This holiday season, we are pairing and sharing two things we love: cookies and cider. Every December, the stand mixer comes out and is a permanent fixture on the counter as Beth whips up batch after batch of holiday cookies to share with families and friends. The freezer is packed with cookies waiting to be distributed to neighbors on Christmas Eve or added to the huge cookie platters put together for our families.
We are putting a spin on the traditional snack for Santa because we think he might be a little tired of milk. We’ll be sharing cookie recipes for you to try this season and offering up a cider pairing, in case you want to leave it for the big guy. He’ll love it.
Our first cookie is a spin on the cinnamon sugar classic, the Snickerdoodle. Chai spices—clove, ginger, cardamom (and of course, cinnamon)—amp up the flavor, while brown sugar instead of granulated white gives the cookies a richer, deeper taste. The smell is intoxicating, especially when paired with a cider like the one we recommend below this recipe…
Makes about 4 dozen cookies
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow dish, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger powder. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and a ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture. I like to use a flat whisk.
3. Add butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
4. Shape dough into balls. I use a small scoop (1 ¼ inch) for more uniform cookies. Roll each ball in the spice mixture. Space dough on cookies sheets lined with parchment or a Silpat. Make sure to leave enough room for the cookies to spread. A dozen cookies fit nicely on a standard baking sheet.
5. Bake cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating and switching the sheets halfway through. Edges should be golden brown. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
These cookies have a lot of the same spices that typically play well with apples, so any apple-forward cider will work. We had Bee Well Meadery’s Antrim Apple Pie, a mead/cider in the fridge and figured it might pair nicely with its very subtle cinnamon and vanilla along with sweet/tart apples. And we were correct. Santa would definitely enjoy this combination.