Welcome to LunaCafe’s 3rd annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies celebration. I’m so excited to share this year’s Silver Bells collection with you. The song by the same name puts me in a baking mood, especially when sung by this crooner.
The symbol of the bell is rich is meaning across almost all cultures. Ringing of bells is said to bring good fortune and bliss, and I hope these fragrant, buttery, spicy, crisp, and hopefully surprising cookies will bring the same to you and yours this holiday season.
I’ve been covered in flour for weeks developing this year’s collection. The OtherWorldly Kitchen will need five of Santa’s best elves to rescue it from its current chaos. Counters are stacked with cookie cutters, baking sheets, cooling racks, rolls of parchment paper, sprinkles, stencils, spatulas, and cookie tins. Luster and fine sanding sugar cover every surface. There’s a pervasive smell of warm ginger spice (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) in the air and in my hair.
And as I swear every year about this time, “I will never ever bake another Christmas cookie again—ever.” But of course by February, I forget the labor and remember only the love. And by March, I am dreaming of next year’s cookies.
This year, I’m walking the line between tradition and innovation. My main objective, besides spectacular taste and festive appeal, is to expand my repetoire with flavor profiles I haven’t given much attention to in the past, such as evocative spice blends (Baharat, Chinese five spice, gingerbread spice), espresso, dark chocolate, cinnamon-hot, coconut, pecans, mint, and peanuts. And to tackle a couple of new shaping and stenciling techniques.
Beginning December 2nd, I will post daily until the list is complete on or around December 13th. That’s the plan anyway.
If you bake along, one cookie a day, you will have a wonderful selection of unusual, distinctive, and supremely delicious holiday cookies to share with family and friends, with time to spare to enjoy all the wonders of this most magical season.
Here’s what I’ll be baking over the next 2 weeks:
Season 3: Silver Bells
- Chinese Five Spice Butter Cookies
- Espresso Orange Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Toasted Coconut Bars
- Ginger Spice Stars
- Cinnamon Hot & Orange Shortbread
- Chocolate & Warm Winter Spice Butter Crisps
- Lemon Gingerbread Caramel Bars
- Moon over Tunisia (Baharat) Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Ginger Shortbread
- Toasted Pecan Gems
- Coconut Vanilla Lime Shortbread
- Peppermint Lime Kaleidoscope Cookies
And here’s a recap of Seasons 1 and 2:
Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Deck the Halls
The Season 1 Deck the Halls marathon was all about tradition. Over a few weeks, I baked my way through most of the cookies I had baked every Christmas season for the greater part of my life. I did, however, up the ante for myself a bit by exploring royal icing techniques for the first time, which added a colorful new dimension to two of the cookies. And I explored a few new-to-me cookie ingredients, such as powdered green tea, rose petal extract, and crushed peppermint sticks. But for the most part, the Season 1 cookie collection was tried, true, and traditional.
- Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies
- Candy Cane Butter Cookies
- Decidedly Lemon Teacakes
- Ellen’s Swedish Pepparkakor
- Green Tea & Rose Spritz
- Lemon Orange Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- Lemon-Lime Clove Sugar Cookies
- Lily’s Swedish Vanilla Spritz
- Once in a Chocolate-Spice Moon Cookies
- Orange Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- Peppermint Stick Shortbread
- Toasted Almond Black Cherry Shortbread
Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Starry Night
But you can only bake the same holiday cookie collection for so many years, and for the Season 2 celebration, I threw tradition to the proverbial wind. I baked an all new cookie collection that was more “sophisticated and adult” than I’d ever baked for Christmas before. I used flavors and shaping techniques that were different from my original collection. I also took some risks, as with the Sweet Parmesan Almond Cookies and Douglas Fir and Orange Blossom Cookies. The risk taking paid off, however, as I now consider several of the cookies in this collection to be my absolute, all-time favorites.
- Brown Butter, Toasted Almond & Toffee Shortbread
- Christmas in Provence Cookies
- Comfort & Joy Spice Cookies
- Cornmeal, Black Pepper & Rosemary Butter Cookies
- Cranberry, Pistachio & Candied Ginger Shortbread
- Garam Masala & Candied Ginger Cookies
- Heavenly Brown Butter, Lavender & Lime Cookies
- Merry Maraschino Cherry Cookies
- Mocha Java Hazelnut Cookies
- Rosalyn’s Midwinter Night’s Dream Cookies
- Sweet Parmesan Almond Cookies
- Trim the Christmas Tree & Eat It Too Cookies
Brick & Mortar (Northwest)
- In Good Taste (Portland, 2 stores)
231 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
- Kitchen Kaboodle (Portland, 5 stores)
404 N.W. 23rd Avenue (at Flanders Street)
- SweetWares (Portland)
6306 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, Or 97239
- The Decorette Shop (Portland)
5338 SE Foster Road
Portland, OR 97206
- Cookies (Seattle)
2211 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
- Home Cake Decorating Supply (Seattle)
9514 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
- Mrs. Cooks (Seattle, University Village)
2685 N.E. Village Lane
Seattle WA 98105
- Brown Bag Cookie Stamps
- Cookie Cutters
- Cookie Cutter Snowflake Texture Mats
- Cookie Cutter Texture Mats
- Hardwood Cookie Stamps (love the edge finishes)
- Into the Oven
- JBK Pottery Cookie Stamps
- Fancy Flours
- Fancy Flours Culinary Stencils
- Fancy Flours Cookie Stencils
- India Tree
- Jewel Snowflake Cookie Stencils
- Rycraft Cookie Stamps
- Rycraft Christmas Cookie Stamps (Snowstar, Ice Crystal, Holly Ring)
- The Cookie Cutter Shop
- Wilton Cookie Embosser
- History of Cookies
- The Nibble: The History of Cookies
- Food History: The History of Cookies
I was wondering if you could provide me with the recipe for the green tea heart shaped cookies with Rose spritz
Susan S. Bradley
Here it is Gretchen: https://www.thelunacafe.com/green-tea-rose-spritz/. Happy Baking! 🙂
I miss your cookies in December. Are you doing them this year? Always so inventive and delicious! Happy Holidays Susan!
Susan S. Bradley
Hi Dana! 🙂 I actually created a half dozen or so new Christmas cookies this year but won’t have time to post them this season. We spent all our time on the learning curve to create LunaCafe’s first iBook. It contains twelve of my favorite cookies from The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies posts over 3 years. Whew, what a labor of love. Wishing you a joy-filled and beautiful Christmas on the wind swept Oregon coast.
Feast on the Cheap
Your kitchen is sprinkle heaven! I’ve never seen so many varieties! I’d have gone nuts as a kid…
Susan S. Bradley
I AM a kid. A kid who can buy all the sprinkles in the store. 🙂
An amazing and creative cookie collection. They are absolutely stunning. I can’t help but ask- what’s your favorite one?
Susan S. Bradley
Sarah, I knew someone would ask that. 🙂 I think I have to choose the Moon Over Tunisia Cookies. That spice blend is so evocative. On the other hand, I can’t stop eating the Buttery Toasted Pecan Cookies or the Coconut Lime Cookies or the Ginger Spice Cookies. Oh darn, I can’t choose. 🙂
Okay, you had me at hello. I’m drooling on my keyboard. I remember last years collection. Fabulous! I really liked the Mocha Java Hazelnut Cookies. They were a big hit last year. I am thrilled to try this years tempting delicacies! Cheers my dear~?
Susan S. Bradley
Oh Dana, you are always such a sweetheart! 🙂 Now I’m hoping over to your blog to see what you have been up to. Pumpkin pie. oh yum!