Spiced Christmas Puffs

Spiced Christmas Puffs

These light, flaky puffs are a wonderful addition to a cookie exchange party. Both variations highlight the aromatic spices of the season. With no cutting or frosting required, they’re an easy alternative to cutouts.

Ingredients: Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tb. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tb. orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar


Replace orange zest and ground cloves with the following spice combination:

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg


  1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light in texture, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
  2. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of the liquid ingredients and half of the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining liquid ingredients, dry ingredients, orange zest and cloves (or four-spice combination, if you’re using the variation), and mix until uniformly combined, about 1-2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet ½ inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a wide, shallow bowl. As soon as the cookies are cool enough to handle (but still hot), roll them in the powdered sugar and place them on a cooling rack. Once the cookies have cooled completely, transfer the remaining powdered sugar to a sieve and gently dust the Christmas puffs with it.