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Cookies of the World

Move beyond chocolate chip and oatmeal with these international recipes
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As popular and infallible as chocolate-chip and oatmeal cookies are, there is a world of small confections to capture your sweet tooth. Egyptian manenas are tender, buttery dough wrapped around an exotically spiced dried fruit center and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. Crunchy meringues in English Pollyannas are partnered with praline filling, velvety buttercream and toasted hazelnuts. Large sugar crystals on Swiss basler brunsli add a complement to the macaroon-like texture of these chocolate-almond-spice biscuits made with chocolate and cocoa powder. Made with almond flour, this cookie is for those who are gluten-inolerant.—Joanna Pruess


These English Pollyannas partner crunch meringues with praline filling, velvety buttercream and toasted hazelnuts. Sue Tucker, manager of the Polly Tea Rooms in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, shares her recipe.

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Whole seeds are used liberally throughout the Middle East as ornamentation on baked goods, says Juliet Borowiec, who became immersed in the culture after living and traveling there extensively with her journalist husband, Andrew. Now living in Cyprus, she learned to make manenas from her Cairo-born mother-in-law. Balls of buttery short pastry are filled with dried fruits and nuts and crowned with sesame seeds.

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Basler Brunsli

Carole Walter is an award-winning baker and author of Great Cookies. Her version of Swiss cookies from Basel—made with almond flour, cocoa and spices—is decorated with sparkling white sugar and has a chewy, macaroon-like texture. Cut into any shape using a 2-inch cutter. Traditionally made with Kirschwasser, a fruit brandy, these gluten-free cookies can also be made with orange liqueur, as they are here.

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