12 Days of Cookies: Day 11, Olivia’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

Olivia's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix

When Leslie set out to create the perfect cookie, her inspiration was her daughter Olivia and a famous recipe: the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie. There aren’t many recipes on the back of packages that you tirelessly turn to, but the one forever linked to those ubiquitous chocolate chips is a classic.

The original chocolate chip cookie was the invention of Ruth Wakefield, who, with her husband, ran the Toll House Inn from 1939 to 1967. After her recipe was printed in 1938, this confectionary delight stole the hearts of cookie lovers across the U.S. It wasn’t long before Nestlé came calling and she sold the rights to her recipe and the Toll House name.

A nod to the deeply delectable gold standard, Leslie developed her own uniquely delicious recipe and named it for her daughter. Since we began selling Olivia’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, they have been a big hit with customers young and old, even garnering some media buzz as one of America’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.

While you can find the recipe in Leslie’s first cookbook, it’s now even easier to whip up a batch on a whim. We recently introduced Olivia’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix; perfect for tucking into stockings, gifting to a hostess, or mailing in a care package to far-flung friends around the globe. Pick up a jar of this mix at any of our cafés!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 10, Swedish Overnights

Swedish Overnights

No Scandinavian Christmas celebration would be complete without Swedish Overnights. Also called Swedish Heirloom Cookies, Swedish Overnights share similar ingredients to Mexican Wedding Balls. These cookies can be dusted with powered sugar, or in this case, colorful sprinkles for a festive touch. Leslie inherited this recipe from her mother’s family and she loves baking these cookies every Christmas. We hope you enjoy them, too.

Check out our video to follow Leslie’s simple step-by-step instructions for preparing these cookies!

Swedish Overnights
Click here to print this recipe!

Ingredients 

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
Crystal sugar in your favorite colors

Prepare this dough 1 day before baking.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for another 30 seconds, making sure egg and vanilla are thoroughly incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

2. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the flour into the dough. After the first batch is fully incorporated, fold in the other half and continue folding until all of the flour has been absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Pull dough from the bowl and onto a floured surface and divide it in half. Roll each half into a log about 1 1/2 inches thick, and place the logs on separate pieces of parchment paper. (The parchment paper needs to be at least 4 inches longer than the logs.) Brush the logs with the egg white, then scatter half of the walnuts over each log. Roll the logs back and forth until they are completely coated in nuts. Roll each log up within its parchment paper. Finish by twisting the ends of the paper to create a seal. Chill logs in the refrigerator over night.

4. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Unwrap the logs and using a sharp knife, cut them into 1/2-inch-think coins. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between each cookie. Brush the top of each cookie with a tiny bit of water and sprinkle festive sugar crystals on top.

6. Bake on center rack of oven, 1 sheet at a time, for 20 to 25 minutes. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 4 minutes or so. The finished cookies will be golden brown on the edges and pale in the center. Let cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temperature.

12 Days of Cookies: Day 9, Spicy Cocoa Nib Cookies

Spicy Cocoa Nibs Cookies

Traditionally, our Holiday Cookie Box has been filled with cookies that Leslie grew up enjoying, made with recipes handed down in her family. A bit of a departure, our pastry team inspired this year’s box of treats. Knowing how much customers love our Mexican Hot Chocolate, with its velvety sweet chocolate and hint of spice, Assistant Pastry Chef Allison Borte wanted to develop something similar for the holidays.

“Expanding on that idea, I started thinking of my love of Mexican cuisine and the idea of a mole sauce popped into my head,” says Allison, who works at our Belltown location. “Mole sauce combines the subtly sweet richness of cocoa with a spicy kick from peppers, typically chipotle.”

Allison began brainstorming products that would capture the essence of that authentic Mexican sauce and our signature hot chocolate. Many baking sessions and taste tests later, she had a winning creation.

“I wanted to think of a cookie that is really different from the cookies we usually do, so I thought that a cookie that combines these sweet and spicy flavors would be perfect,” Allison explains of the creative process behind her Spicy Cocoa Nib Cookies. “Adding the cocoa nib gives it more texture, so there’s a little crunch in every bite.”

Allison’s Spicy Cocoa Nib Cookies have a deep thrum of chocolate flavor with a hint of warm spice throughout. You can find these new cookies in our Holiday Cookie Box at any of our cafés this holiday season!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 8, Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

While shortbread cookies go down in history as one of the oldest treats (they date back to medieval times), the very first shortbread recipe appeared in “Mrs. McLintock’s Recipes for Cookery and Pastry-Work,” a Scottish cookbook published in 1736. The quaint recipe reads:

To Make Short Bread

Take a peck of Flour, put three lb of Butter in amoung a little water, and let it melt, pour it in amoung your Flour, put in a Mutchkin of good Barm; when it is wrought divide it in three parts, roll out your cakes longer then broad, and gather from the sides with your Finger, cut down the Middle and job it on Top, then send it to the oven.

One of the reasons we have loved shortbread for centuries is the cookie’s adaptability. Mary, Queen of Scots, adored the herbaceous notes of caraway seeds folded into the dough; Queen Victoria preferred hers with a pinch of salt; and the Girls Scouts gravitate toward shortbread with a lemony lift.

From Pine Nut Rosemary to Salted Orange, we include a handful of shortbread cookie variations in our Holiday Cookie Box. But, the Pistachio Shortbread Cookie is a classic at Macrina. The pistachio’s pale green hue naturally points to holiday celebrations and its buttery flavor highlights the cookie’s simple ingredients.

Find our Holiday Cookie Box in our cafés through the holidays, and pick up our latest cookbook, More from Macrina, to enjoy our Pistachio Shortbread Cookie recipe all year long!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 7, Bizcochos

Bizcochos

This year we changed up the assortment in our Holiday Cookie Box to reflect the tastes of our pastry team and include recipes that they grew up enjoying. The Bizcocho cookie is rooted in Spanish culture and a staple on holiday tables. It’s also popular for cookie swaps, so we thought it would be perfect to feature. You’ll know it by its dome shape and sandy color.

The idea to include Bizcochos came from Jennafer Claproth, pastry lead at our Sodo location. Jennafer’s great-great-aunt Tia Theresa was a wonderful baker who passed her recipes down to her children, who then passed them on to their cousin, Jennafer’s grandmother.

“I remember as a kid my great-cousins would come to my grandma’s house to make these cookies, plus various others, for Christmas,” says Jennafer. “Having them give us the recipe was a challenge, since my aunt never had any exact measurements and neither did my cousins.”

One day, Jennafer decided the only way to get the recipe was to make them with one of her cousins. Every pinch of spice and handful of flour that her cousin used was meticulously measured and written down until they had the precise recipe.

When we gathered together at Leslie’s home last summer to brainstorm ideas and discuss recipes for the Holiday Cookie Box, Jennafer shared her Bizcochos. It was love at first bite. The sandy texture melts into a sweet, buttered pecan flavor, making it impossible to eat just one.

“These cookies continue to be made every Christmas and we wait for them all year long,” says Jennafer.

Find Jennafer’s Bizcochos tucked into our Holiday Cookie Box, available in our cafés through the end of the year!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 6, Macaroons

Macaroon History

Macarons sure have had their time in the spotlight, haven’t they? Those precious cookies with their little domes drenched in Technicolor.

But we mustn’t forget the Macaroon. Often woefully confused for the Macaron (in name, not appearance), the Macaroon is just as deserving of star treatment. The laidback, oh-so-approachable cousin of the Macaron is made with just a few simple ingredients (sugar, vanilla, egg whites and coconut), but they sometimes get dressed up with a bit of cocoa powder or take a dip in some chocolate.

Macarons and Macaroons do have a shared history. Food historians believe they both got their start in Europe. Some say that Macarons gained fame when two Benedictine nuns, trying to climb out of hard times, began selling Macarons to pay the bills and the country fell in love. It wasn’t long before there were street vendors selling the cookies on every street corner in Paris. In 1930, Pierre Desfontaines, relative of the famous Louis Ernest Ladurée, had the bright idea to take two Macaron cookies and sandwich them with a bit of chocolate ganache, sealing the fate of the modern day Macaron and launching Ladurée’s rise to fame.

There are many stories about when coconut was folded into the mix to make the Macaroon, but most believe that European Jews adapted the Macaron recipe to make a perfect Passover treat. Flour and almond paste were omitted and sweet, shredded coconut was added. Similar recipes can also be found in Scottish, Dominican, Indian, Spanish, Turkish, and Irish cultures.

While we enjoy both cookies, the Macaroon has our heart. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the center, and delightfully sweet, Macaroons are reminiscent of the cookies our moms used to make. They are a rustic homage to childhood.

Our four-packs of Macaroons, in chocolate or vanilla, are the perfect little something to tuck into a Christmas stocking. Find them at any of our cafés!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 5, Festive Gingerbread People

Gingerbread Recipe

Did you know gingerbread people have a noble history? The story goes that Queen Elizabeth I had her chef make gingerbread people in each guest’s likeness for a royal dinner party.

Half the fun of gingerbread people is decorating them, isn’t it? We always start out with simple icing outlines and dots for facial features, but after a few have been finished, we start drawing on sassy shirts and flowing skirts or groovy surfer shorts and sunglasses. Invite your friends over – kids and grownups alike – and jump-start the season with a cookie decorating party of your own!

Festive Gingerbread People
Click here to print this recipe!

Ingredients

3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons peeled and grated ginger

Click here for our Quick & Easy Cookie Icing recipe and decorating tips!

1. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and cayenne into a medium bowl. Mix with a spoon until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

2. Place the sugar and shortening in the bowl of your stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix on low for about 30 seconds to start bringing the ingredients together. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding another. Add the honey, molasses and ginger and mix on medium for about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix for another 30 seconds to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides one more time.

3. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the batter with a rubber spatula. After the first batch is incorporated, fold in the rest of the dry ingredients and continue folding just until all of the flour has been absorbed.

4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough from the bowl onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Dust your hands with a little flour and pat the dough into a block, then wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Place the chilled dough on a floured work surface and roll it out 1/2-inch thick. Using a 6-inch cookie cutter, make as many gingerbread people as you can and place them on the prepared baking sheets. These cookies will spread out a little bit during baking, so leave a 2-inch space between each cookie. Roll the scraps of dough into a ball and roll it out again. You should be able to cut a few more cookies from the dough.

7. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, on the center rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 5 minutes or so. Let them cool completely before decorating. These cookies can be made 2 or 3 days before a decorating party and stored in an airtight container.

12 Days of Cookies: Day 4, Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookie Mix

Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookie Mix

Shortbread is a classic Scottish dessert that makes a delectable cookie. It’s a popular choice for holidays, because it’s so adaptable and can be cut into festive shapes. For years we’ve put Leslie’s famous Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookies into our Holiday Cookie Box, but this year we’re offering an extra way to enjoy these cookies.

We’re excited to announce that you can now baked up our Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookies at home using our brand new cookie mix! Just add chilled butter and a sugar garnish; we’ll take care of the rest. Before you preheat the oven though, take a look at our best baking tips and then follow along as Leslie prepares them in this video.

The recipe for this cookie comes from Leslie’s family, making it an extra special treat. If you’re searching for a great gift or stocking stuffer for your foodie friends and family members, look no further. Pick up a jar at any of our cafés!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 3, Mexican Wedding Balls

Snowball Cookies

Mexican Wedding Balls, Snowball Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes… Whatever the name, one thing is certain: These cookies will make spirits bright! The snow-white, powdery appearance makes it a favorite for cookie swaps and festive desserts. The cookies were dubbed Mexican Wedding Balls because of their common use as cheery wedding favors.

The secret to making truly scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth Mexican Wedding Balls is using high-quality butter and pure vanilla extract. Check out our video to follow Leslie’s simple step-by-step instructions for preparing these cookies!

Mexican Wedding Balls
Click here to print this recipe!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups whole almonds
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Makes 3 dozen cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Scatter almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast on center rack of oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, then finely chop and set aside.

3. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and mix for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. Add vanilla extract and mix for about 30 seconds, making sure vanilla is fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

4. Place almonds and flour in a medium bowl and toss together. Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the dry ingredients into the bowl of batter. After the first batch is fully incorporated, fold in the other half and continue folding until all of the dry ingredients have been absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. Scoop small amounts of dough out of the bowl (I like to use a small ice cream scoop), and roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart, pressing them down lightly to create a flat bottom on each cookie. Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

7. Back on center rack of oven, 1 sheet at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies just start to color. To help the cookies bake evenly, rotate the baking sheet every 4 minutes or so. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet, then toss them in powdered sugar. Lay the sugar-coated cookies on a clean baking sheet to finish cooling. Finally, after the cookies are fully cooled, toss them in powdered sugar once again. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month at room temperature.

12 Days of Cookies: Day 2, Quick & Easy Cookie Icing

Royal Icing

Decorating sugar cookies can be a fun way to wile away a chilly afternoon with friends. Don’t despair if your little cookie canvasses aren’t perfect works of art. With a little practice, you’ll be icing cookies like our pastry chefs. In the meantime, rest assured that these cookies taste delicious no matter what – especially if you followed our tips for baking the perfect batch!

Quick & Easy Cookie Icing
Click here to print this recipe!

Ingredients

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon filtered water
Food coloring

Makes enough icing to decorated 6 to 8 six-inch cookies

1. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and add water. *Stir to combine until the mixture is smooth and all the sugar is dissolved. Add just a couple of drops of food coloring and mix well. You can always add more food coloring until the desired color is reached. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

2. Repeat the steps above to create more colors.

3. Fit your pastry bags with the desired piping tips. A fine tip is perfect for drawing detailed decorations and making outlines. A wider tip can be used to fill in spaces. Using a rubber spatula, fill each bag with a different frosting color. Gather the frosting near the tip so no air will escape the tip as you are decorating. When icing the cookies, make sure the piping tip is not touching the cookie, but rather hovering over the cookie. One way to cover the whole cookie with a glaze of icing is by putting on a latex glove, dipping your finger into the icing and painting the cookie with your finger.

4. While the icing is wet, add embellishments to the cookie by topping with colored sprinkles or crystal sugar. Once the icing has set, gently tap the cookie to get rid of extra sprinkles and sugar.

5. After all the cookies have been decorated, let them sit for 2 hours at room temperature, so the frosting can set.

*If your icing is too thick, stir in more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached; if too thin, continue stirring, or mix in more powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.