There is nothing more comforting than baking Christmas cookies in the warm embrace of your kitchen. Yesterday I put some Norah Jones on, wore my favorite apron and decided that it was the right time to bake them. A white fog was covering all the bell towers of Venice, all the canals and the old palaces. It was just the best moment to relax and begin to feel this Christmas. It has been a tough year for many of us and I think that we really need some magic.
This recipe is very simple, but the result is extremely satisfying. These cookies contain all the most typical Christmas flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest and vanilla. The important thing is to let the dough rest for a lot of time in the refrigerator. This really helps the cookies become nice and crunchy. For what concerns the shapes, choose your favorite ones and feel free to add some decorations on top. I love them plain and simple, with my morning coffee.
Christmas Cookies with Cinnamon and Orange Zest
200 gr. unsalted butter
280 gr. granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
400 gr. all-purpose flour
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 orange (zest)
a pinch of nutmeg
LET’S DO IT!
Pre-heat the oven at 170° C (340°F).
Process the butter, together with sugar and the seeds of the vanilla bean, until you have a fluffy white cream. At this point, add the egg and mix until the cream absorbs it completely. Now add the dry ingredients: the flour, the salt, the baking soda, the orange zest and the spices. Gently mix. You should obtain a firm dough. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but all night would be better. It’s up to you! The more you let the dough rest, the better.
Cut the dough in four pieces and roll out one at a time on a floured surface with a rolling pin. The cookies should be half a centimeter thick. Shape your cookies as you wish and bake them for about 10 minutes, or until they become light brown on the edges. Let them cool before serving and enjoy them with your friends, maybe with some spiced hot chocolate! And Merry Christmas!