Christmas, Desserts

Christmas cookies

Christmas cookies

This is made possible by BBC Foods!


For the cookie dough

  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 110g/3¾oz unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 110g/3¾oz light brown sugar
  • 110g/3¾oz caster sugar
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the almond and cherry variation

  • 80g/3oz marzipan, chopped into small chunks
  • 100g/3½oz maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
  • 30g/1oz flaked almonds

For the ginger and chocolate variation

  • 150g/5½oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 80g/3oz crystallised ginger, finely chopped, plus extra for decorating

For the white chocolate, pistachio and orange variation

  • 175g/6oz white chocolate, chopped
  • 100g/3½oz pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1 orange, zest only, grated, plus extra for decorating


  1. To make the cookie dough, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.

  2. Place the butter and sugars in a separate large bowl and, using an electric hand-held mixer, beat together for about 5 minutes until light.

  3. Add the egg, beating until fully combined, then briefly mix in the vanilla.

  4. Add the flour mixture and mix just until a dough is formed.

  5. At this point, divide the dough into 3 equal quantities for the separate variations.

  6. To make the almond and cherry variation, stir in the marzipan, cherries and almonds until combined.

  7. To make the ginger and chocolate variation, set aside a third of the dark chocolate for decoration.

  8. Stir the remaining chocolate and chopped crystallised ginger into the dough until combined.

  9. To make the white chocolate, pistachio and orange variation, set aside 100g of the white chocolate for decoration and 20g of the pistachios.

  10. Stir the remaining white chocolate, the pistachios and the orange zest into the dough until combined.

    1. Chill the dough for 48 hours before baking.

  11. This process helps the flour to hydrate and makes for a better tasting cookie that is more likely to caramelise as it bakes.

  12. You can skip this process but the dough will still need refrigerating for a few hours so that it can be rolled into balls and will bake without spreading too much.

  13. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper. Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form balls of dough.

  14. Place onto the prepared baking trays, leaving 2.5–5cm between each cookie.

  15. Bake, in batches of six, for about 18 minutes or until golden around the edges but still slightly pale in the middle.

  16. Leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  17. To decorate the ginger and chocolate variation, melt the remaining dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave on a low heat.

  18. Stir until smooth, then drizzle over the top of the cookies. Sprinkle the cookies with more finely chopped crystallised ginger and allow to cool.

  19. To decorate the white chocolate, pistachio and orange variation, line a tray with baking paper.

  20. Melt the remaining white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water or in the microwave on a low heat.

  21. Stir until smooth, then dip the cookies halfway into the white chocolate. Place on the lined tray and sprinkle over finely chopped pistachios and orange zest.

    1. Allow to cool before removing from the tray.

Banner and Image Credit: BBC

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