Seems at Christmas we end up making all kinds of cookies. This is one cookie that I’ve had at Christmas for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my dad made these every year. We called them “Greek Christmas Cookies,” but we’ve been making them so long, no one remembers WHY. In fact, I asked my dad where this recipe came from – was it handed down in our family?
Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember where the recipe came from. It is not a family heirloom recipe (although, now, it may be as I’m the second generation making them). He told me he tried the recipe a long time ago and liked them, so he made them every year. Well, that’s about the best we are going to do on the history of these. Let me know if you have any ideas….
For this post, I’m calling these “Christmas Spice Cookies” because that’s what they make me think of, plus they have a cherry on top! What’s not to like? After they cool, they harden and get crunchy.
The dough does not have much liquid – only the butter and 1 egg yolk. When you are getting the dough together, you do have to work it until it combines and stays together. Then I scoop them out and cook them.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.
Christmas Spice Cookies
Yield: About 45 cookies
1 Cup Unsalted Butter
2 Cups All-purpose Flour (10 1/2 ounces)
2 Cups Powdered Sugar (8 3/4 ounces)
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 1/2 cups raw almonds (8 1/2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind almonds until fine. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, flour and sugar until smooth.
Add the other ingredients and mix well. Once well mixed, remove the dough from the mixer and knead until it comes together.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a small scoop, shape dough into small balls. Place balls on sheet pan. Place 1/2 of a candied cherry in the middle of each ball and press it in.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-19 minutes, until lightly browned on bottom. Cookies will still be very soft and pliable. Remove cookie sheet from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool until the cookies harden. Move to a cooling rack and all to cool completely. The cookies will harden a little more as the cool.