25 Days of Cookies

Food: Just Desserts

A festive assortment of classics to make the season that much sweeter.


By Julie Miltenberger
Photos by Lisa Shin Illustration by Christian David Moore

Poinsettia Cookies

Prep | 1 hour Refrigerate | 2 hours Bake | at 350° for 8 minutes Makes | 5 dozen

Mix 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Beat 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter in another bowl until creamy, 3 minutes. Beat in 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1 large egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture. Crush 9 cinnamon starlight mints (about ¼ cup crushed candies). Stir into dough. Divide in half; shape each half into a 4 × 4-inch square and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough, half at a time, between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 12 × 10-inch rectangle, to ⅛-inch thickness. If dough is too soft, refrigerate until firm. Cut each half into 2-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally about ¾ inch from each corner toward center. Turn down alternate corners of each cookie, placing tips in center to create a pinwheel effect. Place cookies, 1 inch apart, on prepped baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes, until firm; watch carefully so edges of cookies do not overbrown. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Fill a pastry bag fitted with ¼-inch writing or star tip with canned frosting. Pipe a medium dot in center of each cooled poinsettia. Dip frosting into colored nonpareil sprinkles to cover dot. Let stand until set.

Per Cookie 77 Cal • 4 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 9 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 50 mg Sodium

Festive Spritz Wreaths

Prep | 10 minutes Bake | at 350° for 10 minutes Makes | 6½ dozen

In a large bowl, beat 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg and ¼ tsp salt until fluffy, 3 minutes. On low speed, beat in 2¼ cups all-purpose flour until smooth. Tint pale green with green food coloring. Spoon dough into a cookie press fitted with standard wreath disk, following manufacturer's directions. Press out wreaths onto large baking sheets, spacing cookies about ¾ inch apart. Before baking, press in Red Hots candies or M&M's minis as “holly berries,” if desired. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly puffed and set. Transfer cookies directly to racks to cool. Make glaze: In a bowl, whisk ½ cup confectioners' sugar and 4 tsp water. Brush over cookies; if desired, sprinkle on green decorator's sugar. Let dry 15 minutes before stacking.

Per Cookie 57 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 8 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 9 mg Sodium

Meltaways

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 1 to 2 hours Bake | Bake: at 325° for 20 minutes Makes | 4½ dozen

In a bowl, beat 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth and creamy. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup finely ground pecans. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, until firm. Pinch off pieces of dough in rounded teaspoonfuls. Roll into logs, taper ends and bend into crescents. Place on 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 19 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove cookies to a wire rack. Sprinkle on a heavy layer of confectioners' sugar. Cool completely. Sprinkle again with confectioners' sugar.

Per Cookie 73 Cal • 5 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 7 g Carb • 3 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 1 mg Sodium

Spiced Crackle Cookies

Prep | 20 minutes Refrigerate | 1 hour Bake | at 350° for 12 minutes Makes | 4 dozen

In a large bowl, beat 1 stick (½ cup) softened unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup molasses on medium speed until blended. Beat in 1 large egg until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Sift 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp ground ginger, ¾ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp ground cinnamon and ¼ tsp each salt and white pepper into another bowl. Add to butter mixture; beat on low speed until blended. Stir in 1 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ¾ cup confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Dust hands lightly with flour. Roll pieces of dough into 1-inch balls, using about 2 tsp per ball. Roll dough in confectioners' sugar to coat completely. Transfer to prepped baking sheets, spacing at least 2 inches apart. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes, until cookies have expanded and flattened—they'll have cracks. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies directly to racks; let cool completely.

Per Cookie 67 Cal • 2 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 12 g Carb • 7 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 35 mg Sodium

German Chocolate Bars

Prep | 10 minutes Bake | at 350° for 25 minutes Refrigerate | 2 hours Makes | 36 bar cookies

Line a 13 × 9-inch baking pan with nonstick aluminum foil. Pulse 1½ boxes Nabisco Famous chocolate wafer cookies in a food processor until very fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1 stick (½ cup) melted unsalted butter until well combined. Press mixture firmly and evenly into prepped pan (the flat side of a measuring cup works well). Pour 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk evenly over crust. Sprinkle with 1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, followed by 1½ cups sweetened flake coconut and 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours. Remove from pan by lifting foil and place on a cutting board. Slice into 36 pieces.

Per bar 177 Cal • 10 g Fat • 3 g Pro • 21 g Carb • 16 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 86 mg Sodium

Peanut Blossoms

Prep | 15 minutes Bake | at 375° for 12 minutes Makes | 5 dozen

In a large bowl, combine 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup each granulated sugar and packed brown sugar, ½ cup each solid vegetable shortening and creamy peanut butter, 1 large egg, 2 tbsp milk, 1 tsp each vanilla extract and baking soda and ¼ tsp salt. Beat at low speed until dough is stiff. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Immediately place a Hershey's Kiss on top of each cookie, pressing down firmly—cookie will crack. Remove from baking sheet to a rack to cool completely.

Per Cookie 81 Cal • 4 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 10 g Carb • 7 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 56 mg Sodium

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 4 hours or overnight Bake | at 350° for 12 minutes per batch Makes | 3 dozen

In a medium bowl, whisk 1½ cups all-purpose flour, ½ tsp baking powder and ⅛ tsp salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat 1 stick (½ cup) softened unsalted butter and ¾ cup granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in 1 large egg and ¾ tsp vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until just combined. Divide dough in half and form each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter, cut out stars or snowflakes. Brush cookies with 1 lightly beaten egg white and cover with clear or white sparkling sugar. Place on a large parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly golden around edges. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps and refrigerate. Re-roll and cut into additional shapes. Bake and cool as above.

Per Cookie 79 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 13 g Carb • 9 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 18 mg Sodium

Lemon Bars

Prep | 15 minutes Bake | at 350° for 43 minutes Makes | 4 dozen

Line a 13 × 9 × 2-inch baking pan with foil. Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Knead ½ cup confectioners' sugar into dough and press in a single layer into prepped pan. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, blend 2 cups granulated sugar and ⅓ cup all-purpose flour. Whisk in 6 large eggs until smooth. Stir in 2 tsp fresh lemon zest and ½ cup fresh lemon juice. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350° for 23 to 26 minutes, until set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Dust with ¼ cup confectioners' sugar. Refrigerate to set. Cut into 24 squares, then in half diagonally to form triangles. Sift additional confectioners' sugar over bars, if desired.

Per Bar 98 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 17 g Carb • 13 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 21 mg Sodium

Peppermint Drops

Prep | 15 minutes Microwave | 1 minute Bake | at 375° for 12 minutes per batch Makes | 3 dozen

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Beat in ½ cup all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup crushed candy canes (4) or starlight mints (9). Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch. Cool completely. Once cool, microwave 1 cup bright white candy melting discs at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave in 30-second increments and stir until smooth. Dip half of each cooled cookie in melted candy. Cool to harden candy.

Per Cookie 99 Cal • 4 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 14 g Carb • 8 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 20 mg Sodium

Linzer Sandwiches

Prep | 25 minutes Refrigerate | 2 hours or overnight Bake | at 375° for 10 minutes per batch Makes | 3 dozen filled cookies

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Beat in ¾ cup pistachios, finely ground, and ¼ cup all-purpose flour. Divide in half, wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. On a well-floured surface, roll half the dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch squares. Transfer to 2 large parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. With a ¾-inch cutter, cut out centers of half the cookies. Bake at 375° for 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough. Cool completely. Spread each solid cookie with ½ to 1 tsp seedless raspberry jam. Dust cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar. Place on top of jam-covered cookies.

Per Cookie 132 Cal • 6 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 18 g Carb • 11 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 44 mg Sodium

Cutouts

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 4 hours or overnigh t Bake | at 350° for 15 minutes per batch Makes | 3 dozen

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Knead in 1 tbsp grated fresh orange zest. Divide dough into thirds. Tint one third green with food coloring. Blend 2 tbsp cocoa powder into second piece of dough. Leave third piece as is. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Roll on a floured sheet of wax or parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out 2½-inch trees and transfer to 2 large parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Snip a 3-inch piece from a drinking straw. Using straw, cut holes in each tree to resemble ornaments (save cut pieces). Poke cutouts from straw with a wooden skewer or chopstick. Fit contrasting color “ornaments” into holes in trees. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes per batch. Cool on a wire rack.

Per Cookie 61 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 8 g Carb • 4 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 16 mg Sodium

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Prep | 15 minutes Microwave | 2 minutes Bake | at 350° for 10 minutes Makes | 3½ dozen

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. In a glass bowl, combine 6 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Beat a large egg with a hand mixer until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate mixture. Add to dough and beat until smooth. Drop teaspoonfuls onto 2 large parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Chop 2 oz bittersweet chocolate and place in a small glass bowl. Microwave 1 minute, stirring halfway through. Place in a small plastic bag and snip off a small corner. Drizzle over cookies. Let dry completely.

Per Cookie 85 Cal • 5 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 10 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 16 mg Sodium

Thumbprints

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 4 hours or overnight Bake | at 350° for 17 minutes per batch Makes | 3 dozen

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Beat in 4 oz (½ pkg) softened cream cheese, ½ cup almond flour, ¼ cup all-purpose flour and ½ tsp almond extract. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll balls in ⅓ cup granulated sugar to coat. Place on a baking sheet. With your thumb, make a large indent in top of each piece of dough. Fill each indent with ¼ tsp strawberry jam. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes per batch.

Per Cookie 71 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 9 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 21 mg Sodium

Pinwheels

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 4 hours or overnight Bake | at 350° for 15 minutes Makes | 3 dozen

Make Basic Sugar Cookie Dough; do not refrigerate. Divide dough in half and mix ½ tsp coconut extract into one half. Roll on a floured sheet of wax or parchment paper into a 10½ × 7½-inch rectangle. To second half, add 2 tsp lime zest and enough green food coloring to evenly color dough. Roll on a floured sheet of wax or parchment paper into a 10½ × 7½-inch rectangle. Stack green dough over white dough, offsetting by ½ inch on a long side. Fold exposed white dough over green dough and tightly roll up to form a pinwheel. Cut roll in half. Roll each half in green sparkling sugar to coat, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Unwrap dough and slice into ¼-inch-thick rounds (18 slices per roll). Place on 2 large baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Per Cookie 66 Cal • 3 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 10 g Carb • 6 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 16 mg Sodium

White Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscotti

Prep | 15 minutes Bake | at 350° for 40 minutes Makes | 3 to 4 dozen

Grease a baking sheet. In a bowl, beat 1 stick (½ cup) softened unsalted butter and ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 large eggs, one at a time. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, whisk 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt. Add to butter mixture along with 1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts and ⅔ cup white chocolate chips; mix well. Divide dough in half. Place one half on prepped baking sheet. Pat into a 12 × 2-inch loaf. Repeat with second half, placing on baking sheet 2 inches from first. Bake at 350° until lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool 10 minutes. On a cutting board, cut logs diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices. Place slices, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Per Cookie 90 Cal • 5 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 10 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 34 mg Sodium

Bourbon Balls

Prep | 20 minutes Refrigerate | Refrigerate: 24 hours Makes | about 2 dozen

In a medium bowl, mix 2½ cups Nilla wafers cookie crumbs, 1¼ cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tbsp finely ground hazelnuts, ¼ cup bourbon, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and 3 tbsp light corn syrup. Press together all ingredients in bowl to form a large ball. Using 1 tbsp mixture for each, form into small balls; place on wax paper. Place ⅓ cup granulated sugar in a small shallow dish. Roll balls in sugar to coat. Store in a tightly covered container for at least 24 hours to let flavors develop.

Per Ball 76 Cal • 1 g Fat • 0 g Pro • 15 g Carb • 13 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 19 mg Sodium

Walnut-Raisin Rugelach

Prep | 30 minutes Refrigerate | 4 hours or overnight Bake | at 350° for 30 minutes Makes | 32 cookies

Position rack in top third of oven. Beat 2 sticks (1 cup) softened unsalted butter, 1 pkg (8 oz) softened cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl until smooth and creamy, 2 minutes. Stir in 2 large egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla extract and ½ tsp salt. Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour until smooth dough forms. Divide into fourths; shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick aluminum foil. Roll out a disk into an 8-inch round. Spread with 2 tbsp apricot jam. Sprinkle with ¼ cup raisins and 3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts. Cut round into 8 wedges. Starting at outside edge, roll up each wedge. Place on baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining disks. Lightly brush each cookie with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake at 350° in top third of oven until lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Per Cookie 162 Cal • 10 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 16 g Carb • 8 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 68 mg Sodium

Mint Meringues

Prep | 15 minutes Bake | at 200° for 2 hours Makes | 4½ dozen

Line 2 large baking sheets with nonstick foil. In a bowl, combine 4 large egg whites and ½ tsp cream of tartar. Beat on high speed with whip attachment until whites become foamy. Gradually add ¾ cup sugar, until thick, then add ¼ tsp mint extract. Divide batter in half. Tint one half pink with red food coloring, the other green with green food coloring. Transfer to 2 large resealable bags (or pastry bags fitted with large round tips). Snip a ½-inch corner off bags. Squeeze meringue batter onto baking sheets, about 26 per sheet. Crush 2 candy canes and sprinkle a little over each meringue. Bake at 200° for 2 hours, then turn off oven and let cookies sit in oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Per Cookie 14 Cal • 0 g Fat • 0 g Pro • 3 g Carb • 3 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 4 mg Sodium

Venetians

Prep | 30 minutes Bake | at 350° for 15 minutes Assembly | 20 minutes Refrigerate | overnight Makes | 6 dozen

Grease three 13 × 9 × 2-inch baking pans, line with wax paper and grease paper. In a bowl, break up 1 can (8 oz) almond paste with a fork. Add 3 sticks (1½ cups) softened unsalted butter, 1 cup sugar, 4 large egg yolks (reserve whites) and 1 tsp almond extract. Beat with a mixer until fluffy, 5 minutes. Beat in 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour and ¼ tsp salt. Beat reserved egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Stir into almond mixture with a wooden spoon, using turning motion similar to folding. Spread 1½ cups batter evenly into one pan. Add 1½ cups batter to a small bowl, tint with green food coloring and spread into second pan. Tint remaining batter pink using red food coloring and spread into third pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, until edges are lightly golden; cake layers will be ¼ inch thick. Immediately remove cakes from pans and place on large wire racks. Carefully peel off wax paper. Cool. Place pink layer upside down on a jelly-roll pan. Heat 1 jar (12 oz) apricot preserves, and strain (leftovers can be saved). Spread half of strained preserves over pink layer. Top with yellow layer and spread on remaining preserves. Add green layer, top side up and cover with plastic wrap. Press down with a large wooden cutting board, heavy flat tray or large book (this will help layers stay together). Refrigerate overnight. Melt 5 oz chopped semisweet chocolate in top of a double boiler over hot water. Trim cake edges even. Cut cake crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Frost pink layer of one strip with chocolate. Turn strip on side and frost green layer. Let dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining strips.

Per Cookie 98 Cal • 6 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 11 g Carb • 8 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 13 mg Sodium

Florentines

Prep | 2 dozen filled cookies Bake | 20 minutes Makes | at 350° for 8 minutes

Grease a 12-cup 3-inch muffin or muffin-top tin. (For free-form cookies, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease foil.) In a medium saucepan, combine ⅔ cup granulated sugar, 1 stick (½ cup) salted butter and 2 tbsp each light corn syrup and milk. Cook over medium until mixture registers 235° (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Remove pan from heat. Stir in 1 cup sliced almonds, ½ cup all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp each finely chopped glacé cherries and citron and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Drop teaspoonfuls into muffin cups (or 4 inches apart on foil). Bake at 350° until edges brown, 7 to 8 minutes. (If free-form, shape into circles while warm.) Loosen cookies with a small spatula; remove from cups to a wire rack to cool. If cookies stick in cups, return to oven for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining batter. In a bowl over hot (not boiling) water, melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Spread smooth sides of cookies with chocolate; sandwich 2 cookies, chocolate sides together. Chill to set chocolate.

Per Cookie 142 Cal • 8 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 16 g Carb • 12 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 33 mg Sodium

Almond Shortbread

Prep | 15 minutes Bake | at 350° for 14 minutes Makes | 2 dozen

Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, ½ cup finely chopped natural almonds and ¼ tsp salt. In a medium bowl, beat 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, ⅓ cup granulated sugar and 1 tsp each vanilla and almond extract until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour mixture. Divide dough into 4 equal balls. On prepped baking sheet, pat or roll out each ball of dough into a 4½-inch round. Smooth edges; if desired, press with tines of fork all around edges. Cut each round into 6 equal wedges, but do not pull wedges apart. Bake at 350° for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned at edges. While still hot, re-cut rounds into wedges and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl over a pan of hot water or in a microwave, melt ½ cup semisweet chocolate morsels. Drizzle over wedges. Sprinkle evenly with confectioners' sugar. You can re-dust cookies with confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Per Cookie 112 Cal • 7 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 12 g Carb • 6 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 25 mg Sodium

Fruited Palmiers

Prep | 10 minutes Bake | at 425° for 15 minutes per batch Makes | 30 palmiers

Place 1½ cups fruit-nut crunch cereal (such as Post Selects Blueberry Morning or Great Grains Banana-Nut Crunch) in a large plastic food bag; crush with a rolling pin. Unfold 1 sheet thawed frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3 oz pkg) on work surface. Spread with 2 tbsp seedless red raspberry jam. Sprinkle with half the crushed cereal. Roll in from two opposite sides until sides meet in center. With a serrated knife, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Place cut side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar. Bake at 425° until golden, about 15 minutes. With a spatula, remove to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining puff pastry sheet, 2 more tbsp seedless red raspberry jam, remaining cereal and 1 tbsp sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per Palmier 101 Cal • 5 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 13 g Carb • 4 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 93 mg Sodium

Gingerbread Men

Prep | 15 minutes Refrigerate | 2 hours Bake | at 350° for 11 minutes Makes | about 3½ dozen

In a large bowl, beat 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter and ½ cup sugar. Beat in 1 large egg and ¼ cup light molasses. In another bowl, combine 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp white pepper and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. Stir into butter mixture. Divide dough in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours. Roll one piece on a floured surface to ⅛ inch thick. Cut shapes with a 3-inch cutter; transfer to 2 ungreased baking sheets. Re-roll scraps and cut more shapes. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks to cool. To prepare icing, in a bowl, beat 2 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tbsp powdered egg whites and 3 tbsp water until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. Tint some of the icing with food coloring, if desired; transfer to pastry bags with writing tips and decorate cooled cookies.

Per Cookie 110 Cal • 3 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 18 g Carb • 10 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 43 mg Sodium

Pfeffernüsse Crescents

Prep | 20 minutes Refrigerate | overnight Bake | at 350° for 8 minutes Makes | 5 dozen

In a large bowl, whisk 2½ cups all-purpose flour with ½ tsp each baking soda, baking powder and ground cinnamon and ¼ tsp each salt, black pepper, ground nutmeg and ground cloves. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat ½ stick (¼ cup) softened unsalted butter, 2 large eggs and 1 tbsp grated orange zest until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1 cup honey until combined. On low speed, beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Cover and refrigerate dough overnight. With well-floured hands, form 1 level tsp dough into a ball. On a well-floured work surface, form each ball into a 2½-inch-long log. Bend into a crescent shape and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove from oven; cool on baking sheet on a wire rack for 1 minute. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Per Cookie 48 Cal • 1 g Fat • 1 g Pro • 9 g Carb • 5 g Total Sugars • 0 g Fiber • 26 mg Sodium

Holiday Nut Drops

Prep | 10 minutes Bake | at 350° for 12 minutes Makes | 2 dozen

Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix 1½ cups all-purpose flour and ½ tsp each baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, beat ¾ cup packed brown sugar and 1 stick (½ cup) softened unsalted butter until creamy and smooth, 2 minutes. Beat in 1 large egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in 1 cup chopped unsalted mixed nuts and ½ cup red and green M&M's. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned at edges. Let cool slightly on baking sheets. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Per Cookie 142 Cal • 8 g Fat • 2 g Pro • 17 g Carb • 10 g Total Sugars • 1 g Fiber • 83 mg Sodium