Panettone Cookies

November 23, 2021
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Alya Hameedi. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes 3 dozen cookies
Author Notes

Panettone is the type of bread that I love to eat but don't ever attempt to make myself. In addition to being labor-intensive, panettone at home would never come out as good as what I'd find at a panetteria. So instead of baking one, I used panettone as a muse to add a little holiday razzmatazz to this year's cookie boxes.

During the holiday season, shortbread cookies are always on the nice list. In addition to being incredibly simple to make, they’re highly customizable. Once you’ve assembled the buttery dough (which takes only a few minutes), you can add pretty much anything your holly-jolly heart desires, making them the perfect vehicle for this cookie version of panettone.

Traditionally, the pillowy, enriched panettone dough is studded with lots of dried fruits and nuts. The add-ins can vary, but for me, a great panettone has plenty of orange. So in addition to golden raisins and dried cherries, I add both fresh orange zest and candied orange peel. You can add any other dried fruit you’d like: dried pineapple, cranberries, etc. Just be sure to give everything a good chop before adding to the dough.

Before baking, the dough is rolled into a log and chilled in the fridge before being sliced. But if you don't want to bake them all at once, you could pop the log into the freezer and slice off cookies as you need them.

Once the cookies are baked and cooled, they’re dipped in white chocolate and garnished with toasted almonds and additional candied orange. They’re wonderful eaten on their own, but in true holiday spirit, I like to serve them with a nip of amaretto. —Grant Melton

What You'll Need
  • Cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks (1 cup/226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) finely chopped candied orange peel
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) finely chopped golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) finely chopped dried tart cherries
  • Garnish
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup (70 grams) finely chopped toasted almonds, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) finely chopped candied orange peel, for garnish
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Once combined, set aside.
  2. In a bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest and vanilla and mix for another few seconds until combined. On the lowest speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. The dough may take a while to come together. Once the dough becomes slightly tacky, after about 1 to 2 minutes, add the orange peel, raisins, and dried cherries. Continue to mix on a low speed until the dough can easily be molded into a ball in your hands.
  3. Dump the dough onto a work surface. Using your hands, mound the dough into a big ball. Cut the ball in half and roll each half into a 10-inch-long log. Wrap each log tightly in wax or parchment paper, twisting the ends, so you have 2 logs of dough. Place the wrapped dough into the fridge and chill for 1 hour, or put it in the freezer for later use.
  4. When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350°F and remove the dough from the fridge to soften up a bit. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Unwrap the cookie dough and, using a sharp knife, trim the rounded ends off the log and slice the dough into ½-inch-thick disks. Place the disks onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they start to brown and look dry on top. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  7. To decorate, place the white chocolate in a double boiler to melt. Once melted, dip half of each cookie in white chocolate. Garnish each with chopped almonds and candied orange.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Abigail Derethik
    Abigail Derethik
  • Doris
  • skwerlpower

6 Reviews

Doris January 2, 2023
These cookies are beautiful, delicious, and a welcome addition to the holiday cookie platter or exchange. I appreciated the inclusion of weight for the flour--that made the dough come out a perfect consistency. I would definitely garnish for gift-giving, but leaving the cookies unadorned would make for a lovely accompaniment to afternoon tea any day of the year. Thanks!
skwerlpower December 24, 2022
From a professional pastry chef (me): Dough is hard to work with, and the cookie result was less than memorable. I wouldn't mind the work if the result was proportionate. Virtually flavorless, even with all the fruit/nuts/chocolate added in. Better luck next time, Grant.
Taylor S. December 20, 2022
I made this as part of my holiday cookie and candy assortment (11 kinds) and this is definitely a show stopper of a cookie. I subbed dried currants for the apricots and followed the rest of the recipe as written. 8 oz of chocolate is the perfect amount for dipping; I was left with maybe 2 tbsp of leftover chocolate which I promptly turned into a white hot chocolate! I am tempted to add some rum extract to either the cookie or the chocolate dip next time I make these, but I also feel that the recipe is too perfect to toy with!!!
Taylor S. December 20, 2022
Oops, never mind the currants/apricots. That was for another recipe. This one I made exactly as written.
Abigail D. December 27, 2021
I made these for my holiday cookie bags- they were theeee best cookies of the bunch. The most sophisticated cookie with complex flavors and funny enough taste delicious after a week! All in all, Perfection!
PAUL R. December 6, 2021
This is like a short bread in many ways. Dough is dry and needs to be chilled to slice. I used diced fruit from seasonal fruit cake recipes and added fresh nutmeg, and some extra rum extract. The magic happens when you put them in the oven and smell the butter. Then later when cooled, I tried with a hot cup of tea- just to be sure they were good enough to serve. Well forget it. They are mine; and maybe some for my wife. In summary, easy to make, bake next day after overnight chill; slice and bake. Thumbs up!