Last year, LunaCafe’s first annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Deck the Halls marathon was all about tradition. Over a few weeks, I baked my way through most of the cookies I have baked every year for the holidays 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, last year’s cookie collection was tried, true, and traditional.
As a reminder, here’s the December 2008 Deck the Halls collection:
- On the 1st day of Christmas: Lily’s Swedish Vanilla Spritz
- On the 2nd day of Christmas: Orange Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- On the 3rd day of Christmas: Decidedly Lemon Teacakes
- On the 4th day of Christmas: Once in a Chocolate-Spice Moon Cookies
- On the 5th day of Christmas: Peppermint Stick Shortbread
- On the 6th day of Christmas: Lemon-Lime Clove Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing
- On the 7th day of Christmas: Toasted Almond Black Cherry Shortbread
- On the 8th day of Christmas: Green Tea and Rose Spritz
- On the 9th day of Christmas: Almond Butter Poinsettia Cookies
- On the 10th day of Christmas: Lemon Orange Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
- On the 11th day of Christmas: Candy Cane Butter Cookies
- On the 12th day of Christmas: Ellen’s Swedish Pepparkakor
But you can only bake the same cookie collection for so long, and this year I am throwing tradition to the proverbial wind. My challenge to myself is to bake an ALL NEW cookie collection that is perhaps a tad more “sophisticated and adult” than I’ve ever baked for Christmas before. And to use flavors and shaping techniques that are different from my original collection. And to push a few flavor boundaries.
I must add that daughter, Rachel Mary Elizabeth, is none too happy about what she describes as this “misguided adventure.” Even though she will be the recipient of dozens of tins of the most delicate, sublime, poetic, all-butter cookies ever, she says I better get to baking a triple batch of her favorite ORANGE VANILLA SUGAR COOKIES WITH BUTTERCREAM ICING—or else. I tell you this in case you have your own tradition hounds who might frown upon all this creative abandon.
Here then is LunaCafe’s all new Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Starry Night collection. Beginning on December 2nd, I will post almost daily until we complete the list on or around December 15th. 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.
- On the 1st day of Christmas: Rosalyn’s Midwinter’s Night Dream Cookies
- On the 2nd day of Christmas: Mocha Java Hazelnut Cookies
- On the 3rd day of Christmas: Christmas in Provence Cookies
- On the 4th day of Christmas: Maraschino Cherry Butter Cookies
- On the 5th day of Christmas: Comfort & Joy Winter Spice Cookies
- On the 6th day of Christmas: Parmesan Almond Cookies
- On the 7th day of Christmas: Cranberry, Pistachio & Ginger Shortbread
- On the 8th day of Christmas: Heavenly Brown Butter, Lavender & Lime Cookies
- On the 9th day of Christmas: Trim the Tree & Eat It Too Butter Cookies
- On the 10th day of Christmas: Garam Masala & Candied Ginger Cookies
- On the 11th day of Christmas: Brown Butter, Toasted Almond & Toffee Shortbread
- On the 12th day of Christmas: Cornmeal, Black Pepper & Rosemary Cookies
But first, you might want to stock up on a few things. If you plan to bake your way through these cookies, you’ll need:
- 10 pounds of unsalted butter (Trader Joes)
- several 5-pound bags of King Arthur’s unbleached flour
- brown sugar
- powdered sugar
- unsulfured molasses
- 1 dozen eggs
- lemons, limes, and oranges
- lemon, lime, and orange oils (or extracts if you can’t locate the oils),
- unsweetened cocoa
- vanilla extract
- almond extract
- maraschino cherries
- sliced almonds
- almond meal (Trader Joes)
- dried shredded coconut
- white chocolate
- dried cranberries
- candied ginger
- Douglas fir tips (from your yard)
- fresh rosemary
- dried lavender
- dried herb de Provence
- instant espresso (preferably Starbuck’s Via Italian roast)
- sanding sugars, sprinkles, and lusters
You’ll also need:
- cookie cutters
- disposable icing bags
- tips and couplings
- offset spatula
- cooling racks
- baking sheets
- parchment paper
And don’t forget:
- cello bags
- boxes and/or tins
Brick & Mortar (Portland)
Kitchen Kaboodle (5 stores)
404 N.W. 23rd Avenue (at Flanders Street)
The Decorette Shop (Portland)
5338 SE Foster Road
Portland, OR 97206
Cookie Cutter Snowflake Texture Mats
Fancy Flours Culinary Stencils
Frosting versus Icing
Copyright 2017 Susan S. Bradley. All Rights Reserved.
These are absolutely beautiful cookies.
Love the snowflakes floating through. They’re not at all annoying, and usually that’s how I feel with movement on a blog or website.
Enjoyed the comment about Rachel Mary Elizabeth not being very happy with your adventure.
I have a daughter like that, too.
As a matter of fact, as much as I like baking new things, I might be like that when it comes to Christmas cookies! ?
Thanks for our link!
Thanks so much, Cindy! I’m with you on movement on a website. I do love these sparse and slowly drifting snowflakes though. We put them up last year too and there was a little thrill of delight every time I opened the site. They will stay up through January.
Yes, Rachel Mary Elizabeth took her last final today and is heading home for Christmas next week. She calls daily to check on the cookie baking and even though I have repeatedly told her I am not doing frosting this year, she won’t give up the refrain. I suppose when I see her disappointed eyes, I will relent and make her those darned frosted sugar cookies. 🙂
Holy Mole woman! I am doing the same thing over at my place! Except I added a twist on it, all the cookies that I post will be lower fat, healthier for you cookies. I will make the first post tomorrow. Should be interesting……Looking forward to those douglas fir pine tip cookies!
Yours in anticipation, Dana Zia ?
.-= Dana Zia´s last blog ..Taking time to give thanks =-.
Hi Dana! It’s almost as though we are baking together then. How fun! 🙂 I’m heading over to your blog now to see your wonderful creations. I am imagining us together on the beach at Manzanita with a tin of our combined Christmas cookies and a thermos of mulled cider. Ahhh….
This is going to be fun. I love baking at Christmas…work just gets in the way! It makes for a fun, packed week end! I can hardly wait!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..Black Bean and Corn Salsa with Jalapenos! =-.
Oh yes, Kate, I know all about “work getting in the way.” 🙂 My weekends and evenings are now consumed with holiday baking, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s what I enjoy most about this most magical season. Happy Baking! …Susan
I can’t wait to see all the cookies! Wish I could taste each one of them too.
.-= lisaiscooking´s last blog ..Pomegranate Manhattan =-.
Lisa, bake along with me! We can sample them together. 🙂 However, I must warn you about the Almond Toffee cookies coming up. James had to hide the tins from me. OMG, I couldn’t stop eating them. 🙂
I love all your recipes, over here in damp grey England they are wonderful to read and ponder over and then… cook and eat!
I’m going to have a go at your cookies – not sure if I’ll get through all 12 varieties in time for Christmas though!
Marvelous Lois! It’s incredible to know that someone in England is baking along with me. I love it! 🙂