Sunday, December 9

US Western: Christmas Cookies from Around the World 2007

Cookies are flying in fast. Click the map to see where they are coming from. Click here to view all of the cookies.

Submit your cookies from Western USA, and you might win a copy of Sherry Yard's new cookbook. See details here.

Would you like to participate? See details here. You have until Dec. 24th.

Mansi of Fun Food from California, USA. Mansi offers a classic cookie with a twist--a citrus twist. She has baked aromatic orange zest and vanilla essence into her Chocolate-Dipped Orange Madeleines. So, what do Mary Magdelen, the French Revolution, and Madeleines have in common? You'll just have read Mansi's post to find out. Now, what's the only thing better than chocolate chunks in cookies? Marshmallows and chocolate chunks. That's why Mansi shares a recipe for Marshmallow Chocolate Mud Cookies. Just make sure that you have some cold milk to wash down these deliciously chubby, chewy cookies.

Michelle of Scribbit from Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Michelle offers us easy to bake yet elegant Praline Cookies, or as Michelle's daughter Grace calls them, "Praline Maria Cookies." I'm a Sound of Music fan, so that just warmed my heart. For an added Christmas touch, you can sprinkle them with snowy white powdered sugar before serving.

Michelle of Scribbit from Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Michelle offers another cookie recipe that kids (and adults) will adore: Snicker Cookies. Unlike Snickerdoodles, those delicious cinnamon sugar treats, these cookies have actual chunks of chocolate-y, nutty, caramel-y Snickers bars in them!

Debra of Subtle Nuances from Plano, Texas. Get your ginger fix with these Chewy Gingerbread Cookies, made with pieces of spicy crystallized ginger and crunchy Macadamia nuts. Debra's home was warmed with the spicy aromas of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, and her heart was warmed by the compliment she received from her boyfriend's father who enjoyed her cookies.

Stephanie of Cupcake, My Love from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Stephanie is ready for the holidays and has been baking up a storm of traditional Christmas cookies, including these adorable Snowflake and Snowmen Sugar Cookies. The only problem is, Stephanie feels guilty biting off the heads of the snowmen. It hasn't stopped her--the icing is too irresistible.

Kristen of Dine and Dish from Shawnee, Kansas, USA. Kristen loves traditions, and she loves to bake. Gingerbread men are one of her favorite holiday baking traditions, and this year, she is sharing the best gingerbread recipe she has ever seen: Sandi's Gingerbread Man Cookies. Made with Karo Syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon, these little guys are as sweet as they are cute.

Manisha of Indian Food Rocks from Colorado, USA. Manisha presents a special recipe for Nankatai, a treat that made her Diwali celebration extra special this year. Made with ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg, these cookies will fill your home with the warm fragrances of the winter season. To learn more about these "golden powdery ghee-laden Indian cookies," check out Manisha's post.

Susan of Food Blogga from San Diego, California, USA. I'm sharing my all-time favorite Christmas cookie recipe for Hello Dolly Cookie Bars. These gooey, chewy, chocolate-y, nutty cookies are so outrageously addictive that my mom would often make extra batches because we'd eat too many of them before we assembled our Christmas cookie trays.

Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms from Northern California, USA. Elle offers us chunky, chewy, nutty, chocolate-y Chocablocks from the ultimate baker, Dorie Greenspan. Who wouldn't love these cookies made from dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and coconut? I wish I worked with Elle -- she's bringing a batch to her office holiday party this week.

Carrie of Carrie's Cooking Adventures from The Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA. Carrie shares her Peanut Butter Delights (stacked above) which are her all-time favorite Christmas cookies. Made from Ritz crackers, peanut butter, and almond bark, I'm almost afraid to make them, as they must be addictive. Well, not that afraid. Previously known as "ritz peanut butter things," Carrie renamed them for this event. No matter what you call them Carrie, I'm sure they won't last long.

Sylvie of Soul Fusion Kitchen from Los Angeles, California, USA. Although Sylvie has many adorable cookie cutters, including Christmas bells and snowmen, she didn't have one that "shouted snowflake." So off she went to the kitchen gadget store, and aren't you glad she did? Now we can gaze at her beautifully decorated and uniquely colored No Fail Sugar Cookie snowflakes.

Denise of Chez Denise et Laudalino from San Fransisco, California, USA. Denise shares a traditional French cookie with us: Macarons. Denise used a rich, traditional Italian buttercream filling combined with dark chocolate or with festive peppermint-y crushed candy canes. She recently brought a prettily wrapped package to a Christmas Cookie Swap, where I'm sure the recipient of her macarons was thrilled.

Tempered Woman of Tempered Woman from St. Louis Missouri, USA. First they were her mom's #1 Christmas cookie, now they're her #1. These Cream Cheese Christmas Squares are soft, chewy, and positively merry when topped with a red or green candied cherry. Check out her blog for a chocolate version too.

Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi from Northwestern, USA. Sadly, Bee and Jai never had a cookie they loved. Until now, that is. They are smitten with a recipe for nutty, crispy Ricciarelli (Tuscan Almond Cookies with Orange and Fennel), which would convert any non-cookie-lover.

Eliza of Notes from My Food Diary from Oregon, USA. Eliza brought her Chocolate Thumbprints to a cookie exchange last week. Can you imagine the recipient's look of delight when presented with Elizabeth's cookies? These chewy, nutty, gooey treats are chock full of pecans and cocoa powder. The only problem is you won't be able to stop at one. Or two. Maybe three, but don't count on it.

Vineela Krishna of Vineela's Cuisine from Burbank, California, USA. Vineela shares a recipe for exotic Avocado Dry Fruits Nuts Biscotti made from creamy avocado, earthy pistachios and pecans, and a medley of tangy-sweet dried fruit. These festively colored and aromatic biscotti would be lovely on a Christmas cookie platter or with a cup of afternoon tea.

Wandering Chopsticks of Wandering Chopsticks from Southern California, USA. What do you get when you add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses to the Original Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie? Slight Spiced Molasses Cookies.

Mansi of Fun Food from California, USA. Mansi shares a recipe for Peppermint and Vanilla Butter Cookies. Flavored with aromatic vanilla and a hint of peppermint extract, these merriest of cookies will please everyone at your Christmas table.

Chelsea of Rolling in Dough from Denver, Colorado, USA. Since her family is Swedish, Chelsea could make any number of classic Swedish cookies for Christmas. However, she has decided to continue her grandmother's tradition of baking Spritz--light, sweet, buttery cookies that she festively decorates with colored candy sprinkles. Fortunately, Chelsea persevered the annual battle with her cookie press and is sharing her recipe and beautiful cookies with us today.

Remya of Spices and Flavours from Seattle, Washington. Though she likes the many varieties of American cookies she has found since moving to the US, Remya's favorite cookie is Nankatai, a traditional Indian shortbread cookie. Remya loves both sweet and savory Nankatai, but is sharing a recipe for buttery, sweet, vanilla flavored Nankatai that are beautifully garnished with almonds.

Peabody of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody from North of Seattle, Washington, USA. When I think of Seattle, I think of Starbucks. Now I'll think of Peabody too. Inspired by her love for the candy, Almond Roca (another Seattle culinary treasure), Peabody created cookies that have it all-- Candy Cane Roca Cookies. They are satisfyingly chewy and chock full of crunchy pieces of rich chocolate toffee and tingly candy canes. Sound addictive? They are.

Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine from Arizona, USA. Food Hunter's mom always had a strict no-eating-Christmas-cookies-until-Christmas policy in their house. To get around this, Food Hunter started helping her mom bake. Ironically, it's her mom who now wants to nibble on the cookies before Christmas. But it sounds like she'll just have to wait to enjoy these merrily decorated Butter Cookies.

Nemmie of Cast Sugar from Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Nemmie feels bad. She tried desperately to think of the "perfect" cookie to submit, but after a particularly hard day, decided to go with an old stand-by: Molasses Cookies. Nemmie need not feel bad at all. These cookies do what Christmas cookies are supposed to do: evoke memories of family, make you feel warm inside, and bring a little cheer to those who enjoy them. Well, Nemmie, looks like you chose the "perfect" cookie after all.

Mandy of Fresh From the Oven from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Mandy recently baked her first Christmas cookies of the season. I think she's going to run into a problem: How will she ever top these two cookies? Mandy's first mouth-watering recipe is for Hot Chocolate Cookies. Not only are they made with Godiva hot chocolate cocoa mix, but they are also topped with a pillowy marshmallow and drizzled with chocolate. Oh, my.

If you think Mandy's Coffee Hazelnut Cookies couldn't get better, think again. She dipped them in chocolate ganache for guests the other night. Which version would you prefer? Mandy says, "I think I like the version with ganache better." Uh. Ye--ah.

Alanna of A Veggie Venture from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. If you haven't yet found the "perfect" cookie you've been searching for, then call off the search. Alanna shares her friend Kathy's recipe for Perfect M & M Cookies. They're so satisfyingly chocolate-y and chewy that Kathy's been bringing them to the same Christmas cookie exchange for 15 years. The other ladies won't let her bring anything else!

Megan of Megans Cookin from Redding, California, USA. Want a cookie that has it all? Then make Megan's recipe for Chocolate Truffle Cookies. These scrumptious treats have a trio of chocolate in them: bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa. These truffles are just what you need for a quick chocolate fix.

Amanda of Slow Like Honey from Sacramento, California. Amanda has made a confession: she was an avid fan of The Spice Girls, especially fiesty Ginger. (Hey, cut her some slack, she was in the 5th grade). Amanda has outgrown her love for the Spice Girls but not for spicy cookies, which is why she shares a recipe for crunchy, sweet Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies.

Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine from Arizona, USA. Food Hunter is in charge of the holiday cookie baking so she gets to select all the cookies. (Now that's a cool job.) This year she added a recipe for simple-to-make and simply delicious Cinnamon Cookies. With cookies like these, I don't think she'll be losing her job any time soon.

Kate of Kate in the Kitchen from Minnesota, USA. Dear Kate has been recuperating from nasal surgery, so you can imagine that eating hasn't been all that enjoyable. December, however, means it's time to bake Christmas cookies and Christmas cookies mean L-O-V-E in Kate's house. There's a lot of love going on in Kate's house since she is presenting of trio of treats. Kate's first beautifully named Church Window Cookies are chocolate and marshmallow cookies that resemble stained glass when you bite into them. (OK, Kate says you may have to squint a bit.)

Kate has always adored her mom's date bread, so she was thrilled to find a cookie recipe for Date-Nut Pinwheels. A little chewy, a little gooey, and a lotta sweet.

Kate's creamy, rich Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies are like eating mini-cheesecakes. Yes, mini-cheesecakes. Need I say more?

Judy of Judy's Gross Eats from Ventura, California, USA. Though Judy likes to "audition" a few new Christmas cookies recipes every year, she wanted to share a real winner with us: her Springerle fits the bill deliciously. These delicate cookies are laced with anise flavor and lemon zest, and most especially, rolled out with her mother's original decoratively carved rolling pin.

Elly of Elly Says Opa! from Chicago, Illinois, USA. Everything's better with butter. It's true. That's why Elly's Greek Kourambiedes are so delectably moist and rich. They're made with a lot of pure, unadulterated, satisfying butter. With crushed almonds baked inside and a shot of ouzo or brandy, these cookies will be a hit at any holiday party.

Liz of Food Snobbery from St.Paul, Minnesota, USA. Liz is feeling a little baked out right now--she made four huge batches of Christmas cookies this past Sunday. Lucky for us, she is sharing the recipe for the best of them all: her Cranberry Pistachio Lime Shortbread. These shortbread cookies have an intriguing combination of flavors and with red cranberries and green pistachios they are positively merry.

Janelle of Talk of Tomatoes from Seattle, Washington, USA. What child doesn't love cereal, marshmallows, and fantastically colored food? So they will be tickled to see these festive Wreath Cookies with "Red Hot" holly berries on your Christmas cookie platter this year. Made with Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, and green food coloring, these cookies are as delicious to make as they are to eat.

Laurie of Tastes Like Home from Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without Torrone, the Italian nougat candy. However, after seeing Laurie's recipe for Christmas Nougat Cookies, I think I'll be saying that Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without Laurie's-better-than-Torrone nougat cookies. It may be wordier, but it's true.

Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine from Arizona, USA. Every Christmas, the children in Food Hunter's family eagerly anticipated her grandmother's Sponge Cookies. In fact, they would stand next to the stove, candy sprinkles in hand, just waiting to decorate them. So it's natural that Food Hunter makes these cookies every year and remembers her grandmother with love.

Jaime of Good Eats' Sweet Treats from Dallas, Texas, USA. Jaime just moved up on Santa's "nice" list. You can too by making her recipe for Santa Claus Sugar Cookies. With a fluffy coconut beard, Santa has never looked so jolly.

If you really want to score some brownie points with Santa in a hurry, then make Jamie's Rudolph's Christmas Sugar Cookies too. The pretzel antlers take a little bit of effort, but just think how grateful Santa will be when he sees them.

I think Mrs. Claus will be pleased to nibble on Jaime's elegant Almond Crescent Cookies. These light, buttery, nutty flavored cookies will only be enhanced by dipping them in rich chocolate, like Jaime did.

If you're feeling indulgent, then save yourself a trip to the mall. Skip the clothes or the perfume and treat yourself to Jaime's sinfully decadent Cookie Dough Truffles. Drizzle them with creamy white chocolate and these truffles are simply irresistible.

Katie of Salt and Chocolate from Aurora, Illinois, USA. What could be better than oh-so-sweet cinnamon scented Snickerdoodles? Spiral Snickerdoodles. Better watch out, the kids are really gonna gobble these up in a hurry.

Tricia from The Endless Pursuit of Life Corvallis, Oregon, USA. After baking with her children, Tricia wanted a cookie to bake all for herself. Her choice: Cherry Snowballs. When you bite into one of these fluffy coconut-covered cookies you discover a candied red maraschino cherry inside. Tricia offers us a caveat: these mildly sweet cookies are deceptively addictive. You shouldn't take her word for it; instead, I'd suggest baking a batch (or two) for yourself.

Susan of Food Blogga from San Diego, California, USA. I'm sharing my second favorite Christmas cookie recipe for Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons. I don't know which I love better: the fact that these cookies are so ridiculously easy to make or that they're so ridiculously delicious. OK, the latter. Chocolate and coconut trumps everything.

Mythreyee Paajaka from Cupertino, California, USA. Mythreyee shares a recipe for a traditional cookie made in a unique way: Eggless Butter Cookies. Whether it's for health or personal reasons, sometimes you want a tasty treat that is made without eggs. Now you have one, thanks to Mythreyee.

Maya of All about Konkan from Texas, USA. What do you make when you have to bake cookies without frosting, icing, nuts, or too much sugar? Oh, and they have to make an entire elementary school class happy too. The answer: Maya's playful Cookies with Marble Effect. They come in a rainbow of colors and will put a smile on any student's (or teacher's) face.

Cindy of bands-aids required! from Seattle, Washington, USA. Cindy did what many of us are doing with 48 hours left until Christmas: falling back on never-fail cookie recipes. Her delightfully named Pummies (they're made with pumpkin) are easy-to-make and remarkably versatile. You can add anything from chocolate chips to crystallized ginger in these goodies, and they'll only taste better.

Amy of Nook and Pantry from Seattle, Washington, USA had a Twelve Days of Cookies at her site. Here is a delicious sampling of her baked goodies. To kick off her twelves days, Amy made blond colored White Chocolate Cashew Macadamia Butter Cookies made with rich and creamy cashew macadamia nut butter.

For a truly decadent treat, you must make Amy's dulce de leche filled Alfajores.

Add some sparkle to your cookie tray with Amy's Brown Sugar Cookies topped with raw sugar crystals.

Looking for the Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever? Amy's are baked with chocolate chips and tart dried cherries.

For a perfect Christmas time biscotti recipe, try Amy's sweet-tart Orange Cranberry Biscotti.

Amy saved the best for the last: Butterfinger Chocolate Chip Cookies. Yup, real Butterfinger candy pieces are baked inside of chewy chocolate chip cookies. Oh, my.

Apu of Annarasa from USA. Though Apu enjoys trying new cookie recipes at Christmas time, this year she turned to her tried-and-true recipes. As she was flipping through the pages, she was overwhelmed with beautiful memories of school time friends and baking with her Mum. So she's sharing her favorite cookie of all with us: Cinnamon Chocolate Swirls. Baking these cookies will make lovely memories for you as well.

We all have one or two (hopefully not more). Despite our most valiant efforts, there is nothing we can do to stop it from happening. Cravings. For Karyn, it's nuts. Any kind of nuts. So she created nuttylicious (yes, I just made that up) Snazzy Snowballs made with cashews, walnuts, and almonds; add some dried fruit and roll them in snowy coconut, and you have the nuttiest Christmas cookie ever.

Lalaine of The Cookmobile from Norwalk, California, USA. I'd much rather receive a delightfully packaged box of homemade cookies than an ordinary sweater or gift card. Lalaine agrees; that's why she is giving lovingly baked homemade treats to friends this year. No doubt her rich and creamy Lemon Delights will bring a smile to the recipients' faces. Made with lemon and cream cheese, they're like eating mini-cheesecakes.

Suganya of Tasty Palettes from the Southwest, USA. If you're still searching for a fast and easy cookie recipe to make in the remaining wee hours of the day, then try these deeply chocolate-y Chocolate Chews that can be made and popped in the oven in 15 minutes.

Betherann of Muffin Love from Western Montana, USA. Betherann wanted to create a sweet recipe that included pistachios, pomegranate seeds, and mint. She succeeded beautifully: her crunchy, festively colored Biscotti Feste are ideal for a Christmastime treat.

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