Recipe: Christmas Cookies Three Ways

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Tomorrow on Good Food, independent producer Sasa Woodruff tells the story of her mother’s epic Christmas Cookies. Growing up Sasa’s mother spent from Thanksgiving until Christmas with the oven on and butter on the counter making dozen after dozen. The recipes were handed down from Sasa’s grandmother who never wrote the recipes down, but knew the cookies from memory and by feel. Keep reading for three of her Christmas Cookie recipes…


2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup (200 grams) sweet unsalted butter
2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar
3/4 cup (80 grams) finely ground pecans or 1 cup (80 grams) finely ground walnuts
1 envelope Dr Oetker vanillin sugar

Mix all ingredients on a board until it forms into a smooth ball. Roll a portion into a sheet that is about 4mm thick. Use flour on both sides to prevent sticking. Cut out crescents either with a crescent cutting form or with successive cuts with a 5cm rim wine glass. Place crescents on a baking sheet. Place into an oven preheated to 335 degrees F. Bake until each cookie begins to turn to a golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Use a spatula to place cookies on a cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature. While the cookies are cooling, prepare sugar 2 cups granulated in a blender. Add 2 envelopes Dr Oetker vanillin sugar. Blend this until the sugar is fine. Pour this fine sugar onto a rimed tray. Immerse the cookies in the sugar so that each side is coated. Store in a cool place.


2 1/3 cups (300grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup (200 grams) sweet unsalted butter
3/4 cup (100 grams) powdered sugar
3 Egg yolks

Place all of the above on a large cutting board. Cut, blend and kneed until this forms a coherent ball. Take a workable portion and roll out to about 4mm thick. Use a decorative cookie cutter to cut out a series of cookies. Using the same cutter, now fitted with a center cutting device, to cut out a matching series of cookies with decorative holes in middle. After baking these will be fitted together to form the finished cookie. Bake tops and bottoms on separate baking sheets. They are baked separately because usually the cookie with the hole in the middle takes less baking time. Bake at 350 degrees until light golden brown-about 8 to 11 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack. The 2 parts of the cookie are now mated together by taking the whole cookie without the hole in the middle and spreading it with red currant jelly and then placing the part with the hole on top of this. Sprinkle the finished cookie with powdered sugar.


4 1/2 cups (560 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
1 3/4 cups (400 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar
2 cups (180 grams) finely ground blanched almonds,
4 egg yolks
1 envelope Dr Oetker vanillin sugar

On a cutting board cut, blend and kneed into a coherent ball. Take a workable portion and roll out into a sheet about 4 mm thick. Cut the cookies into rectangles 3.8cm by 5.8cm. Now coat each with with beaten egg using a fine flexible brush. Each cookie can be decorated with a peeled almond half or two if desired.  Bake on a baking sheet until a light golden brown.
The ratio of these sides is about 1.6, a dimension used in much Greek and Italian architecture. It was considered to be the perfect ratio.