Lemon Star Cookies

Last year we started the Baristanet Cookie Recipe Exchange, where we shared delicious cookie recipes from local residents to share some holiday sweetness. We continue the tradition this year with some delicious recipes!

Going to a Cookie Exchange party? Hosting a holiday get together? Dazzle your guests with these delicious Cookie Exchange Recipes shared from the recipe books of the fine folks of Baristaville:

Lisa Davies of Montclair Culinary Academy shares her Pistachio Biscuits recipe, which she says are buttery, cheesy, and nutty goodness. “They are the perfect accompaniment to a festive holiday tipple and are totally addictive. I challenge anyone to stop eating at one!”

Cookie Recipe Exchange

Pistachio Biscuits

  • 1 oz shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1.5 oz white flour, sifted
  • 1.5 oz unsalted butter diced
  • 1.5 oz freshly grated Parmesan (the real stuff, not the powdered wood chip stuff)
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt


Start by chopping the pistachio nuts quite small.

Then mix them with all the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Rub the ingredients together until the mixture starts to form fairly large clumps, then press the mixture against the side of the bowl to bring it together. Now transfer the dough to a board and knead lightly, then roll into a sausage shape about 7″ long and wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. After that slice the chilled log into discs about 1/8″ wide and spread them out on the baking sheet.

Then pop them in the oven on the center shelf and bake for 13–15 minutes, until they start to go golden around the edges. When they are cooked, transfer them to a wire rack to cool and store in an airtight tin.



Chief Todd Conforti of the Montclair Police Department shares his Grandma’s recipe for Struffoli which he makes every year around Christmas time:

Cookie Recipe Exchange


Conforti Family Struffoli
Ingredients – serving size 4-6 people

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • honey
  • Crisco oil
  • Rainbow Sprinkles


  1. Mix in one bowl: 4 eggs, 3 egg yolks, and vegetable oil
  2. Mix in separate bowl: flour, sugar, and baking powder
  3. Combine the ingredients in both bowls to form the dough
  4. Set up area with cutting boards of flour to place dough on
  5. Roll pieces of dough into small balls
  6. Fry small batches of the balls (in Crisco oil) in deep fryer until lightly golden for about 2-3 minutes
  7. Transfer the fried Struffoli balls into a strainer to drain
  8. In a large saucepan heat honey
  9. Stir Struffoli balls and rainbow sprinkles into the honey



Natalie Colledge, chef and owner of Plum Gluten-Free Bakery, shares her very festive Molasses Spice holiday cookie recipe with us, which you can also get at the bakery. Natalie says they are “a soft and chewy molasses spice cookie that is awesome and makes the whole house smell like Christmas!”

Cookie Recipe Exchange


Molasses Spice Cookies

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/2 cup for rolling)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 12 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten free flour blend (with xanthan gum)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchments paper and place 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl.

2. Add remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter to bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle.  Beat at medium-high speed until light
and fluffy.

3.  While butter and sugars are beating, combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

4. Reduce speed to medium-low and add yolk, vanilla and molasses. Beat until fully combined, scraping bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber
spatula.  Reduce speed to lowest setting and add dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides and bottom
of bowl half way.

5. Scoop a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball.  Drop into sugar bowl rolling to cover dough ball.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough placing dough balls 2” apart.  Bake one sheet at a time for approximately 10-12 minutes rotating half way.   Cookies
will spread and crack and seem underdone.  Do not overbake.

6.  Cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.



Chef Ariane Duarte shares her delicious Apple Cake recipe with us and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser at your holiday parties:

Cookie Recipe Exchange

Apple Cake

  • 3 c apples, sliced
  • 5 Tb sugar
  • 5 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 3 c flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ c orange juice
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • Vegetable spray


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, 5 Tb of sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Reserve.  

In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the 2 cups of sugar. Combine the oil, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the wet mixture.  Mix well with a wooden spoon. (Note: batter will be very thick)  

Cut two circles from parchment paper that fit in 9-inch cake rounds. Spray the cake pans with vegetable spray and insert the parchment paper. Spray parchment with vegetable spray. Spoon in half of the batter into each cake round, then layer half of the apples. Spoon rest of batter on top of apples. Then layer the remaining apples on top.

Place on baking pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until knife inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.



Chef Mike Carrino of Pig & Prince Restaurant shares his recipe for Bitchen’ Holiday Cookie Bars:

Cookie Recipe Exchange

Bitchin’ Holiday Cookie Bars

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbls very good quality dark maple syrup  
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground mace (nutmeg can be substituted)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbls pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips


  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a mixer (or using a hand mixer in a medium bowl) cream butter, syrup, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth
  • Add egg and beat until fluffy
  • Add vanilla and peppermint and incorporate
  • In a separate small bowl mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, mace and salt
  • Slowly add in dry mixture and mix until fully incorporated
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Grease a 9×13 shallow baking pan with spray oil or butter
  • Drop entire mix into the pan and with your spatula level it out
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes rotating every 5 minutes until golden brown all over
  • Remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes the flip out and allow to fully cool.

Cut into desired shapes and enjoy!   



Marlene Lewis, owner of Sunshine Sam, says she’s the Queen of Fake-Bake. “I love to bake, but I’m not good at it. I’ve accepted baking as a skill I don’t have, but this recipe makes me look like a super-star:

Cookie Recipe Exchange

Superstar Sugar Cookies

  • Store-bought sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cookie cutter or drinking glass
  • 1 regular rolling pin
  • 1 laser engraved rolling pin
  • Cookie sheet

Step 1: Purchase pre-made sugar cookie dough in a package.
Step 2: Make a large cookie dough ball, and the roll it out flat with a standard rolling pin. (Sprinkling a little bit of flour on the dough so it won’t stick to the rolling pin works best.)
Step 3: Use your engraved rolling pin (many patterns available) to create your design. Polka Dots is my favorite, but we have cameras, stars and Christmas trees, as well.
Step 4: Use a cookie cutter to cut out the desired shape of your sugar cookie. (I don’t own any cookie cutters, so I use the top of a drinking glass.)
Bake and cool according to directions on the cookie dough package. Wherever you are serving these beautifully patterned cookies, take full credit for making them!