Spiced Mulled Wine Fruit Bars
Joy Wilson, cookbook author and founder of the popular blog Joy the Baker, says these easy holiday cookie bars have her vote for “Updated Fruitcake You Actually Want To Eat.” A press-in shortbread crust holds dried fruit that’s been steeped and plumped up in red wine and spices. Some of the crust dough is reserved to become the crumble topping, making these bars simple to prepare and impressive to share.
Brown Butter and Pecan Sandy Shortbreads
We’ve stepped up the classic pecan sandies by adding brown butter, which lends a note of nuttiness that makes a perfect match for the pecans in the dough. A final drizzle of melted dark chocolate and a sprinkling of crushed pecans take these shortbread cookies over the top. They’re just the thing to have on hand when guests stop by during the holidays. Just be sure to stash some away for yourself!
Peppermint Bark Chip Cookies
These festive cookies are made with Peppermint Bark Baking Chips, a special 25th anniversary version of Williams Sonoma’s signature holiday treat, Peppermint Bark. Like the iconic original, the chips feature layers of peppermint-infused semisweet chocolate and creamy white chocolate, and a snowfall of crushed peppermint candies adds a colorful finishing touch. For an extra boost of Peppermint Bark flavor, the chips are mixed into the batter, and they also grace the tops of each cookie.
Chocolate Hazelnut Stars
Perfect for festive holiday gatherings! Cocoa powder is blended into the dough, then the baked cookies are sandwiched together with a rich filling of chocolate hazelnut spread. We use a clever trick to create the checkboard pattern—place a wire cooling rack on top of the cookies, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. Be sure to use Dutch process cocoa powder for this recipe; it has been alkalinized, which produces a smoother taste and darker color than regular natural cocoa.
Sugar Cookies with Jam
A dollop of jam transforms simple sugar cookies into colorful holiday treats. The recipe calls for red currant jam, but feel free to swap in whatever flavor you like. To create tree-shaped cookies that make festive decorations as well as welcome gifts, see the tip at the end of the recipe.
Marbled Holiday Cookies
These colorful treats are just the thing for cookie exchanges and gifting to family and friends. The marbling effect is really quite easy to achieve with a few drops of red food coloring plus some rolling and folding of the dough. The color of your egg yolks will affect the shade of the plain dough; deeper yellow yolks impart a richer color. The fun thing about marbling is that it comes out a bit differently every time—there’s no wrong way to do it!