Christmas Cookie Extravaganza

When I was young, every year, my mum and her best friend would turn our family kitchen into the most extravagant Christmas cookie workshop you can imagine. For one weekend before Christmas, the entire house would be covered in tons of flour and the most delicious smell of freshly baked cookies. They would make countless different kinds of cookies and so many of them that we would live off cookies not just throughout Christmas time but also through half of January. This tradition has unfortunately been lost over the years, but I can’t actually blame my mum for that because baking that many cookies is just way too much work. Nevertheless, cookie baking is still a pretty big thing in my family and we always manage to bake a few boxes of cookies for Christmas.

This year I have chosen four of my favourite cookie recipes to share with you. The first one is the ultimate Austrian classic, the Vanilla Crescents. This recipe is my family’s recipe that I veganized a couple of years ago. The next is a rather new one that I came up with, a delicious Rosemary Shortbread cookie dipped in Chocolate. Because that combination is definitely one of my favourites. Then I made some Amaretto Coconut Balls, because: Amaretto and Chocolate! And finally some yummy Caramel and Almond Squares, just in case you didn’t get enough sugar.

Vanilla Crescents

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 420g all propose flour
  • 210g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 210g sugar
  • 340g vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • pinch salt

Coat:

  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 85g icing sugar
  • 85g ground almonds

 

Method:

  1. Add all of the ingredients for the dough into a large bowl, except for the butter, and combine well. With a hand mixer slowly add the butter.
  2. Mix until the mixtures forms a dough. Knead the dough with your hands until it’s smooth. Wrap the dough in foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is chilling mix together the ingredients for the coat.
  4. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and cut in half. Put one half back into the fridge and cut the other into even pieces and shape the crescent cookies. Once you are done take the second half and repeat the process.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes.
  7. After the cookies are done immediately coat the hot cookies with the almond-sugar mixture. Set coated cookies aside to cool. ENJOY!

Amaretto Coconut Balls

Ingredients:

  • 350g dark vegan chocolate (70% or more)
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 8 tbsp Amaretto
  • 200g ground hazelnuts
  • 125g vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 100g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Cut the chocolate into small chunks and place it in a food processor and pulse until the chocolate turns into a coarse meal.
  2. Add the chocolate and the all of the remaining ingredients, except for the coconut into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until everything blends together.
  3. Place the batter in the fridge to chill for about 1 hour.
  4. Now form little balls, about 2 tsp worth of batter, with your hands and roll them in the desiccated coconut.

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary
  • a pinch of vanilla
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups of flour

Coat:

  • 100g of dark vegan chocolate (70% or more)
  • 1/4 cup of ground hazelnuts

Method:

  1. Add the butter, icing sugar, rosemary, salt & vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix.
  2. Gradually add the flour while mixing. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 mins.
  4. Then preheat the oven to 160°C.
  5. Take half of the dough and roll it out between 2 pieces of parchment with a rolling pin. You do this so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.
  6. Cut out as many cookies with the cookie cutter of your choice and repeat this process with the remaining dough.
  7. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Let the cookies cool completely and in the meantime melt the chocolate.
  9. Dip the cookies into the chocolate and sprinkle with the hazelnuts, then let the chocolate harden.

Caramel & Almond Squares

Ingredients:

  • 400g of sugar
  • 4 tsp of water
  • 80g of vegan butter
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)
  • 150g of almond flakes
  • 100g of dark vegan chocolate (70% or more)

Method:

  1. Heat the sugar and the water on the stove and caramelize. You can use high heat, but make sure the sugar doesn’t burn.
  2. In the meantime toast the almond flakes and then toss in cinnamon.
  3. Once the sugar has turned into an amber colour quickly stir in the butter and the almond flakes and spread everything out very thinly on a baking tray lined with parchment. Let it harden for about 1 hour.
  4. Then melt the chocolate and cut the almond caramel into little squares and dip them in chocolate.

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