I’ve made 18 different cookies this year, with an unsurpassed finesse. I planned out various types, including drop cookies and piped cookies and rolled cookies and balls, chilled doughs and meringues. I updated my hardware, with new baking pans (Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheets) and a piping bag (Ateco Plastic Coated Decorating Bag) and piping tips. Plenty of parchment paper. And -- as always -- butter and flour and sugar.

This year, the majority of my recipes came from the 2000 publication by Nick Malgieri: Cookies Unlimited. I found that his concise recipes were consistently inviting and accessible -- enough that I wanted to bake all of them.

I will begin with Malgieri’s “Accidental Cookie Dough,” which is a dough that must be assembled, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for an hour before it can be rolled and cut. I did indeed cut shapes and applied some sprinkles. This was a crumbly butter cookie.



Aunt Ida’s Poppy Seed Cookie” is a drop cookie, meaning it’s the easiest of all: just mix the batter and drop spoonfuls of dough on the baking sheet. How often do you bake with poppy seeds? I don’t use them nearly enough. This is a gratifying cookie.



The “Hazelnut Fingers” allow us to use a pastry bag and a half-inch tube, to pipe out “fingers” of dough. The “piping” methodology requires a certain mindset, and is always rewarding. This is a crispy cookie with the extra gift of hazelnuts.



I made the “Macadamia Lime Cookies” because they sounded so odd. I don’t often reach for macadamia nuts for my cookies, nor do I often use lime juice. And yet, here’s a winner. These balls of dough flatten into plump, chewy cookies.




The “Italian Cornmeal Butter Cookies” are another piped cookie that include lots of butter, egg yolks, and the odd amount of stone-ground cornmeal. This gives us a pleasant, sandy bite. You’ll want to dunk these in your coffee.



Another delightful cookie is the “Orange Spice Refrigerator Wafers.” This dough is rolled into tube shapes (I use my reliable method of rolling a tube of dough in plastic wrap, then sliding this into an empty cardboard paper-towel tube) and refrigerated overnight. On baking day, you slice and bake. A generous amount of orange zest is included in this batch, as well as comforts like cinnamon and ginger and cloves. The flavors improve with each passing day.

More cookies will be showcased in a few days. Stay tuned to CamilleCooks.