how the cookies crumble

Local bakers share their favorite holiday cookie recipes

by Sarah Eddy

Looking for a new cookie to add to your collection? We asked bakers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to share one of their all-time favorite recipes. Their answers range from a gooey chocolate chip cookie to a plant-based and gluten-free vanilla macaroon. If you want to cookie-swap like the pros, consider bringing one of these to the party. Happy baking!

Queneesha Meyers, Q’s Cakes & Sweets Boutique

Meyer’s love of baking began with the classic chocolate chip cookie. She found a recipe on a bag of flour when she was 11 years old, used her allowance to buy the ingredients, and shared the results with her neighbors in Brooklyn. The Albuquerque-based baker has altered the chocolate chip cookie recipe only slightly over the years—you can’t mess with perfection. “I actually keep the dough in my freezer at home so whenever I want some, I can pull it off and make it,” Meyers says. “There’s nothing like having a nice, warm, chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven and a glass of milk.”

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photograph courtesy Q’s Cakes & Sweets.

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup softened, salted butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 T vanilla

2 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, and whip until fluffy. Add flour mixture on low until combined and stir in chocolate chips and chunks by hand. Use a cookie scoop to scoop out a portion and place on a baking sheet. Bake 8–10 minutes until cookies are about to brown.

 

Amanda and Sky Yang, B&B Bakery

Sky and Amanda Yang own B&B Bakery in downtown Santa Fe. The husband and wife are both originally from South Korea, where Sky learned to make lemon madeleines while working at a bakery 15 years ago. The recipe uses rice flour, making it gluten-free, just like many of B&B Bakery’s offerings. Sky and Amanda like to ensure there’s something for everyone. “When our customers area happy, my husband and I are happy, too,” Amanda says.

Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines

Above: Gluten-Free Lemon Madeleines. Photograph courtesy B&B Bakery.

Makes 48 madeleines

Note: Recipe provided in grams; ingredients should be weighed.

250 g cage-free egg yolks

170 g cane sugar

2 g Himalayan pink salt

60 g honey

190 g super fine rice flour

70 g super fine almond flour

10 g aluminum free baking powder

250 g unsalted butter

Grated zest of 1 organic lemon

Juice of 1 organic lemon

One day before: Use a spatula to mix egg, sugar, salt, and honey in a large bowl. Sift the rice flour, almond flour, and baking powder into the bowl and mix well with the spatula. Melt the butter, add into the bowl, and mix well. Add the lemon zest and juice into the bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to rest.

The day of: Preheat the oven to 360 for convection. Using a rubber spatula, place batter in a piping bag. Hold the nonstick cooking spray and spray evenly into all the cavities of a madeleine pan. Pipe the madeleine batter into the cavities so that it fills each about three-quarters of the way to the top. Bake the madeleines for 7 minutes on the center rack. Rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for 4–4 ½ minutes more until the sides of the madeleines are golden blonde and the center has set. Unmold immediately.

 

Karina Cake, Planty Sweet

Cake spent three years as a raw vegan culinary art instructor at a no-longer-existent culinary school in California. That’s where she got this recipe—it’s vegan, gluten-free, and replaces sugar with maple syrup. “The ingredients are wholesome and simple, and [the cookies are] incredibly easy to make,” says Cake, whose bakery is in Albuquerque. “The result is a chewy coconut cookie that is delicious and nutritional. I can eat two of these every day!”

Vanilla Macaroons

Photograph by Amy Gross.

Makes 6 large or 10 small macaroons

1 cup dried coconut

1 cup almond flour

1 pinch sea salt

¼ cup + 1 T maple syrup

2 ½  T coconut oil

¾ tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp almond extract

Mix together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place small scoops on Teflex sheets and press down. Dehydrate for 24 hours at 100°F–113°F. If you don’t have a dehydrator, place the scoops on a non-stick baking sheet and dry them out in a 200 degree oven for 3–4 hours.

 

Amy Gross, Su Casa

Editor Amy Gross discovered this recipe for big, chewy ginger cookies in the December 1990 issue of Better Homes and Gardens’ “Christmas Cookies” magazine (now much dog-eared), and has made them, to the delight of family and friends, every year since then for almost 30 years. They travel well, they’re super easy to make (even the littlest kiddos can help roll the dough balls in sugar), and they are always appreciated in care packages sent to college students during winter finals.

Big Ginger Cookies

Photograph by Amy Gross.

Makes 24 large cookies

Makes 24 large cookies

2 ¼ cups flour

2 tsp ginger

1 tsp baking soda

¾ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp cloves

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup butter, room temperature (remove 2 T for high altitude)

1 cup sugar (remove 1 T for high altitude)

1 egg

¼ cup molasses

Sugar for rolling

Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside. Beat together butter until just softened. Gradually add sugar, then egg and molasses; do not overbeat. Beat dry ingredients into wet. Batter should be thick. Chill batter in fridge while oven preheats to 350 degrees (375 for high altitude). Place 2 sheets of parchment paper on 2 baking sheets. Roll dough into 1 ¼” balls, then roll in sugar and place on sheet about 4” apart. Bake 11 minutes until just puffed; do not overbake. Let stand 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack. Keep dough in fridge in between batches.