This year, I’ve decided to enter Eat In Eat Out’s third annual “Christmas in July” cookie recipe contest. I know it’s not July anymore, but this contest still seemed like the perfect excuse to bake some cookies.
I wanted to create a cookie that was christmasy enough for Christmas, but summery enough for summer at the same time. After all, Christmas in July does sound like a summery Christmas to me. This obviously had to be a summery Christmas cookie then.
It also had to be based on one of my favourite cookies: peanut butter cookies. I felt peanut butter would be a little too heavy for a summer cookie, though. Hmmm, what to do? A shortbread cookie, maybe? Nah. I’m not a big fan of shortbread. It had to be light and pillowy. Well, snickerdoodles, of course! They’re delicious. They’re light and pillowy. They have a cool name. Jackpot!
Now, how was I going to turn snickerdoodles into a summer Christmas cookie? The first thing that came to mind was candy canes. I could crush some candy canes and fold the pieces into the cookie dough. However, it is pretty much impossible to find candy canes in July. Believe me, I tried. I thought about using some leftover, stale candy canes from last Christmas but what if someone actually wanted to make these cookies in the summer months. Great. Back to the drawing board.
Playing around with colour was my second option. I figured I could use colour to make this cookie resemble Christmas and flavour to make it summery. Now that sounded like a more reasonable plan to me.
After hours of arduous thinking and some experimenting in the kitchen, the final result were these strawberry mint snickerdoodles. Strawberries and fresh mint are typical summer ingredients that simultaneously give these cookies the traditional shades of red and green associated with Christmas. They are also light and fresh enough for summer, but sweet and cheerful enough to make your heart smile during the holidays.
Whether you decide to try this recipe in the dead of winter or in the summer time, I am sure you will enjoy making (and eating) them as much as I did.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- ⅓ cup strawberry jam
- 1 cup sugar for coating
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Cream butter and sugar until it turns light in colour.
- Add egg and mint. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture ½ cup at a time to create a uniform dough.
- Refrigerate cookie dough for 10 minutes.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough. Roll them around in the cup of sugar meant for coating. Give them one last quick roll with your hands to create a perfectly round ball.
- Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them about 2 inches apart from each other.
- Press the middle of each cookie ball with your thumb to create a slight well. Place a small amount of strawberry jam in the well.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookie look slightly brown.
- Allow them to cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!
- You can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in your fridge or even freeze it for up to 2 months.
- I have used goat milk butter to make these and it gives them a beautiful, extra layer of flavour.
- When shaping the cookie dough balls, try to do it as quickly as possible as your hands will start to melt the butter in the dough. You don't want that. Trust me.