What's New, Cookie?

Plenty! We asked prolific cookbook author and cookie master Dorie Greenspan to share her latest recipes and baking tips to help spice up this year's holiday cookie plates.


produced By NANCY WALL HOPKINS
Photos by ANDY LYONS FOOD STYLING JILL LUST
Above Image | Christmas Spice Cookies

Christmas Spice Cookies

Hands-on time: 20 min. Total time: 1 hr. 35 min.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • ⅛ tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Decorating sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until creamy. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg white then vanilla. (Dough might appear curdled.) Add flour in three additions, beating on low after each until mixture is almost combined (scrape down bowl); mix until combined. Shape dough into a disk.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper; roll ¼ inch thick. Slide dough, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet; freeze at least 1 hour or refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • Center rack in oven; preheat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Peel top sheet of parchment off dough. Flip dough onto a clean sheet of parchment paper. Peel off remaining sheet of parchment. Using a 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut out cookies. (Reroll and chill scraps.) Place cutouts 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle edges of the cookie cutouts with some decorating sugar.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (rotate sheet front to back after 10 minutes) or until the cookies feel firm. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes; transfer to wire rack to cool. Cut out and bake scraps on cooled baking sheet. Makes 14 to 18 cookies.

Each cookie 225 cal, 13 g fat, 35 mg chol, 85 mg sodium, 24 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.


Old-world is new again

The spice pantry is going global, and so are our holiday cookies. “No matter where we're from, cookies hold the power to take us home,” Dorie says. “They're our memories rolled into something sweet, reminding us of our grandmothers and our roots. I love to tinker with cookies from around the world and gather them on a plate.”

Italian Torta Sbrisolona

Hands-on time: 20 min. Total time: 1 hr.


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. fleur de sel or ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5½ Tbsp. cold unsalted butter,cut into small chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup blanched whole almonds, very coarsely chopped
  • Coarse red decorating sugar (optional)

  • Center rack in oven and preheat to 325°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • In a food processor add the all-purpose and almond flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and cinnamon; pulse to blend. Scatter with chunks of butter; process in long pulses until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, scraping bottom of bowl once or twice if needed. Pour in the egg yolk, and process in long pulses until mixture is moist (it will look like grainy, thick, wet sand). Continue processing until dough holds together when pinched.
  • Turn dough into a bowl. Stir in the almonds. Squeeze dough into small streusel-like morsels, dropping the pieces into the prepared pan. Gently pat the pieces down. (Don't crush the clumps. You just want to start them on the road to sticking together.)
  • Bake for 34 to 38 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown. Sprinkle with decorating sugar, if desired. Cool in pan about 3 minutes. Run a table knife around edges of torta; turn out onto wire rack. Invert onto a cutting board. Cut into pieces, and return to rack to cool. If desired, leave uncut and serve as a break-apart sweet. Makes 16 bars or about 32 chunks.

Each bar 124 cal, 8 g fat, 22 mg chol, 76 mg sodium, 12 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.


Spanish Rousquilles

Hands-on time: 40 min. Total time: 1 hr. 15 min.


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp. anise seeds (optional)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1¼ cup cold unsalted butter (½ stick), cut into small chunks
  • 2 cold large egg yolks (save one of the leftover whites for the glaze)
  • 2 Tbsp. orange flower water, milk, or white wine
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. egg white

  • Center rack in oven and preheat to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.
  • In a food processor add the flour, sugar, anise seeds (if desired), baking soda, and salt; pulse to blend. Drop in the pieces of cold butter; process in long pulses until mixture is grainy looking. In a small bowl combine yolks, orange flower water, and honey; add to processor in small measures, pulsing in short spurts after each addition and then until mixture turns to moist curds, scraping bottom of bowl as needed.
  • Transfer dough to counter; knead lightly until mixture holds together. Place between two pieces of parchment paper; roll ¼ inch thick.
  • Peel top sheet of parchment off dough. Flip onto a clean sheet of parchment paper. Peel off remaining sheet of parchment. Using a 1¾-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out as many circles as you can. Transfer to a baking sheet (they won't spread much, so place close together). Use ¾-inch-diameter round cookie cutter to remove centers. Shape scraps into a disk; roll and cut. (Gather, roll, and cut scraps once more.)
  • Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes (rotate sheet from front to back after 10 minutes) or until golden and firm enough to lift. Place baking sheet on wire rack; dust cookies with a little powdered sugar or let cool to glaze.
  • For glaze: In a small saucepan bring ¾ cup powdered sugar and 3 Tbsp. water to boiling. Boil at a moderate rate until candy thermometer registers 235°F to 240°F, or soft-ball stage (about 4 minutes). In small bowl whisk egg white 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks form.
  • Anchor bowl of egg white on a silicone potholder or dish towel; whisk egg white as you pour in hot sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream. Using a pastry brush, brush each cookie with glaze. Allow glaze to set at room temperature. Makes 30 cookies.

Each cookie 66 cal, 2 g fat, 16 mg chol, 60 mg sodium, 11 g carb, 1 g pro.


French Snacklettes

Hands-on time: 35 min. Total time: 50 min.


  • 1 cup sliced, slivered, or whole almonds (blanched or unblanched)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt or ¾ tsp. fleur de sel
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 7 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips or very finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

  • Position racks to divide oven in thirds; preheat to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a food processor add almonds and sugar; process until the almonds are mostly ground, scraping the bowl occasionally to ensure you don't have a thick layer on the bottom. Add flour, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon; pulse to combine mixture. Scatter bits of cold butter over mixture and process in long pulses until you have moist curds and crumbs. (This might take a couple of minutes.) Scrape sides and bottom of bowl as needed, and check dough often by pinching a piece to see if it holds together. Add the chocolate; process for a couple pulses until combined. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • For each cookie, squeeze about a teaspoon of dough into a nugget, pyramid, or random shape. Place on the baking sheets with a little space between (they don't spread much during baking).
  • Bake cookies about 15 minutes (rotate sheets top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes). Cookies will be very soft, but they'll firm as they cool. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; gently transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Makes 60 cookies.

Each cookie 45 cal, 3 g fat, 4 mg chol, 19 mg sodium, 5 g carb, 1 g pro.


French Breton Galettes

Hands-on time: 20 min. Total time: 3 hr. 30 min.


  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1¼ tsp. fleur de sel or ¾ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup thick fruit jam or marmalade

  • In a medium bowl combine flour and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until combined. Add dry ingredients all at once and beat on low speed until combined, scraping bowl as needed. (Dough will be thick and will almost clean sides of the bowl.)
  • Turn dough out onto work surface; divide in half. Shape each into a 6-inch log. Wrap with plastic wrap; freeze at least 1 hour or refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Center rack in oven; preheat to 325°F. Lightly butter or spray two muffin pans. Use a thin sharp knife to cut one log into 18 (⅓-inch-thick) slices. Place in muffin cups. Slice enough of remaining log to fill both muffin pans now, or cut and bake it later.
  • Bake cookies for 18 to 20 minutes (rotating muffin pans front to back after 10 minutes) or until edges of cookies are golden brown. (Cookies tend to dip in the center as they bake, forming a raised edge.)
  • Remove cookies from oven; press a cork into the center of each. (Make sure the indent goes almost to the bottom of the cookie.) Cool the cookies in the pans; remove once they're room temperature. Repeat with remaining dough using cool muffin pans.
  • For filling: In a small bowl stir together the jam and 1 Tbsp. water. Microwave until mixture boils. Spoon enough jam into each indentation to be level with the top of the galette. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until filling is set. Serve at room temperature. Makes 36 cookies.

Each cookie 117 cal, 5 g fat, 24 mg chol, 115 mg sodium, 16 g carb, 1 g pro.

Make-ahead tips

Nearly all cutout and scoop cookies can be frozen unbaked. Freeze individual raw cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheets until solid. Transfer to an airtight container and layer with parchment. They'll last up to two months. Bake them straight from the freezer for warm-from-the-oven cookies on demand.


Kerrin's Multigrain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Earthy, nutty buckwheat shines in this spin on an American favorite. Kasha (dry-roasted buckwheat groats) adds to that taste. Bittersweet chocolate chunks and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt complete this cookie's irresistible flavor combo.

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 1 hr. 50 min.


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅛ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup kasha (buckwheat groats; Dorie prefers Wolff's medium granulation) or finely chopped toasted nuts
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Flaky sea salt or fine sea salt

  • In a bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, sugars, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping bowl a couple of times. Add egg and beat 1 minute; add the yolk and beat 1 minute more. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low speed until almost all of the dry ingredients are combined. Add the kasha and beat a few seconds. Add the chocolate and beat on low just until all is combined. Shape into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour.
  • Center rack in oven and preheat to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop level portions of the dough (or rounded tablespoonfuls) and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with flaky salt.
  • Bake for 8 to 9 minutes (rotate pan front to back after 4 minutes) or just until the edges of the cookies start to brown. (The cookies should look underbaked.) Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will firm as they cool. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Makes 25 cookies.

Each cookie 137 cal, 6 g fat, 24 mg chol, 75 mg sodium, 20 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.

“Recipes for chocolate chip cookies are like scarves – you're always happy to have a new one.”
Dorie Greenspan

Moroccan Semolina Cookies

Hands-on time: 40 min. Total time: 55 min.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 Tbsp. semolina flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon (you'll use just the zest)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup mild-flavor oil, such as canola
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. orange flower water (optional)
  • Powdered sugar

  • Position racks to divide oven in thirds; preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl combine almond and semolina flours, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add granulated sugar to a large mixing bowl. Finely grate the lemon zest over the sugar, and rub ingredients together until sugar is moist and fragrant. Add eggs, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. With mixer running, pour in the oil and beat for 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and, if desired, orange flower water. Add half of the dry ingredients, beating on low just until combined. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients (dough will be thick).
  • Sift some powdered sugar into a small bowl. Shape level tablespoons of dough into balls; roll in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Gently press your thumb in the center of each ball.
  • Bake for 14 to 16 minutes (rotate pans top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes) or until golden on bottom and firm to the touch (they'll puff and crack on top). Transfer to wire racks to cool. If desired, top cooled cookies with additional powdered sugar and lemon zest. Makes about 38 cookies.

Each cookie 99 cal, 5 g fat, 10 mg chol, 40 mg sodium, 12 g carb, 1 g fiber, 3 g pro.


Classics with a Twist

We love a classic, but that doesn't mean you can't amp it up. More is more.

Date-Nut Pinwheels

To save time and effort, buy chopped pitted dates.

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 2 hr. 45 min.


  • ¾ cup chopped pitted dates
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice or 2 tsp. orange juice
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • For date filling: In small saucepan combine dates, nuts, ½ cup water, the sugar, and lemon juice; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until the liquid is absorbed and dates and nuts are spreadable. Transfer to a bowl; let cool to room temperature.
  • For dough: In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for another minute or until combined. Add dry ingredients all at once, beating on low speed until combined. (You'll have a soft dough that cleans the sides of the bowl.)
  • Turn dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, and shape it into a rectangle. Cover with another piece of parchment and roll the dough into a 12×10-inch rectangle. (While rolling, peel paper away from the dough often so it doesn't leave creases.) Slide dough, still between paper, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate at least 2 hours or freeze at least 1 hour.
  • To fill and roll: Leave cold dough on the counter about 10 minutes or until it's supple enough to bend without cracking. Peel off the top sheet of parchment from the dough. Flip onto a clean sheet of parchment paper. Peel off remaining sheet of parchment. Position dough so a long side is parallel to you. Spread filling to within 1 inch of top and ½ inch of short sides. Starting with long edge closest to you, use the paper to lift and roll the dough into a log, keeping it compact. (The ends will be ragged.) Wrap the log in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • To bake: Position the racks to divide oven in thirds; preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap and place log of cookie dough on a cutting board, and trim ends until you can see spirals of filling. Using a thin sharp knife, cut the log into ½-inch slices. (Don't worry if there are gaps between the filling and the dough; they'll fill in as they bake.) Place about 1½ inches apart on baking sheets. Chill the remaining log.
  • Bake for 15 to 17 minutes (rotate baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes) or until cookies spread, puff, and brown lightly (they should still be soft if gently poked). Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes; carefully transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve cookies warm or at room temperature. Bake the remaining cookie slices on a cool baking sheet. Makes 18 cookies.

Each cookie 188 cal, 8 g fat, 24 mg chol, 55 mg sodium, 29 g carb, 1 g fiber, 2 g pro.


Double-Ginger Molasses Cookies

Hands-on time: 1 hr. Total time: 3 hr.


  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter (1½ sticks), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ cup chopped candied ginger or 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger mixed with 2 tsp. sugar
  • 7 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • Coarse sugar

  • In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, espresso powder (if desired), spices, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium-low speed about 3 minutes or until combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add the yolk and beat 1 minute. Add molasses and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients all at once, beating on low speed until flour is almost combined. Stir in candied ginger and chocolate until evenly distributed, being sure to incorporate any dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl. Shape into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Position racks to divide oven in thirds; preheat to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon some coarse sugar into a shallow bowl.
  • For each cookie, shape a level medium cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in the sugar to coat. Place a couple inches apart on baking sheet. Press to flatten to about ½ inch thick.
  • Bake about 13 minutes (rotate pans top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes) or until lightly set around the edges but soft in the center. Let stand on baking sheets for 15 minutes. Remove; cool on wire racks. Makes 36 cookies.

Mini Double-Ginger Molasses Cookies

Prepare cookies as directed, except use greased 1¾-inch muffin cups and use a small scoop to portion the dough. Bake about 11 minutes (rotate pan after 6 minutes).

Each cookie 135 cal, 6 g fat, 16 mg chol, 52 mg sodium, 21 g carb, 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.


Ms. Corbitt's Pecan Cake Fingers

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 1 hr. 20 min.


  • ¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 275°F. Put a dab of butter (to act like glue) in middle of a 13×9-inch baking pan or quarter-sheet pan, line with parchment or wax paper, and generously butter the paper.
  • In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Put pecans in a small bowl or on a piece of parchment paper. Pour ¼ cup of the flour mixture over the nuts; toss to combine. Push the brown sugar through a strainer into a bowl or onto a piece of parchment paper; discard any hard lumps of sugar that remain in the strainer. (Or stir the brown sugar in a bowl to crush any lumps.)
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, very gradually add the brown sugar, then beat on high speed for 1 minute more. (You'll have a shiny, marshmallowy, cafe-au-lait-color meringue.) Beat in the 2 tsp. vanilla.
  • Gently fold the flour mixture into meringue in three additions. (Don't worry about getting the last portion of flour thoroughly mixed, because you've got more folding to do.) Gently fold in the flour-coated pecans in three batches. (The meringue will deflate, but the shine lingers.) Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the top is dry, dull, and pale. (It won't spring back when lightly pressed.) Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool 3 minutes. Run a table knife around edges to release cake; turn onto wire rack to unmold. (If cake doesn't release immediately, run your knife around edges again, turn cake over, and give the pan and wire rack a little shake.) Gently remove paper; invert the cake onto another wire rack to cool. Transfer cooled cake to a cutting board. Using a long, thin knife, cut the cake into 3×1-inch fingers.
  • For icing: Pour powdered sugar into a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat butter over medium heat until it boils. (Swirl pan occasionally so you can see beneath the foam.) Cook the butter until it turns a cozy shade of brown. (You'll see dark spots in the butter. The more color you get, the more flavor you'll get. Just don't take it so far that the butter burns.) Pour the butter and brown bits over the powdered sugar; add the ½ tsp. vanilla. Working with a flexible spatula, stir and mash butter into sugar until you have a firm mixture. (It will look more like something you'd mold than spread.)
  • Press some icing onto center of cookie, spreading to cover the cookie. After you cover the cookie with icing, use the spatula to press and smooth the top. Press pecan halves into the icing, if desired. Leave cookies at room temperature 1 hour or until the icing firms. Makes 36 bars.

Each bar 143 cal, 6 g fat, 7 mg chol, 31 mg sodium, 22 g carb, 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.


Fruit and Walnut Bread Bars

Hands-on time: 15 min. Total time: 1 hr. 30 min.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup plump, moist* mixed dried fruit (candied red or green cherries, crystallized ginger, papaya, cherries, pineapple, apricots, figs, and/or other favorites), snipped, cut, or chopped into bite-size pieces

  • Center the rack in oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • In a bowl stir together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl beat egg whites and ¼ tsp. salt with an electric mixer on medium until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar; continue to beat until peaks are firm and glossy. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture, followed by the walnuts and candied fruit. (The fruit and nuts are heavy and bulky, so no matter how gentle your touch, you're bound to seriously deflate the meringue.) Transfer the batter to the pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake bars for 30 to 32 minutes (rotate pan front to back after 15 minutes) or until the bars feel set but still have some give all over and a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. (Bars will not brown; they will be a warm ivory color, like nougat.) Cool bars in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the edges, unmold, and turn over to cool at room temperature. Cut into 2×1-inch bars. Makes 32 bars.

Each bar 65 cal, 2 g fat, 47 mg sodium, 10 g carb, 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.

*Tip: If fruit isn't moist, place in a bowl and cover with very hot tap water. Let plump 5 minutes; drain and pat dry.

“Don't cheat the cooldown. It's tempting to grab a just - baked cookie, but it is during cooling that a cookie's true texture develops.”
Dorie Greenspan

It's Cocktail Hour

Savory cookies for grown-up gatherings.

Chocolate & Olive Cookies

Hands-on time: 30 min. Total time: 1 hr. 30 min.


  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably a fruity one
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ⅓ cup chopped pitted oil-cured black olives

  • Sift flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder together into a bowl. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper with an electric mixer about 2 minutes or until smooth. Add yolk; beat for another minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients all at once, beating on low speed until you have moist curds. (After a minute or two of mixing, you might get discouraged—the dough will look dry and shaggy—but keep mixing, and it will moisten. You are done mixing when you can squeeze some of the curds and they hold together easily.) Using a flexible spatula, stir in the olives.
  • Turn dough out, and knead briefly to bring it together; divide in half. Roll each half into an 8- to 8½-inch log. Wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • Position racks to divide oven in thirds; preheat to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one log at a time, use a thin sharp knife to cut dough into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place the slices an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake cookies for 15 to 17 minutes (rotate baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 8 minutes) or until just firm to the touch. Let cool on baking sheets 3 minutes. (They are fragile when warm, so don't lift them until they've cooled a bit.) Carefully transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes 48 cookies.

Each cookie 36 cal, 2 g fat, 7 mg chol, 25 mg sodium, 4 g carb.


Fennel & Orange Shortbread

Hands-on time: 20 min. Total time: 1 hr. 45 min.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange or tangerine
  • 1¾ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Fleur de sel or kosher salt

  • Center rack in oven; preheat to 350°F.
  • In a bowl combine flour and cornstarch. In a large mixer bowl combine sugar and orange zest; rub together until sugar is moist. Toss in the fennel seeds; rub into the sugar. Add the butter, powdered sugar, and salt; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Add dry ingredients all at once, beating on low speed until mixture resembles a crumble topping that holds together when pinched. (This takes longer than you think: For the first 3 minutes or so the dough will look more like oatmeal.)
  • Gently knead dough until ball comes together. Shape into a disk; place between sheets of parchment paper. Roll into an 8-inch circle. (Ragged edges are fine.) Lift off the top sheet and slide the dough, still on the bottom sheet, onto a baking sheet. Use a fork to prick all the way through the dough in a spoke pattern to form 12 wedges. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  • Bake shortbread about 20 minutes (rotate baking sheet front to back after 10 minutes) or just until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using a knife or a pizza wheel, cut along the fork marks. Cool on baking sheet. Makes 12 wedges.

Each wedge 123 cal, 8 g fat, 20 mg chol, 148 mg sodium, 12 g carb, 1 g pro.


Puffed Grain and Miso Cookies

Hands-on time: 20 min. Total time: 35 min.


  • 3¼ cups puffed rice cereal
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup puffed whole grain cereal or puffed barley cereal
  • ⅓ cup plump dried cranberries, goji berries, or raisins, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. fleur de sel or ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. brown rice syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. light-color miso paste
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil

  • Position racks to divide oven in thirds and preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly coat 2½-inch muffin cups of one or two muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a very large bowl toss together the puffed rice, peanuts, puffed whole grain, dried fruit (if desired), sesame seeds, and the salt.
  • In a small saucepan bring rice syrup just to a boil over low heat (or boil in a microwave). Remove syrup from heat; let stand for 2 minutes. Add miso and both oils; whisk to blend. (It's OK if the miso doesn't dissolve completely, leaving little strands.)
  • Pour the warm liquid over the dry ingredients. Using a silicone spatula, stir for a few minutes until all is moistened. Fill each muffin cup with 2 Tbsp. of the mixture; press flat with the bottom of a jar. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (rotate the muffin pans front to back after 8 minutes) or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely before unmolding. Makes 36 to 40 cookies.

Each cookie 56 cal, 3 g fat, 125 mg sodium, 6 g carb, 1 g fiber, 1 g pro.