By Elizabeth Bonner
Of all the traditions that come with the holidays, making Christmas cookies may just be the sweetest. From childhood memories of preparing treats with parents and grandparents to growing up and passing along festive favorites to the next generation, there’s something about baking goodies that adds to the magic of the season.
That’s what the writers of Christmas Cookies to Make and Bake seek to capture in their compilation of more than 25 creative confections to add to your December repertoire. Divided into four distinctive sections—Decorations, Festive Fun, Edible Gifts, and Traditions—this cookbook has something for every baker: the novice and the expert, the innovator and the traditionalist, and even those who are just in it for the fellowship and the tasty final products.
Clever novelties mix with classics like delectable sugar cookies and gingerbread, but many of these customary concoctions are presented in new ways. Along with familiar flavors, readers will find intriguing twists with international roots in recipes like British Christmas Puddings, Scottish Cardamom Shortbread, German Lebkuchen, and Italian Florentines. Amid the global assemblage, Southern influence can be seen in selections like Chestnut-Choc-Chip Cookies, Spiced Brown Sugar & Clementine Stars, and even a chocolate gingerbread sweetened with molasses.
The book offers helpful tutorials for packaging cookies as pretty gifts, and inspiration abounds for incorporating the confections into holiday décor. Stained Glass Cookies are perfect for hanging in window displays, with their intricate snowflake shape and jewellike centers made from crushed hard candies. Holly Jolly Wreaths add a hospitable touch to place settings when tied to napkins with red ribbon.