Holiday Gems 24.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

These are light and not too sweet, with just a hint of festive candied fruit.

Make Ahead: The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

24 cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup candied red and green cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup candied citrus peel, chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup coarse sanding sugar, for rolling and coating


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, anise seed and salt on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.

Combine the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium-high speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

On low speed, add the egg and then the egg yolk, making sure to stop and scrape down the bowl after each addition.

Turn the mixer speed to low, add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add the candied fruit and the orange zest, and mix to fully distribute.

Put the sanding sugar in a small bowl.

Divide the dough into 24 equal portions, rolling each one between your palms into a ball, then coat the ball in the sanding sugar. Place the balls on the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Use your hand to slightly flatten each one. Bake one sheet at a time (middle rack) for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned yet firm to the touch.

Transfer to a wire rack (on the baking sheet) to cool completely.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Butter Celebrates!: Delicious Recipes for Special Occasions," by Rosie Daykin (Appetite by Random House, 2016).

Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.

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