On the ninth day of Xmas… 3 sweet and savoury cookie recipes!

On the ninth day of Xmas… 3 sweet and savoury cookie recipes!

Germans, Indians, the Irish and more. Here’s how these treats united the world

All I want for Xmas is… sweet and savoury cookies! Image used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shutterstock

It’s a beautiful time of the year. The tree is lit, the stockings are out, and we are now in the warmth of our families as the weather outside turns chilly. It is December, which means – Xmas.

With kitchens from the world over being filled with the aroma of a freshly baked fruit cake, cookies, gingerbread men and other tasty dishes, it is only fair that you ring in the merriment of a joyful season with a few recipes of your own.

However, the cookies you so dearly love have a tale of their own. A story that goes back in time.

A long time ago, pagan winter solstice festivals were held the world over. The festival saw large groups of people gathering to celebrate the changing of seasons, so much so that it featured quite a large amount of food, singing and dancing. However, this was done before the famine struck, come winter.

As time passed, the festivals were replaced with the Xmas holiday and famine was out of sight, out of mind, for all. While the people retained past traditions from the festivals, the dessert part of the meal had evolved completely, giving way to the birth of several sweet dishes.

It was then when cookies were born, which were a blend of sweet and spicy ingredients. Spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, dried fruits like apricot and dates were introduced in almost every kitchen due to trade routes between the east and the west. According to history.com, these items, along with ingredients like sugar, lard and butter, would have been prized as expensive delicacies by medieval cooks. Only on the most important holiday could families afford them, which led to a baking bonanza.

However, it has always been hard to know where cookies truly originate from.

The Germans claim that they introduced Xmas cookies or weihnachtsplätzchen, as they so called it. It is because the tradition goes back to the monasteries of the Middle Ages where monks had access to the same sugar and spices, those of which are now associated with the holiday treats.

Interestingly, the word ‘cookie’ is said to have come from the Dutch word ‘koeptje’, because they were the ones who introduced Xmas during the 17th century to the new world (as claimed by them). Soon after it gained popularity, and almost everyone baked cookies rather than pies and cakes because it was easier to make, lasted longer, and made for the perfect gift.

Now that you know where your cookies came from, it’s time to start baking! Here are 3 recipes to get the holiday season going…

Christmas leckerli cookies

Leckerli cookies. Image used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shutterstock


500 gms honey

250 gms brown sugar

300 gms whole wheat flour

10 gms cinnamon

30 ml lemon zest

150 gms almond flakes

8 gms baking soda

70 gms chopped ginger

200 gms all-purpose flour

100 gms fondant


In a pan, heat the honey and brown sugar on a low flame and keep it aside until cooled.

Mix both whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour, cinnamon, lemon zest, almond flakes, baking soda, chopped ginger with the honey-sugar mix. Ensure you sift through the flour first, to avoid any lumps.

Pour the mixture in a 3cm high tray.

Bake at 175C for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and cover with soft fondant.

Put back in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes to crystallize the sugar in the fondant and then cut in your desired shape.

Serve and enjoy!

Cinnamon star cookies

Cinnamon star cookies. Image used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shutterstock


500 gms almond powder

350 gms sugar

100 gms icing sugar

20 gms cinnamon powder

100 gms egg whites


1. Preheat oven at 180C.

2. Knead almond powder, sugar, icing sugar, cinnamon powder and egg whites together to make the dough.

3. Roll out the dough to 2.5mm thick sheet and cut out stars with a mold.

4. Place the stars on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. You can design the cookies with coloured icing sugar of your choice.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Linzer cookies

Linzer cookies. Image used for illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Shutterstock


45 gms almond powder

30 gms icing sugar

75 gms butter

3 gms salt

2 tsp vanilla essence

90 gms flour

75 gms raspberry filling

45 gms almond powder

30 gms icing sugar


1. Firstly, prepare the linzer cookie dough by mixing all the dry ingredients slowly along with vanilla essence, after that keep it inside a chiller for 3 hours.

2. Remove the dough and roll it out to a medium thickness.

3. Use any mould of your choice to make shapes and place on baking trays. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 160C.

4. Once the cookies have cooled, spread raspberry jam over it and sift powdered icing sugar as decoration on top.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Know of more cookie recipes? Tell us about it on food@gulfnews.com

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