Cookies are a holiday staple. They are fun to make with friends and family and are great gifts to give to anyone with a hint of a sweet tooth. Of course, we are all familiar with the holiday classics like sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and chocolate chip, but I thought it would be fun to dive a bit deep into the recipe book. This DIY is all about making cookies from around the world. Let’s learn a bit more about other cultures and traditions by way of cookies! I’ve chosen just a few to look at more closely, but you can find more complete lists of cookies on this Food52 article.
These chocolatey bites can be found at many Brazilian celebrations. They are very simple, consisting of only four ingredients, but are rich and delicious. Sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles are all you need to make these. Find the full recipe here!
Egypt: Halva Truffles
Halva, or halawa in Arabic, means sweetness, and these truffles are exactly that. Made from the paste of seeds, these truffles are usually served with tea or as an after dinner treat. You may have to go to a health food or speciality foods store to find the halawa seeds and spread, but after sourcing the ingredients, this is a fairly simple recipe to make. Find out a bit more about it and learn how to make it here!
I have no idea how to pronounce the name of these cookies, but I do know that they are delightful. If you like a more spicy cookie, these are for you. With cardamom, cloves, and molasses, these cookies taste of old holiday traditions. You can find pfeffernüsse in germany and many other countries in northern Europe. Find the full recipe here!
India: Topra Pak
Topra Pak is a coconut milk truffle. These three ingredient treats have the consistency of fudge but are shaped like truffles (or snowballs). All you will need is condensed milk, unsweetened desiccated coconut, and ground cardamom seeds. Learn how to make them for yourself here.
Japan: Matcha Butter Cookie
If you love matcha tea, you will love these matcha cookies. This not-so-sweet cookie is a little bitter due to the matcha powder, but the depth of flavor is lovely. The buttery texture makes them melt in your mouth. Try these with tea or wrap them up to give as pretty, edible gifts. Find the recipe and read the story behind these green cookies here!
Buttery, rich, simple, and sweet, these traditional cookies are a must-have in any Norweigeon households near the holidays. Measured out and baked by the teaspoon, serinakakers are very easy to make and devour. Learn how to make them here!
South Africa: Chocolate Pepper Cookies
These may look like your everyday chocolate cookie, but this recipe from South Africa contains an ingredient that may surprise you: black pepper. While the pepper adds a, well, peppery taste to the cookies, it also enhances the chocolate flavor. The author of this recipe suggests making a small batch and adding only a little bit of pepper to see how you like it, then using more or less pepper in the larger batch according to your taste. The recipe can be found here!