Stephanie Dray’s Favorite Holiday Cookies

December 21, 2018

Who doesn’t love cookies? I was delighted to learn, while writing My Dear Hamilton with co-author Laura Kamoie, that it was the Dutch New Netherland families like the Schuylers who first brought cookies to America. Now, of course, Dutch cookies tend to be a little bit spicy. You might remember a scene from the book in which Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s children are pelting one another with pepernoot cookies, also called pepernoten. And if you want to taste them, a good substitute is German Pfeffernusse which you can grab at your nearest Trader Joe’s while supplies last.

In truth, writing My Dear Hamilton made us both hungry because we were inundated with delicious recipes. Doughnuts, oliekoeken, speculaas, apple fritters and much, much more. (P.S. you can get an easy taste of speculaas, also at Trader Joe’s, in the form of their notorious cookie butter. I promise, I’m not getting a cookie kickback here…)

Anyway now that the holiday season is upon us, I am sentimental about the role cookies have come to play in the holiday season for many Americans. From gifts to cookie-swap parties, we share this old colonial tradition, and it serves as a link to the past. So I’ve decided to share some of my own favorites with you.

Stroopwafels — These amazing creations were designed just for tea–shaped round to place over the top of your saucer so that the heat will melt the caramel inside.

Butter Cookies — Ubiquitous and in fun shapes!

Shortbread — Simple, but always a favorite.

Bourbon Balls — When you need something to give your party a little zing!

Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies — Now this one is perfect for busy writers.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies — For something frosty!

To keep up with my cookie favorites, my recipes, failed and otherwise, please see my Pinterest Board for more!