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5 Festive Holiday Cookies That Taste Like Vermont

  • 7 min reading time
5 Festive Holiday Cookies That Taste Like Vermont

In honor of the season, we asked our bakers to share 5 festive cookies that embrace the holidays in Vermont. Their recipes reflect our bakery’s appreciation for simplicity. Many of these holiday cookies are a reminder of why our state’s most iconic flavors – from apples to maple syrup – are so timeless.

There’s something extra special about baking cookies from scratch during the winter. Whether gifting them to friends, bringing a platter to a party, or snacking on them by the fireplace, holiday cookies are one of our favorite cold-weather comforts. 

In honor of the season, we asked our bakers to share 5 festive cookies that embrace the holidays in Vermont. Their recipes reflect our bakery’s appreciation for simplicity. Many of these holiday cookies are a reminder of why our state’s most iconic flavors – from apples to maple syrup – are so timeless.

So tie your apron, gather your flour, sugar, and spices, and join us in the nostalgic joy of holiday baking. Every bite will transport you to the cozy, snow-dusted Green mountains. 

Spiced Shortbread Cookies

There’s nothing better than the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth bite of a shortbread cookie. With a rich, buttery flavor and beautifully crumbly texture, there’s so much to love about simple shortbread. 

Infusing shortbread dough with warm holiday spices is an easy way to make it taste even better. We love using our Mulling Spice Bags as an easy shortcut. Made with cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, allspice, and pure orange oil, it’s a fragrant blend of citrus and spice that tastes like the holidays. 

We typically use these spice bags to make a cup of hot apple cider or mulled wine after a long day of skiing. For shortbread cookies, you can simply steep the bags in hot water. Add the spiced tea to the cookie dough made with butter, flour, vanilla, and pure Vermont maple sugar granules. (We always use maple sugar to season our shortbread at The Mill!). 

Cider Thumbprint Cookies

These thumbprint cookies are a classic at the Mill. We love to make a simple buttery cookie even better by filling its center with fruity jam. It’s an old country kitchen trick Vermonters have been using for generations.

You can fill thumbprint cookies with any type of jam you love most. Some common options are raspberry, blueberry, or even gooseberry. But cider jelly is our favorite.

We make Cider Jelly from scratch here at the Mill using our fresh apple cider. It’s as simple as boiling the cider until the moisture evaporates. The natural pectins of the fruit then change the mixture to sticky-sweet jelly. No additives, ever!

A dollop of tart jelly is the perfect contrast to a sweet and buttery cookie. It reminds us of the crisp flavors of the local apple orchards, now covered in ice and snow. 

If you’re tight on time this holiday season, let us take care of the baking for you. We can ship a dozen Fresh Cider Jelly Thumbprints right at your door – no need to even turn on the oven. 

Hot Cocoa Cookies

These chocolatey hot cocoa cookies are as cozy as a snowy winter evening by the fireplace. Close your eyes and it’s like you’re sipping a warm mug of cocoa with melted marshmallows. 

Hot chocolate mix can easily make cookie dough taste like your favorite winter beverage. Our Maple Hot Chocolate Mix is sweetened with Vermont-made maple sugar to balance the tart cocoa. Simply mix it into the cookie dough with an extra touch of maple sugar if you desire. 

Studding the buttery cocoa dough with mini marshmallows adds a gooey, sugary-sweet bite. You can also top each cookie with a whole marshmallow before it goes into the oven. For the ultimate finishing touch, finish the cookies with a drizzle of dark chocolate or crushed peppermint bark. It doesn't get cozier than that.

Maple Pecan Bars

Nutty, buttery maple pecan bars are like a shortcut version of the classic pie. Its flavor carries beautifully through the stick season months between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Simply top a pre-baked shortbread crust with a sweetened pecan filling made with brown sugar and fresh Vermont maple syrup. Our Maple Nut Crumble also makes an easy topping shortcut! Once you bake the maple pecan bars on a sheet pan, be sure to let them cool before slicing them into sticky-sweet bars. 

Our bakery team also makes Maple Pecan Bars that just happen to be gluten-free! We consider them a staple. They’ve been one of our most popular desserts at the Mill for many years.

Gingerbread Cookies with a Maple Butter

Nothing says Christmas time like spiced gingerbread. Made with cozy molasses and a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, gingerbread is one of the most iconic cookies in Vermont and beyond. 

We love using this soft yet sturdy cookie to build gingerbread houses or people. While royal icing is common for most gingerbread decorating, we can’t resist using a maple frosting instead. 

Vermont maple butter adds a welcomed touch of sweetness to spiced gingerbread. Let your cookies cool, then dip or drizzle them with this sweetened “frosting.” The sticky maple butter can also capture colored sprinkles or a dusting of powdered sugar. 

Packing and Gifting Your Vermont Cookie Plate

Homemade cookies make a wonderful gift! If you’re making these recipes for friends or family, consider baking a few options and packaging them like a present. 

We love cookies stored in mason jars, re-purposed cookie tins, or woven baskets lined with tea towels. No matter how they’re gifted, we’re sure these Vermont-inspired cookies won’t last very long!

For more delicious Vermont-made treats, check out our selection of homemade baked goods made fresh for you by our bakery team at The Mill.

Still Hungry? Check out some of our other articles!

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