Nibbles: ‘Tis the Season for Aggression Cookies

The December 4 edition of Radio Nibbles found John Lehndorff and Sam Fuqua talking about how to set up a cookie exchange. Hmmm? The KGNU Cookie Exchange sounds like a winner. During the show cookie recipes were promised.

Here are three good recipes to help you get started beginning with an unusually named one from Sam’s aunt: “These are from my aunt, Rilla Bergman, who for decades has been baking (and mailing them to us) these delicious not-too-sweet cookies.


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    Nibbles: ‘Tis the Season for Aggression Cookies kgnu


Aggression Cookies

From my aunt, Rilla Bergman, who for decades has been baking (and mailing them to us) these delicious not-too-sweet cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit

3 cups brown sugar

3 cups margarine or butter (I use margarine because the cookies hold together better. They can get a bit crumbly if you use butter but they’re still yummy)

6 cups uncooked oatmeal

1 tbsp baking powder

3 cups flour

A little sugar and butter for dipping

Put all ingredients in a big bowl. Mash, knead and squeeze everything together. This is why Aunt Rilla calls these “Aggression Cookies”—you can work out some of your aggression during the hands-on mixing process.

Place walnut size balls of dough evenly spaced on a cookie sheet. Butter the bottom of drinking glass or small jar, dip it in sugar and press the bottom of the glass on the ball of dough. You don’t have to flatten it completely. Dip the glass in sugar and repeat with each dough ball.

Bake 10-12 minutes.


Alice Medrich’s Butter cookies

8 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

2 cups all-purpose flour


Note: Use the best butter you can find. It’s worth it

Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Mix in the egg yolk until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough smooths out.

Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, wrap up and refrigerate for several hours or freeze. Before baking, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into slices about 1/8″ thick and place them on the sheets about an inch apart (they won’t be spreading very much, but they need air room around each cookie).

Bake until JUST beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 16-18 minutes.

Note: You can do many things with these cookies. You could roll the dough out and cut shapes. You could slice them even thinner and sandwich them with chocolate or jam or lemon curd. You could make them and then dip them half into chocolate.


Chai-spiced Gluten-free Snickerdoodles

(From the Washington Post)


2 cups gluten-free flour blend

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional; omit if your gluten-free flour blend contains

xanthan gum)

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (may substitute nondairy

butter substitute)

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Makes about 30 cookies.


For the cookies: Whisk together the flour blend, xanthan gum, if using, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice in a medium bowl.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed until creamy and well blended. Stop to scrape down the bowl. On low speed, add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla extract, beating to incorporate after each addition. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

On low speed, gradually add the gluten-free flour mixture, beating until a soft dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

For rolling: Whisk together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and allspice in a medium bowl; this is your chai spice mixture.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Unwrap the chilled dough. Scoop tablespoons of dough, rolling them into balls in your hands. Drop into the chai spice mixture to coat completely. Slightly flatten the balls into thick disks, spacing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake one sheet at a time (middle rack) for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are set but the cookies look slightly under-baked. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat to use all the dough.

Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days in advance. The balls of dough can be frozen for up to 1 month. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.




John Lehndorff is a the former food editor at the Daily Camera, dining critic for the Rocky Mountain News, and Chief Judge at the National Pie Championships. He hosts Radio Nibbles Thursdays at 8:25 a.m. on KGNU (88.5 FM, 1390 AM, and streaming at


Radio Nibbles:

Contact John at [email protected]


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