Czech Christmas Cookie Recipes - Vanocni Cukrovi

St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6, signals the beginning of Christmas baking for many Czechs. Out come all the time-honored recipes for labor-intensive and easy no-bake cookies and sweets known as vánoční cukrovi (vah-NAWTCH-nee tsoo-KRAW-vee). This is an all-inclusive list that can consist of cookies, dainty tarts, candies and more. It conjures the image of "sugar plums dancing in their heads."

  • 01 of 12
    Czech Christmas biscuits and gingerbreads with Christmas wreath. Four candles are for each Advent Sunday.
    Richard Nebesky/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    This one basic recipe can be transformed into different cookies by varying the shape, and sandwiching together with jam or cookie filling, decorating with different-colored icings, dusting with confectioners' sugar or leaving plain.

  • 02 of 12
    Various Homemade Butter Cookies
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    This is one of my favorite recipes because it can be piped out or forced through a cookie press or, if refrigerated for a few hours, rolled into balls and turned into thumbprint cookies filled with jam.

  • 03 of 12
    Woman holding baking tray of checkerboard cookies, close up, mid section
    Foodcollection / Getty Images

    This easy recipe for Czech black-and-white cookies or linecke testo dvoubarevne (lih-NETS-keh TAYS-toh dvaw-oo-bah-RREV-nay) can be made into zavitky (pinwheel), sachovnice (checkerboard), kolecka s obrouckou (wheel), rezy ze cytr pruhu (square), and salam (salami) shapes.

  • 04 of 12

    Jam-Filled Cookies Recipe - Dulkove Kolacky

    Christmas cookies
    PIC / Getty Images

    This recipe for jam-filled cookies or dulkove kolacky is the Czech version of thumbprint cookies.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Cocoa Ball Cookies Recipe - Kakaove Dulkove Kolacky

    Heap of cocoa powder and truffles
    Martin Barraud / Getty Images

    These cocoa ball cookies or kakaove dulkove kolacky are a chocolate version of Czech thumbprint cookies.

  • 06 of 12
    Creampuffs and pirouette cookies
    Lew Robertson / Getty Images

    This recipe for Czech Parisian cookies or parizske pecivo are better known as rolled wafer cookies or pirouettes. They are usually served as is, but they can be filled with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

  • 07 of 12
    Stack of chocolate with almonds
    Rebekah Logan / Getty Images

    Bear paws cookies can be rolled in vanilla sugar or confectioners' sugar, but I like to dip the ends in melted chocolate and use blanched slivered almonds for claws. And don't worry if you don't have a bear paw pan, a madeleine pan will work just fine.

  • 08 of 12
    Almond Crescent Cookies
    Almond Crescent Cookies. Foodcollection RF / Getty Images

    Some people like to roll these in vanilla sugar while they are still hot, but I prefer them rolled in confectioners' sugar. They look like freshly fallen snow -- so perfect for Christmas!

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Gingerbread Cookie
    Gingerbread Cookie. Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

    This recipe can be made into plain, round, gingersnap shapes or into whimsical gingerbread men, stars, hearts, angels, reindeer or anything your heart desires. Decorate with this easy-to-make water icing.

  • 10 of 12

    Chocolate Mounds Cookie Recipe - Cokoladove Hrudky

    republica / Getty Images

    This no-bake recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and it's a great project for the kids.

  • 11 of 12
    Oatmeal Cookies
    Arx0nt / Getty Images
    Czech oatmeal cookies differ from American oatmeal cookies in that they are denser, chewier and more filling.
  • 12 of 12
    Oatmeal Cookie
    Jennifer Counter / Getty Images

    This cocoa-flavored Czech oatmeal cookie recipe is slightly different from the plain oatmeal cookie above. there is more butter and the egg whites are beaten until stiff.