanish. “I also like the play of the sweet goat-milk caramel, slightly bitter molasses and sharp candied ginger.”
Raspberry Linzer Bars
Della Gossett’s linzer bars are a sturdier version of her Austrian-born boss Wolfgang Puck’s adored but delicate cookies. “I added rye flour for an earthy taste,” she says, “and I turned them into bars so they hold up for a cookie swap.”
Spiced Italian Pecan Meringues
“Don’t judge the taste of these cookies by the crags and cracks,” says sous-chef Merrin Mae Gray of L.A.’s Rossoblu. (Their Italian name is brutti ma buoni, “ugly but good.”) The pecans and potent grappa are unexpectedly elegant, and the crisp outsides and chewy centers make these meringues seriously addictive.
Christmas Morning Biscotti
Merrin Mae Gray is Filipina, not Italian, but she really connects with Italy’s soulful food: “These biscotti spiced with cocoa nibs and anise seeds are my Italian interpretation of biskotso, a twice-baked cookie I grew up eating with hot chocolate.”
In her quest to re-create the quintessential flavor of her grandmother’s butter cookies, Roxana Jullapat, chef-owner of Friends & Family, came up with these unique cookies that get nutty, caramel-like notes from the wheatlike grain einkorn.
Matcha Tea Marshmallow Crispy Treats
Ted Hopson is generally not a cookie fan, but he loves Rice Krispies Treats. “And I especially like this nontraditional combo of tannic, floral green tea and subtly sweet white chocolate,” says the executive chef and co-owner of The Bellwether.