Yule Cookies: 10 Cookie Recipes for a Sweet & Magical Winter Solstice
I sure do like those Christmas cookies, Sugar. I sure do like those Christmas cookies, Babe. Just a little George Strait song for you, folks. You don’t have to like George Strait or country music to be here, but you DO have to like Christmas treats. Over the past few years, I’ve been researching and thinking – why aren’t there more pagan and witch-themed Yule cookie recipes? There’s a few, but not as many as there should be. SO I’ve come up with some of my own, mixed in with some of the traditional Christmas cookies (with a witchy twist). Here’s my top 10 procured and personal witchy Yule cookie recipes.
10 Yule Cookies for a Very Witchy Winter Solstice
The great thing about Yule cookies is this – you can make traditional Christmas cookies and put your own witchy spin on them by adding special Christmas spices or Yuletide herbs. Nature-themed and witchy cookie cutters are easy to procure and use in place of angels or nativity scene cookies. Get inspired. Get your kids involved. Bring on the witchy this Yule in the kitchen!
1. Sun and Moon Yule Cookies
As pagans, we have a thing for the sun and moon. We just can’t help ourselves. And with the Winter Solstice being the longest night of the year, why not celebrate the moon’s rule PLUS the return of the sun the following day with sun and moon Yule cookies? These are as simple as using your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe, and then cutting out moon and sun shapes with cutters or by hand. Stars are appropriate too and an easy-to-find cookie cutter shape during the holidays. Or try this Yule moon cookie recipe by CDKitchen. Offer a sun cookie to a solar god or goddess and a moon cookie to a lunar god or goddess. OR keep a few as offerings for Odin…I mean Santa…I mean Odin. 😉
2. Prosperity-Drawing Snickerdoodles for Yule
Snickerdoodles are an absolute family favorite when it comes to Yule cookies. And, not to brag, but Allorah says my snickerdoodles are the best she’s ever had! Something about the light-airiness of the cookie coated in cinnamon just screams joy and abundance. And, not to brag, but I make some pretty amazing snickerdoodles. How do we consider these pagan or witchy? We look at the ingredients and see cinnamon – which is an herb that draws success, prosperity, and strength. Bake and eat snickerdoodles to draw an abundance of health, happiness and wealth in the coming year. They are little sugary spells on your plate!
3. Magical Snowballs
Also called Russian teacakes, snowballs are one of my all-time favorite Yule time cookies. They literally melt in your mouth. Pair it with some milk or coffee…oh my gods. Drool-worthy. I like to think these little treats are witchy – with a name like “snowball”, coated in powdered sugar (pure magic) and walnuts added. Walnuts bring fertility, wealth, and new opportunities. So eat up! Here’s my favorite snowball recipe.
4. Krampus Cookies
Is there such thing? Yes. And again, you can make the cookies from any recipe you’d like, but we prefer sugar cookie. Get yourself a Krampus cookie cutter. Then be sure to ice it or put sprinkles and red hots on top. There’s angel cookies and nativity cookies, why can’t we Pagans celebrate Krampus with a Krampus cookie? And if you’ve ever seen the movie titled Krampus, you can make regular gingerbread men with evil little faces to celebrate the film.
5. La Befana and Berchta Cookies
Traditionally, La Befana has her own special cake in Italy. It’s called…yep…La Befana cake. But since we’re talking Yule COOKIES, we are going to modify the tradition a bit to fit our own. In case you didn’t know, La Befana is the Italian Christmas witch that gives presents to kids during the Winter season. And just like her American elven counterpart (Santa Claus), she enjoys treats to show one’s gratitude. One way to make La Befana cookies is to modify the cake recipe into a cookie recipe. OR you can acquire witch-shaped cookie cutters. These will also work as Berchta cookies! Read more about Christmas Witches here.
6. Gingerbread (The “Original” Christmas Yule Cookie)
My research says the first Christmas cookie was something close to gingerbread. According to the History network, “many Christmas cookies are still heavily spiced. We think of ‘traditional’ Christmas flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, and those are exactly the same spices medieval cooks would have used in their cookies ages ago.” My kids love making gingerbread men, specifically. You can also make gingerbread krampus cookies, Christmas witch cookies, and whatever shapes you feel evoke the pagan Yuletide season.
7. Chocolate Chip Cookies With Sea Salt
This Yule season, bake a holiday favorite – the chocolate chip cookie. But make it witchy by adding sea salt. Every witch worth her salt (pun intended), knows the potent magical properties of sea salt. Adding a bit to your Yule chocolate chip cookies not only amplifies the flavor profile, but also provides a protective magical boost. Want to learn more about salt’s magical properties? Click here. Make chocolate chip cookies with sea salt with this recipe.
8. Sandbakelse: A Traditional Nordic Yule Cookie
Baking sandbakelse in Norway is a common, two-centuries-old family tradition. Sandbakelse translates to sand tarts, but aren’t made with sand. They’re made with flour, sugar, butter and chopped almonds. Similar to the American sugar cookie or snowball. Norwegian immigrants brought sandbakelse to the New World with them in the nineteenth century, along with the quintessential cookie tins. If you have Norwegian ancestry, or just want to try making these cookies, check out this recipe. And here’s the tins.
9. Melomakarono: Traditional Greek Cookies
Likely the oldest cookie we have on our list here is melomakarono. Melomakarono is a Greek dessert made at Christmas-time that’s based on the ancient “Mercy Meal”, also called Makaria. Makaria was a Greek goddess and the daughter of Hades, god of the Underworld. A Mercy Meal is essentially a traditional funeral meal, which influenced the Christmas melomakarono of modern times. Pretty freaking pagan, if you ask me. And listen to your Pagan Yule soundtrack while baking!
10. Eggnog Cookies for Winter Solstice
Eggnog cookies are not an ancient pagan invention. They’re a modern spin on the Medieval drink you either love or hate – eggnog. And, truth be told, history tells us eggnog was first a drink called posset, invented by monks in Middle Ages’ Britain. I’m the kind of person, I enjoy eggnog, especially with a dash of rum and sprinkled cinnamon on top. But, alcoholic beverages aside, try making eggnog cookies this year for Winter Solstice and keep the Medieval eggnog tradition going.