The week after Thanksgiving, Monkey Boy asked me, “Mommy, is Thanksgiving over?” “Yes,” I answered. He jumped up and down and shouted, “That means it’s Cookie Season!”
A boy after my own heart.
In the spirit of Cookie--ahem--Christmas Season, we’re sharing our top five favorite Christmas cookies (with input from the whole family), and we hope you will share yours, too. Here they are in no particular order just because it would be very hard to choose the top favorite.
Making gingerbread cookies goes back to Michael’s family, and we began making gingerbread houses with our boys when they were very young. Then we tried making a gingerbread Christmas tree one year because it was a little more stable—no toppling walls—and the boys adored it. A new tradition was born. We like to make the tree on Christmas Eve and use it as a centerpiece for Christmas Day.
These traditional almond cookies from Italy, called florentines, have a light, lacy texture and a hint of orange flavor. The drizzle of chocolate makes them particularly festive and one of my favorite cookies.
Pizzelles are one of Michael’s favorite cookies and now are a family favorite. These are a nod to his Italian heritage, a chocolate version that we started making a few years ago.
Spritz cookies are an old-fashioned favorite, one that kind of fell out of fashion for a while, probably due to a reputation as a dry, flavorless cookie meant just for the kids. My version is made with cream cheese and a bit of citrus zest to brighten the flavor. Our boys enjoy helping press and decorate the cookies every year.
And finally, these mocha toffee bars are a rather recent favorite, one that we started making a couple years ago. It’s a super easy cookie that is a crowd pleaser, a simple espresso-flavored shortbread crust with a layer of melted chocolate chips and topped with chopped roasted cashews. I often catch Michael with his hands in this cookie tin.