Come December of every year, New York Times Cooking turns its focus to what else but … cookies. Cookie Week has become a Cooking tradition, with special recipes and even more special videos to show off the very best our staff and freelancers have to offer. The videos below are a collection of Cookie Weeks past and present, each one arguably more joyous than the last. Watch the videos, then cook along, and soon perhaps Cookie Week will become a tradition for you, too.
These are not — we repeat — savory cheese straws. But Melissa Clark takes the genius technique of using store-bought puff pastry and rolling it in a topping (here, that’s shredded coconut) to make a simple cookie with just a handful of ingredients and a gorgeously flaky crunch.
“This is a cookie that lives in my memory,” Yewande Komolafe says in this video. A sweet-savory cookie tinged with nostalgia for her, they’re studded with bits of Kalamata olives, while rosemary and lemon tone down the brininess. Set them in your cookie tin for something especially sophisticated — a cookie that works as well with a cappuccino as with a little wine.
Genevieve Ko wanted to create a chocolate lava cake in cookie form, and we’re so glad she followed through. These super-simple cookies have three parts that come together in no time at all: a brownie cookie base, a chocolate hazelnut spread and roasted chopped hazelnuts on top. They’re perfect, as Genevieve says, for unexpected gifts, or really any old time.
Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
This recipe from Eric Kim is a culmination of all his Cookie Week learnings. Here he works gochujang, the fermented Korean chile paste, into an almost snickerdoodlelike cookie. It sits in the fridge for a very short time — 15 to 20 minutes, so the dough is easier to work — and then it’s ready to bake and eat. “If you’re the type of person who wants to bake in order to eat the thing very soon,” Eric says, “then this is the recipe for you.”
Say this three times fast: Chocolate! Orange! Pistachio! Shortbread! Sue Li took inspiration from the chocolate orange balls of yore that would break into wedges when hit against a countertop. This sturdy shortbread is especially good to give as a gift: Not only is it gorgeously studded with those colorful add-ins, it also gets better with time.
“This cookie goes for it, this cookie is … money”: Sohla El-Waylly, a noted lover of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, took this classic over the top by assessing a number of recipes, breaking their ingredients down into percentages and taking what she liked from each of them. What results is fudgy insides and crispy outsides, and a cookie that’s huge and speckled with roasted, salted nuts and vanilla seeds.
Chewy, textural, moist: These cookies from Vaughn Vreeland have it all. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and espresso powder are whisked with butter on the stovetop, then it’s combined in a single bowl — no stand mixer required — and baked off for a gorgeously spiced cookie that tastes like holiday cheer.
Recipe: Chewy Gingerbread Latte Cookies
Add a little nostalgia to the mix with these cookies from Eric Kim. The addition of M&Ms make these especially colorful, and butter set out until soft enough to whisk keeps them both chewy and easy enough to make in a single bowl. Play with the M&M colors: Choose holiday-specific candies or cut them up so their bright colors fleck the batter.
Recipe: M&M Cookies
You get a lot of these little cookies from Melissa Clark, and that’s a great thing. If you don’t have a cookie press, don’t worry for a second. Melissa recommends a pastry bag, or even shaping them by hand. They won’t be as structured, but they’ll still be so lovely. Decorate them with whatever finish you like: sprinkles, colored sugar, even a dusting of a warm spice.
Recipe: Almond Spritz Cookies
These cookies from Vaughn Vreeland pull together all the best parts of brownies: the chewy edges and the tender centers. Peppermint extract and a topping of crumbled candy canes double down on the holiday flavor and help cut through their delightful richness.
Recipe: Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Sohla El-Waylly uses a brilliant trick in these recipes, blitzing toffee bits with sugar, baking soda and salt and working it into the batter. What results is a caramelly butter cookie that sandwiches a simple but elegant vanilla icing.
Yewande Komolafe does it again! These shortbread cookies are swirled with hibiscus and citrus zest, making them as sophisticated as they are beautiful. Candied ginger and raw sugar add even more texture to the dough, so every bite sings.
Recipe: Hibiscus-Spiraled Ginger Cookies
Yes, these are bars, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy of a place in Cookie Week. Here, Claire Saffitz pairs the lime and mint in what she calls “a dessert for true citrus lovers.” Adding cornstarch makes these extra durable, so you can travel with them a bit more easily than you could with most lemon bars.
Recipe: Minty Lime Bars
Jammy on the inside with a buttery wrapper, these twists are inspired by the pastelillos (also known as pastelitos) of Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean. Those gorgeous pastries often feature a bit of cream cheese in the filling, but here, it’s blended into the dough for a tanginess that helps mellow the sweet guava paste. Eat them warm out of the oven, while the wrappers are especially tender and the guava extra jammy.
Recipe: Guava and Cream Cheese Twists
Chocolate-peppermint lovers, this is your cookie. Sohla El-Waylly makes an 8-inch square slab of chocolate shortbread, then coats it in a peppermint meringue that’s finished with a red swirl and baked low and slow. The red swirls are optional: Leave them out, or swirl with whatever color you’d like. After all, it’s your Cookie Week.
Recipe: Chocolate-Peppermint Shortbread
“These are deluxe cookies!” Yewande Komolafe says at the start of this video, and she’s not wrong. Inspired by Milo, malt chocolate candies that she grew up eating in Nigeria, these ganache-coated cookies sandwich a fluffy marshmallow filling. Flaky sea salt adds a nice balance, but you could also finish with gold leaf or luster dust to make them even more luxurious.
This recipe came from Claire Saffitz’s 2020 cookbook, “Dessert Person.” The pistachio skins leave a beautiful speckled surface, but if you can buy blanched pistachios (or rub off the skins), they’ll keep those spirals a brilliant green.
In this recipe, adapted from “Rose’s Christmas Cookies” by Rose Levy Beranbaum, Melissa Clark fills rugelach with cherry preserves, but you could use anything you like: traditional apricot or rosemary, or whatever seems appetizing. Just don’t skip the cardamom sugar. A sprinkle on top adds a welcome crunch.
Recipe: Cherry Rugelach With Cardamom Sugar
“It tastes just like eggnog,” Vaughn Vreeland says about these cookies, a family favorite. He uses rum extract to mimic eggnog’s booziness in these tender treats that get better with time. Whip up a batch for your next holiday party. Not only are they delicious, they’re also blessedly quick and easy.
Recipe: Eggnog Snickerdoodles