Archive for Special Occaisons

Easy Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

Pretty much ever since I can remember, I’ve been making and giving away cookies at Christmas. I like it. I feel like there aren’t a lot of homemade gifts in the world these days, and I also feel like most people (unlike me) don’t have freshly-baked homemade cookies in their house all the time, so why not spread the cookie love? 

Cookies are just good cheer in edible form. I have tons of recipes that I make pretty much every year, but realistically, I like the ones that aren’t super complicated to make, but are still pretty or deliver a punch of flavour. (for more of my favourite Christmas baking and homemade gift ideas, click here)

Shortbreads or sugar cookies are great options because they have an unlimited ability to be flavoured, decorated, etc. And they are simple. This year, I’ve made an earl grey shortbread, and I also made these, which I was quite happy with. 

Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

These are a fairly basic chocolate sugar cookie, but with a twist: the addition of warming Christmas spices. 

You could, of course, roll them out and cut them into pretty shapes, but I’m too lazy for that. I roll mine into a log and then slice them off and bake them in rounds. You can also freeze logs of unbaked dough in your freezer for a cookie emergency, or you could even gift the frozen logs with baking instructions. 

I drizzled mine, when cooled, with melted dark chocolate, but you could also dip them in dark chocolate and then add some sprinkles to make them really festive. 

Either way, one recipe adds up to loads of possibilities, and hopefully happy gift-receivers at the other end. 

Happy Holidays, all! 

chocolate speculaas

Easy Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cookies

(recipe adapted from Lindt Canada)


  • 200 gr 70% dark chocolate 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Melt 100 grams of chocolate over a double boiler. 
  2. Meanwhile, place the butter, sugar and spices in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment and beat well until thoroughly combined. 
  3. Once the chocolate has melted, add it to the butter/sugar/spice mixture. 
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. With the motor on your mixer running at lowest speed, add the flour mixture in, a little at a time. Mix enough to incorporate. 
  5. Divide the dough into two halves. Roll it out into two logs, about 1″-2″ in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and place in the fridge to set, about an hour, or overnight. 
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As the oven is preheating, slice discs of the cookies from the log, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a bit crispy on the edges. 
  7. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. 
  8. After the cookies are cooled, place the wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Melt the last 200 grams of chocolate over a double boiler, then, once it’s melted, drizzle it over the cookies. Return them to the fridge to set.  You could also dip the cookies into the chocolate, but if you do that, place them on waxed paper to cool. 

Pistachio Bejeweled Matcha Sandwich Cookies

Matcha Sandwich Cookies

Here’s the weird thing about being a freelancer: my life is often way to busy or not busy enough. It’s really hard to strike the right balance of work when you’re self-employed. 

I took the summer off, because I wanted to and, honestly, after teaching 3 courses for 6 months straight, I needed a brain break. 

I’ve been back at it since September, but things ramp up slowly. The ramping is now at full capacity, and I have a full plate once again, with teaching, clients, and, I’m very excited to announce, a new business venture I’m launching with a friend in the new year. 

But more about that later. 

Pistachio Bejeweled Matcha Sandwich Cookies

Let’s talk about cookies. Let’s talk about matcha. 

This is my friend Karen. If you’re around the Vancouver food scene, you might know her better as TinyBites. I’ve known Karen for ages, our paths have intersected at various work-related things, both in the food and social media worlds. 

Well, Karen just had a milestone birthday, and I couldn’t let that go uncelebrated. It needed something some special. 

Karen loves matcha, so I knew that had to be the basis of whatever I made. 

The concept was a whoopie pie, or a sandwich cookie, inspired by one I’d recently had at Purebread. 

So I did some research, experimented with a bunch of different recipes, and these beauties were the final result. 

The basis of this recipe is basically a sugar cookie. In terms of technique, it’s most like a snickerdoodle, as you make the dough, then roll it in sugar before baking. 

I then made a vanilla buttercream, and sandwiched them together, before drizzling with white chocolate and then bejeweling them with crushed pistachios. 

I was really happy with the final result! 

Matcha Sandwich Cookies

Pistachio Bejeweled Matcha Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients for the cookies: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (with extra for rolling)
  • 2 tsp matcha tea powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • *green food colouring (optional)*
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of your mixer until fluffy and well combined. Add the egg and the matcha beat again. Add the vanilla, and mix just to incorporate. Add a few drops of green food colouring if desired. 
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, and then add slowly to the wet ingredients while the mixer is running at the lowest speed. 
  3. Stop the motor and scrape down the sides of the bowl, and mix again, until everything is incorporated. 
  4. The cookie batter will be quite soft, and is probably best if it is refrigerated for about an hour before baking. 
  5. Scoop the dough, using a cookie scoop, into your hands and roll into balls. Roll the balls in sugar to coat, then place on the cookie sheet. 
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. You want them to be set, but you shouldn’t see any browning on the edges. 
  7. Once the cookies are baked, remove from the oven and put them on a baking rack to cool completely while you make the icing. 

Matcha Sugar Cookies

Ingredients for the icing: 

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp Bird’s Custard Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered (icing) sugar)
  • milk


  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, place the butter. Whip it until it’s smooth. Add the custard powder and the vanilla, and mix again to incorporate. 
  2. Add the icing sugar with the mixer off, and then turn it on to its lowest setting to incorporate. Once most of the icing sugar has been beaten in, begin to add milk, a little drizzle at a time, until your icing gets to the right consistency. 
  3. Remove from the mixer and spoon into a piping bag. 

Ingredients for the garnish: 

  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • boiling hot water
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled


  1. Create a double boiler by placing a small pan with water in it on the stove. Top the pan with a large metal bowl, and place the chocolate chips inside. Turn on the heat to about medium, and allow the double boiler to gently melt your chocolate chips. Drizzle in a little of the boiling water at a time to get the white chocolate to the consistency where you can easily drizzle it. 
  2. Chop the pistachios, and for extra flavour, gently toast them in a dry frying pan on the stove. 

To assemble: 

Place one cookie face down, and pipe a circle of icing on it. Top with another cookie to make a sandwich. Place all the sandwiches on a parchment-lined baking sheet or on an baking rack over a rimmed baking sheet. With a spoon, drizzle the tops of the cookies with the white chocolate, then sprinkle them all with pistachios. Place in the fridge to set. 



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