12 Days of Cookies: Day 7, Bizcochos


This year we changed up the assortment in our Holiday Cookie Box to reflect the tastes of our pastry team and include recipes that they grew up enjoying. The Bizcocho cookie is rooted in Spanish culture and a staple on holiday tables. It’s also popular for cookie swaps, so we thought it would be perfect to feature. You’ll know it by its dome shape and sandy color.

The idea to include Bizcochos came from Jennafer Claproth, pastry lead at our Sodo location. Jennafer’s great-great-aunt Tia Theresa was a wonderful baker who passed her recipes down to her children, who then passed them on to their cousin, Jennafer’s grandmother.

“I remember as a kid my great-cousins would come to my grandma’s house to make these cookies, plus various others, for Christmas,” says Jennafer. “Having them give us the recipe was a challenge, since my aunt never had any exact measurements and neither did my cousins.”

One day, Jennafer decided the only way to get the recipe was to make them with one of her cousins. Every pinch of spice and handful of flour that her cousin used was meticulously measured and written down until they had the precise recipe.

When we gathered together at Leslie’s home last summer to brainstorm ideas and discuss recipes for the Holiday Cookie Box, Jennafer shared her Bizcochos. It was love at first bite. The sandy texture melts into a sweet, buttered pecan flavor, making it impossible to eat just one.

“These cookies continue to be made every Christmas and we wait for them all year long,” says Jennafer.

Find Jennafer’s Bizcochos tucked into our Holiday Cookie Box, available in our cafés through the end of the year!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 6, Macaroons

Macaroon History

Macarons sure have had their time in the spotlight, haven’t they? Those precious cookies with their little domes drenched in Technicolor.

But we mustn’t forget the Macaroon. Often woefully confused for the Macaron (in name, not appearance), the Macaroon is just as deserving of star treatment. The laidback, oh-so-approachable cousin of the Macaron is made with just a few simple ingredients (sugar, vanilla, egg whites and coconut), but they sometimes get dressed up with a bit of cocoa powder or take a dip in some chocolate.

Macarons and Macaroons do have a shared history. Food historians believe they both got their start in Europe. Some say that Macarons gained fame when two Benedictine nuns, trying to climb out of hard times, began selling Macarons to pay the bills and the country fell in love. It wasn’t long before there were street vendors selling the cookies on every street corner in Paris. In 1930, Pierre Desfontaines, relative of the famous Louis Ernest Ladurée, had the bright idea to take two Macaron cookies and sandwich them with a bit of chocolate ganache, sealing the fate of the modern day Macaron and launching Ladurée’s rise to fame.

There are many stories about when coconut was folded into the mix to make the Macaroon, but most believe that European Jews adapted the Macaron recipe to make a perfect Passover treat. Flour and almond paste were omitted and sweet, shredded coconut was added. Similar recipes can also be found in Scottish, Dominican, Indian, Spanish, Turkish, and Irish cultures.

While we enjoy both cookies, the Macaroon has our heart. Crisp on the outside, chewy in the center, and delightfully sweet, Macaroons are reminiscent of the cookies our moms used to make. They are a rustic homage to childhood.

Our four-packs of Macaroons, in chocolate or vanilla, are the perfect little something to tuck into a Christmas stocking. Find them at any of our cafés!

12 Days of Cookies: Day 2, Quick & Easy Cookie Icing

Royal Icing

Decorating sugar cookies can be a fun way to wile away a chilly afternoon with friends. Don’t despair if your little cookie canvasses aren’t perfect works of art. With a little practice, you’ll be icing cookies like our pastry chefs. In the meantime, rest assured that these cookies taste delicious no matter what – especially if you followed our tips for baking the perfect batch!

Quick & Easy Cookie Icing
Click here to print this recipe!


1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon filtered water
Food coloring

Makes enough icing to decorated 6 to 8 six-inch cookies

1. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl and add water. *Stir to combine until the mixture is smooth and all the sugar is dissolved. Add just a couple of drops of food coloring and mix well. You can always add more food coloring until the desired color is reached. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

2. Repeat the steps above to create more colors.

3. Fit your pastry bags with the desired piping tips. A fine tip is perfect for drawing detailed decorations and making outlines. A wider tip can be used to fill in spaces. Using a rubber spatula, fill each bag with a different frosting color. Gather the frosting near the tip so no air will escape the tip as you are decorating. When icing the cookies, make sure the piping tip is not touching the cookie, but rather hovering over the cookie. One way to cover the whole cookie with a glaze of icing is by putting on a latex glove, dipping your finger into the icing and painting the cookie with your finger.

4. While the icing is wet, add embellishments to the cookie by topping with colored sprinkles or crystal sugar. Once the icing has set, gently tap the cookie to get rid of extra sprinkles and sugar.

5. After all the cookies have been decorated, let them sit for 2 hours at room temperature, so the frosting can set.

*If your icing is too thick, stir in more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached; if too thin, continue stirring, or mix in more powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

12 Days of Cookies: Day 1, Our Best Baking Tips

Baking cookies is usually our first foray into cooking, and it remains one of the most pleasurable cooking experiences throughout our lives. The simple act of combining a few ingredients to make a big batch of sweets is a great way to spread some holiday cheer. To make sure your cookies are baked to perfection, we rounded up a few simple guidelines.

Creaming Butter

Cream the butter. If a cookie recipe calls for butter and sugar, it’s important to mix, or cream, the two together. Use a stand mixer to cream the ingredients with the paddle attachment for about five minutes. Start out on low speed for the first minute or so, and then increase the speed to medium. This process aerates the butter, creating a light color and creamy texture, and ultimately gives the cookies more height.


Pay attention to the eggs. As with all perishable ingredients, always use the freshest, highest quality eggs you can find. Add eggs to the cookie dough one at a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated into the batter before adding another. We recommend scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl frequently with a rubber spatula to make sure every bit of the egg is mixed into the dough.

Cookie Ingredients

Fold in the dry ingredients. Rather than separately adding dry ingredients such as flour, baking soda, and salt to cookie dough, combine them in one bowl and mix well with a whisk, so that they will be evenly distributed throughout the cookies. Then, when the instructions call for it, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Add small amounts at a time, folding in each batch until all of the flour has been absorbed into the dough. Folding the dough helps avoid over-mixing, which could result in tough cookies.

Cookie Ingredients

Chill the dough. It’s tempting to form and bake your cookies as soon as you make the dough – waiting can be agony when there are hungry people around – but chilling the finished dough for one hour in the refrigerator will ensure thicker, chewier cookies. If the butter inside the dough is not chilled before baking, it will melt quickly when placed in the oven, resulting in flat cookies that burn around the edges but stay raw in the middle. It’s worth waiting an hour to make the best cookie possible.

There really is nothing better than warm, freshly baked cookies. We hope your holiday season is filled with lots of delicious treats now that you’re armed with our best baking tips!

Find more baking tips like these as well as wonderful cookie recipes in our latest cookbook, More from Macrina.

Cookie Swap: A Christmas Cookie History

‘Tis the season for baking! Whether you’re hosting a Christmas party or having a quiet holiday celebration at home, chances are cookies will be part of the equation.

The tradition of baking and sharing Christmas cookies stretches back for centuries with its roots firmly planted in Europe. As people migrated to America, so did their cooking traditions. According to McCalls’ December 1994 issue, the earliest account of Christmas cookies in America came from the Dutch in the 1600s.

With an assortment of Ginger Molasses Cookies, Swedish Overnights, Mexican Wedding Balls, and Sour Cherry Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies, our Christmas Cookie Box is a melting pot of cultural flavors. Like folklore, some of these recipes have been shared and modified so much their origins have become blurry, but we’ve tracked down some truths about each recipe.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

As Leslie says, ginger has a natural warming quality that’s perfect for this time of year. With its recipe closely mirroring that of gingerbread, conventional wisdom tells us that the Ginger Molasses cookie is a miniature version of the sweet and spicy cake.

Mexican Wedding Balls

These cookies are perhaps the most ragtag of the bunch. Also known as Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs and Butterballs, it’s believed that this recipe came from the Moors who invaded Spain in the 8th century. Some food historians say the recipe eventually migrated to South America and Mexico with European nuns.

Swedish Overnights

No Scandinavian Christmas celebration would be complete without Swedish Overnights. Also called Swedish Heirloom Cookies, Swedish Overnights share similar ingredients to Mexican Wedding Balls. These cookies can be dusted with powered sugar, or in this case, colorful sprinkles for a festive touch.

Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookies

A classic Scottish dessert with three basic ingredients, shortbread makes a quintessential cookie. It’s a popular choice for holidays, because it’s so adaptable and can be cut into festive shapes. We’ve added coarse crystal and brown sugars, tart cherries and vanilla to our recipe for more complex flavor.

Like those before us, we hope you enjoy sharing these recipes for many years to come!

Tips for Baking Perfect Cookies

Our chilly autumn days easily lend themselves to holing up indoors. To keep from going stir crazy, we turn to baking – naturally. There is nothing more comforting than biting into a warm, freshly baked cookie. Between rainy weekends, school bake sales, and those swiftly-approaching holidays, we thought you might enjoy our best cookie baking tips.


Tip #1  Most cookie recipes call for room temperature butter, but in the excitement of diving into a recipe it’s easy to forget to take the butter out of the fridge ahead of time. For those moments, simply slice the butter into smaller pieces, layer evenly on a plate, and leave it on the counter until it gives with the press of a finger – about half an hour.

Tip #2  The best cookie sheets are the heavy-gauge, stainless steel variety. Dark-colored cookie sheets may cause your cookies to over-brown on the bottom.

Tip #3  Baking cookies one sheet at a time is generally recommend for thorough cooking, but that’s also time intensive. If you’re baking more than one sheet at a time, rotate them from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the cooking time.

Tip #4  Cold dough is best for making sugar cookie cut outs. If your dough warmed up with handling, cover it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge until it’s well-chilled – about two hours. Once you’re ready to work with it, keep any unused portion refrigerated until it’s needed. On that note, cookie dough should be slightly cool before it goes into the oven, since warm cookie dough spreads excessively as it bakes.

Tip #5  We like using a small, spring-loaded ice cream scoop to portion out cookie dough. This keeps the cookies a nice, uniform size and helps them bake evenly.

Tip #6  Avoid cooling your cookies directly on the cookie sheet, as this causes them to overcook. Instead, gently place them on a cooling rack once you’ve pulled them from the oven.

Now that you’re ready to bake up the perfect batch, pick up More from Macrina for Leslie’s favorite cookie recipes!

A Classic Cookie for Father’s Day

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Our Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies are a holiday favorite and great for gifting. Crisp and flavorful, they come in a variety of styles to match each celebration, be it Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and even Father’s Day. Simple ingredients go into our melt-in-your-mouth cookies – flour, sugar and butter – making them the perfect base for any dessert. Adorned with crystal colored sugar for a playful treat or paired with roasted nectarines and vanilla bean ice cream for a decadent summertime dessert, these cookies are quite versatile.

We recently swapped the brightly colored sugars used on some of our shortbread cookies for locally sourced, naturally colored sparkling sugar from India Tree. Using concentrated colorants derived from edible plants instead of potentially harmful synthetic dyes, India Tree strives to provide the most wholesome sparkling sugars, gel pastes, and sanding sugars, and their subtle color perfectly suits our rustic party profile.

Just in time for Father’s Day, we will be at the Queen Anne Farmers Market on Thursday, June 13th, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with our delicious Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies and decorations in tow to help you craft the perfect miniature masterpiece for Dad. Gift boxes, tags and ribbon will be provided to package your cookies. See you there!