Yellow Dog Christmas Cookie Recipes

On Sundays in December, Yellow Dog’s Andrews family bakes together. Here are their Christmas cookie recipes.
recipes by Tanya Andrews | photographs by Eamon Queeney

Rolled Sugar Cookies

If your kids love baking and decorating cookies, but you don’t want to do the full production each time, make a big batch of this recipe. Yellow Dog Bread Co.’s Tanya Andrews suggests to freeze the dough in smaller portions so it’ll thaw quicker. Makes three dozen.

Ingredients
480 grams (4 cups) flour
8 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
4 grams (3⁄4 teaspoon) salt
272 grams (1 1⁄4 cups) unsalted but- ter, softened
380 grams (1 7/8 cups) sugar
3 whole large eggs
4 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until well incorporated. In a small bowl, add vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix until well-incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add to butter mixture in three parts, scraping the bowl in between.

Flour your surface and the top of the dough generously. Roll to about 1⁄4 inch thick and cut into desired shapes. Dust excess flour off with a pastry brush before baking.

Bake on parchment on a sheet pan for 10 to 18 minutes. You want the final cookie to be slightly firm around the edges and dry in an appearance on top.

Tanya’s Gingerbread Cookies

Tip: If you want to make a gingerbread house, add a few minutes to the cook time so they are extra firm, then cut your pieces as soon as they come out of the oven with a pizza cutter. Andrews says that if you do this while the dough is still warm and soft, you’ll end up with firm pieces that have nice crisp edges for building. Makes about two dozen.

Ingredients
225 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
240 grams (1 1⁄4 cups) brown sugar
405 grams (3 1⁄4 cups) all-purpose flour
2.5 grams (1⁄2 teaspoon) baking soda
4.5 grams (1 teaspoon) salt 1 whole egg
250 grams (3⁄4 cup) molasses
5 grams (1 teaspoon) ground ginger
5 grams (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until well incorporated, then add molasses and egg; mix until combined.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, then add to butter mixture in three parts, scraping the bowl in between.

Divide dough into two to three portions, flatten into a large disk and wrap in plastic wrap. (At this point, you can freeze the dough if you’re not going to use it right away. When you use it, let it thaw until it’s pliable, but still firm and cold.)

Flour your surface generously, as well as the top of the dough, and
roll to about 1⁄4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Dust excess flour off with a pastry brush before baking.

Bake on parchment on a sheet pan for about 15 minutes in the oven. You want the final cookie to be slightly firm around the edges and be dry in the appearance on top. Once completely cool, decorate as you desire! Baked cookies keep well in an air-sealed container for up to two weeks.

Pecan Snowballs

These cookies do not spread, so you can fit a lot on a sheet pan at once. If you plan on baking several batches throughout the season, hold onto your extra powdered sugar for coating cookies to use for the next batch. “These are my favorite cookies to eat and gift, and definitely go onto the cookie plate for Santa— wink wink!” says Tanya Andrews. Makes six dozen.

Ingredients
315 grams* (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
225 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
60 grams (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
10 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) vanilla
1 gram salt (a pinch)
75 grams (1/2 cup) pecans, ground and lightly toasted
1 – 2 cups powdered sugar, for coating

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until well incorporated, add vanilla extract and mix again until it is incorporated.

Combine your dry ingredients in a small bowl, then in three parts, add to butter mixture scraping the bowl between additions. Once mixed,
portion and roll into 1-inch balls. (At this point, you can freeze the dough: freeze the balls on a sheet pan, and once they’re frozen, throw them into a freezer bag until you’re ready to bake.)

Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for about 15 minutes, until they
are a light golden brown (be careful to not let the bottoms get too dark).
As soon as they come out of the oven, toss cookies in powdered sugar, then again after they have cooled completely for a second time.

*Andrews encourages working in grams for more precise measurements,
but we’ve included approximate standard measurements as well.

Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

If you want to add a little crunch, roll your cookie balls in coarse crystal sugar. If you’re looking for some shine, sprinkle crystal sugar on them as soon as they come out of the oven. The residual heat melts the sugar just enough so it sticks to the surface. That will keep the sugar shiny and pretty without being overly melted. Makes six dozen.

Ingredients
415 grams (3 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
120 grams (1 1/2 cups) cocoa powder
8 grams (1 3/4 teaspoons) baking soda
5 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
425 grams (1 7/8 cups) unsalted butter, softened
625 grams (3 1/8 cups) sugar
3 whole large eggs
15 grams (1 tablespoon) peppermint extract

Directions 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until well incorporated. In a small bowl, add peppermint extract and eggs, one at a time, mixing until well incorporated.

Combine your dry ingredients in a small bowl, then in three parts, add to butter mixture scraping the bowl between additions. Once mixed, portion and roll into 1-inch balls. (At this point, you can freeze the dough: freeze the balls on a sheet pan, and once they’re frozen, throw them into a freezer bag until you’re ready to bake.)

Bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for 16 to 17 minutes. Cookies should be dry in appearance on top and have a slight firmness at the edge.