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6 delish holiday cookies from around the world

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There’s nothing like baking a fresh batch of cookies to get into the holiday spirit. But rather than baking the same old chocolate chip cookies, why not try a new recipe from around the world? After all, there are hundreds of yummy cookies out there, each as unique as the country and culture it hails from. We’ve rounded up six recipes that might just become your new holiday tradition.

Kolaches from Czechoslovakia

Image: Martha Stewart/Mike Krautter
Kolaches are fruity, flaky cookies from Czechoslovakia, a former state in Central Europe that’s now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. These cookies stand out thanks to their unique bowtie presentation—though you can also make them round if you’d prefer. Customize this recipe from Martha Stewart by choosing a special jam like boysenberry, or stick to classics like apricot and grape.

Miso butter cookies from Japan

Image: Just One Cookbook/Nami Chen
Think the usual holiday treats are too sweet? Then these savory miso butter cookies from Japan are the perfect fix. This recipe from Nami Hirasawa Chen incorporates savory ingredients like sesame seeds and miso (aka fermented soybean paste) with a butter cookie base for a unique flavor experience. Plus, if you’ve never made cookies from a log of dough, you’ll add a new technique to your baking toolbox.

Polvorones de Almendra from Spain

Image: The Spruce/Teena Agnel
AKA almond shortbread, these thick almond-flavored cookies topped with powdered sugar are perfect for your next snow day. You might have to make a stop at the store, though. Cake flour, almond meal and anise extract are a few of the less common pantry finds needed for this recipe by Marian Blazes. Fun fact: polvo is the Spanish word for dust or powder.

Mbatata cookies from Malawi

Image: The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen/Susan Palmer
If you couldn’t get enough sweet potatoes during Thanksgiving, you’ll heart these cookies from the Republic of Malawi, a country in southeastern Africa. This recipe from Susan Palmer adds coconut and mango, but feel free to go off-book. Add a dollop of frosting and some sliced fruit, or leave them plain for a healthier dessert.

Pryaniki from Russia

Image: Olga’s Flavor Factory
These Russian gingerbread cookies will make your kitchen smell like Christmas with their seasonal spice blend. Even better, pryaniki are infused with coffee, making them the ideal dessert for the Starbucks lovers among us. Find the recipe along with helpful baking tips from Olga’s Flavor Factory here.

Sekerpare cookies from Turkey

Image: Ozlem’s Turkish Table/Ozlem Warren
The final stop on our cookie tour of the world is Turkey. There you’ll find sekerpare, delicious semolina-based cookies coated in a sugar syrup. Crumbly and lemony, this cookie makes for a refreshing bite after a heavy meal. As this recipe from Ozlem Warren advises, make the syrup first so it can cool before you pour it over the cookies.

Try one of these yummy recipes? Share the results with us by tagging @girlslifemag on IG or Twitter!
Title Image: The Spruce/Teena Agnel

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by Bailey Bujnosek | 11/30/2020
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