Are you up to your elbows in icing and ganache? Got silver dragees in your ears? We love all the sugar and frosting, but we also love a simple, sophisticated cookie with deep, warm holiday spices. These recipes are full of ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon (bonus: they're easy to pack for travel!). TOP ROW:
• 1. Spiced Mexican Wedding Cookies. Buttery shortbread with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and grounds nuts.
• 2. Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Sugar. Cutout cookies with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.
• 3. Five-Spice Cookies with Candied Oranges. These have Chinese five-spice powder and a beautiful, festive garnish.
• 4. Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Almost like pumpkin pie in a cookie—cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin with a sweet glaze.
• 5. Super Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies. Classic cinnamon-sugar cookies, extra chewy.
• 6. Chez Panisse Gingersnaps. Delicious, crispy, and misshapen on purpose.
• 7. Nutmeg-Lemon Pfeffernusse. Traditional German cookies with nutmeg, black pepper, and a little lemon zest.
• 8. Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies, from Smitten Kitchen. We're even more enamored of the leaf and acorn shapes than the maple syrup-nutmeg flavor.
• 9. Chocolate Spice Quickies, from My Baking Heart. A sliced cookie with allspice by Dorie Greenspan.
• 10. Cardamom Cookies, from Sunset. Horseshoe-shaped butter cookies with cardamom and cinnamon.
Related: The Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
(Images: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; Rebekah Peppler; Emma Christensen; Faith Durand; Deb/Smitten Kitchen; Jessica/My Baking Heart; James Carrier/Sunset)