These cookies have become a holiday must for me! The first are orange spice cookies with pistachios, sesame seeds and fruit. I usually use a moon-shaped cutter but I got this pig a while ago and hadn’t used it, and nothing says “christmas” like pigs, so here we are.

The little ravioli-like cookies are filled with hazelnuts, cranberries and chocolate chips.

Both of these are a bit time-consuming, but totally worth it! And really, is there anything more festive than spending a whole day baking and listening to the radio (or in this case Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom”)?

Both are German recipes, adapted from Brigitte magazine, so measurements are by weight, not volume.

Orange Spice Cookies


300g flour

200g cold butter

100g hazelnut flour

grated peel of one orange

1 egg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cloves


50g dried fruit (like cranberries or apricots), chopped small

100g flavorful honey (like wildflower or acacia)

50g butter

3 tblsp milk

75g sesame seeds

30g chopped pistachios

Using your hands, knead together the ingredients for the dough. Roll into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

Roll out the dough and cut out your desired shapes. Lay on a baking sheet (the dough is buttery enough not to require buttering the pan).

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Warm up the butter and honey together and mix. Brush each cookie and sprinkle with sesame seeds, pistachios and fruit. Bake until the edges start to brown.



Christmas “Ravioli” Cookies


200g flour (I made mine half whole wheat, as usual)

75g corn starch

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

60g sugar

1 egg

150g cold butter

Optional decoration: Chopped dried cranberries and 1 egg for eggwash


1 cup strongly brewed spice tea

60g chopped dried cranberries

100g hazelnut flour

35g sugar

mini chocolate chips (amount at baker’s discretion)

Knead together all the ingredients for the dough. Divide into 4, wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the filling. Add enough tea to make the mixture just hold together. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out dough, one portion at a time, working quickly to prevent it from getting too soft. Cut out cookies with a round scalloped cookie cutter. Place on cookie sheet.

Using your fingers, place a small amount of filling on each cookie. Cut out more cookies and place them on top of the filling, pressing down the edges to make “ravioli.”

Optionally, whisk an egg and brush each cookie with a thin layer of eggwash (making sure not to let it drip onto the pan, where it will burn and stick)! Place a piece of dried cranberry on each cookie.

Bake until edges start to brown, about 12 minutes.