2014 Cookie Advent Calendar Recipes

However you do the holidays, the best thing about this time of year is always the same: cookies! We collected 25 of our favorite cookie recipes from all over the world for this year’s interactive Cookie Advent Calendar; every one of them is perfect for giving as gifts, nibbling after dinner, or pairing with a mug of tea on a wintry afternoon. Here they are, all in one place.

Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos)

These cookies are delicate and crumbly with a light dusting of spicy, sweet cinnamon sugar. It’s worth seeking out fresh lard, often carried by butcher shops; it’s more flavorful than the supermarket variety. Get the recipe for Anise Seed Cookies (Bizcochitos) »

Duche de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajores)

Variations on this elegant cookie can be found throughout Latin America, but alfajores are associated above all with the cafe culture of Buenos Aires. They’re served year-round with coffee, but during the holidays home cooks all over Argentina break out their trusted family recipes—each one unique but always with a decadent filling of dulce de leche sandwiched between two rounds of crisp butter cookie. Get the recipe for Duche de Leche Cookie Sandwiches (Alfajores) »

Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

Specialties of Basel, in northern Switzerland, these chocolatey confections are often described as Swiss brownies. Almonds, sugar, and chocolate are ground fine and bound together with egg whites to create a satisfyingly chewy texture, while cinnamon and cloves impart an unmistakable flavor of old-fashioned Christmas cheer. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli) »

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)

Norwegian Wafer Cookies (Krumkakes)

Mexican Butter Cookies with Sprinkles (Galletas con Chochitos)

Tiny, ring-shaped butter cookies like these are a popular holiday treat in Mexico. They’re typically decorated with chocolate sprinkles, but green, red, and white ones transform them into festive Christmas wreaths. Get the recipe for Mexican Butter Cookies with Sprinkles (Galletas con Chochitos) »

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Our gluten-free twist on classic sugar cookies uses rice flour as the base. Gluten-free doughs tend to be more delicate than standard cookie doughs; if the dough becomes too soft to work with, cut out shapes and place unbaked cookies on trays in the freezer for 3-5 minutes before baking.
Brigadeiros
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Blueberry-Poppy Seed Squares (Borůvkový Koláč)

The floral character of poppy seeds shines when paired with blueberries in this rich dessert.
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Lamingtons
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Cinnamon and Kirsch Star Cookies (Zimtsterne)

The recipe for these almond and cinnamon Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich.
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Lebanese Date Shortbread (Ma’amoul)

Lebanese Date Shortbread
Cornflake cookies
See the Recipe Farideh Sadeghin
These simple peanut butter cookies topped with a Hershey’s kiss are a classic Christmas treat in many American households.
Lemon Pistachio Biscotti
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Sarah Bernhardt Iceland Cookies
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New England Hermits

These classic bar cookies, spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg and studded with raisins, are adapted from a recipe in the 1880 New Cook Book. Get the recipe for New England Hermits »
Omani Coconut Cookies
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Greek Honey Cookies

Soaked in honey syrup and garnished with a spiced walnut mixture, these traditional Greek cookies are often served around the holidays. Get the recipe for Greek Honey Cookies »
New Zealand Lolly Cake
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Welsh Cookies
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Iranian Rice Cookies
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Kolaczki
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Black and White Cookies

These generously iced, cakelike cookies are as cherished by New Yorkers as bagels and cream cheese. To quicken the setting of the glazes, place the cookies in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes after each coating.