Holiday sweets — and one savory

Holiday sweets — and one savory

A cookie tray features (from left to right) cinnamon sablés, macaroons, cranberry/walnut biscotti, mini chocolate zucchini cakes, pecan sandies and lemon squares.

A cookie tray features (from left to right) cinnamon sablés, macaroons, cranberry/walnut biscotti, mini chocolate zucchini cakes, pecan sandies and lemon squares.
A cookie tray features (from left to right) cinnamon sablés, macaroons, cranberry/walnut biscotti, mini chocolate zucchini cakes, pecan sandies and lemon squares.
I recently did some baking for the grand opening of the Bristol Art Museum’s new home. I used some old favorite cookie recipes and a couple of new recipes I wanted to try. All were a success — the sweet and the savory — I can tell when there are lots of requests for the recipes.

So, here are some you can add to your cookie trays for the holidays or just anytime this winter when you feel like something sweet with your tea or coffee.

The Provençal Sablés, fragrant with parmesan, rosemary and thyme, are perfect with wine.

Coconut Macaroons

Makes 36

4 large egg whites

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

2 12 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 325°F. Have egg whites at room temperature.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, gradually adding 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla (extra-fine sugar works best, but plain granulated sugar can be used).

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add coconut and mix until well combined. Fold gently into the beaten egg whites, a little at a time, until all of the flour/sugar mixture is incorporated.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until tops are golden. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes, then carefully remove macaroons using a thin spatula.

Cinnamon Sables

from “East of Paris” by David Bouley, Mario Lohninger and Melissa Clark

Makes 84

1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons (3 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 large egg

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (yes, that’s right, 2 tbsp.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg and granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a food processor, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Then add the egg and mix to combine. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt; beat or pulse to form a dough.

Roll the dough to form two cylinders about 2 inches in diameter, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or as long as three days.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line several baking sheets with parchment Beat the remaining egg in a bowl. Pour about 1/4 inch of granulated sugar onto clean, dry surface. Brush the outside of the dough log with the beaten egg, then roll the log in the sugar to coat it. Slice 1/4-inch coins of cookie dough from the log, and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake until lightly browned around the edges and firm, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets. These cookies will keep for a week, stored airtight at room temperature.

Lemon and Anise Sugar Twists

Makes 12

These are delicious on their own, with fresh fruit or perfect for a hostess gift.


1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons anise seed

Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle work surface with sugar. Set pastry atop sugar and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick (12 inches by 12 inches). Brush with egg glaze.

Combine 3 tbsp. sugar and lemon zest. Sprinkle over pastry. Sprinkle with anise seed. Cut pastry crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips. Pick up ends of each strip, twist several times and place on ungreased cookie sheet, pressing ends onto cookie sheet to make them stick.

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

NOTE: If I make them with other desserts, I cut each strip in half before twisting them. Then you have 24 twists.

Provençal Sablés


Makes 36

1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), room temperature

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup finely grated good Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 egg

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

In a food processor*, cream together the butter, salt, cheese, and herbs until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and add the egg. Mix until just combined. It will look a bit curdled.

Add the flour, and pulse until the dough just comes together (you can’t see any dry flour), and not a second more. Turn the dough out onto a big sheet of plastic wrap, and knead two to three times, so the dough has no air pockets or cracks. Roll the dough, using the plastic wrap, into a 10-inch log. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice dough into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet (they don’t spread much at all), and bake until the edges of the sablés are just golden, 15-17 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes outside to cool, then transfer to a wire rack.

NOTE: I doubled the recipe and baked them on two large cookie sheet, switching sheets mid-way through baking. They took 18 minutes to bake.

* The original recipe used a stand mixer with a paddle if you prefer, but the food processor worked fine.

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