Brown Sugar Cookies with Chia Seeds and Orange Zest

This is how bad she wants Santa to come ... she'll hold a plateful of cookies while Mummy takes a photo or three ...

Poor kid. Except that she's eaten about half a dozen of them already (not counting the dough ... ) and now she's watching kiddie tv programs at 2 in the afternoon while I sit out here on the computer. Hmmm ... I know. But I have earned good-mummy credits. 

We made cut-out cookies together today. 

This is one of those pre-Christmas things I remember doing with my own mom when I was little. I don't frost mine, because I like them just this sweet, but we had fun rolling out the dough and sprinkling in seeds and zest and punching out stars and flowers and love-hearts and circles and crabs and even a snail or two. 

So this is my own family recipe for sugar cookie-cutter cookies - and you can make them with or without the chia seeds and orange zest ... or just one or the other. I actually recommend dividing the batch into thirds or so and trying different flavours. 

This recipe makes a large batch, because of course you'll want to share them - a jar of homemade cookies makes a lovely gift, and they're great for holiday parties. But if you don't feel inclined to share, you can just stick the extras into the freezer. 

Just save some for Santa.

Brown Sugar Cookies with Chia Seeds 
and Orange Zest
makes ~4 dozen

The time
10 min prep + 1 hr fridge + 20 min rolling/cutting + 8 min baking

The ingredients
200g brown sugar
200g butter, softened
1 large, organic egg
350g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt

1-3 Tbs chia seeds (optional)
1-3 tsp orange zest (optional)
extra flour for sprinkling

*Try to use organic ingredients when you can!

The process
1. Cream together the brown sugar and softened butter in a large bowl, till it's all mixed.

2. Add in the egg and vanilla and stir.

3. Add the dry ingredients (including the seeds and/or zest) and mix just till combined. Try not to over mix - and you may need to use your hands at the end. When it's combined, form the dough into a large ball and replace in the mixing bowl. Put a lid on the bowl and set it in the fridge for an hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), and line a couple of cookie sheets with baking paper. 

5. Divide the chilled dough into a few smaller portions and roll out on a lightly floured benchtop to ~0.5cm (1/5") thickness. Sprinkle extra flour on your dough if it's on the sticky side. You want it to be of a texture you can actually cut! 

NOTE: Don't get hung up on how thick or thin the dough is ... thicker dough will just remain softer when it cooks, and thinner dough gets crisper. In my house, I prefer the former and Robbie the latter, so I often make thin and thick cookies anyway. 

6. Cut into shapes, place them onto the baking tray ~2 cm (1") apart - they won't spread much - and bake ~8 minutes until they're starting to brown around the edges. When you pull them out, they'll still be softish in the middle and will be prone to falling apart, so I just slide the baking paper off the tray (with the cookies still on it) and onto the cooling rack. I find it safter not to touch the cookies till they've cooled a bit.

7. And once they have, all bets are off.

8. You can store these in a tightly sealed container for a week or two, or freeze them for a couple of months.

And no, I'm not that cruel. She got her extra reward. Oh, I am a good mum. (What's that, sweetie? Bob the Builder's on? Sounds great!)

Happy Holidays, friends!
Amanda xx


  1. They look so delicious, Amanda! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. There always has to be some form of bribe for the kiddlets to pose for food shot right? :-) Your cookies look beautiful. The kids and I made some gingerbread men this morning too, such a great festive thing to do. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Don't you love using Santa as a bribe. I have told Monty three time already today that Santa is writing down everything naughty he is doing!! Poor kid! Maybe I should tell him that he could redeem himself by making these cookies to put under the tree alongside some milk on Christmas Eve. Better go and check I have all the ingredients then hey. Merry Xmas - hope to catch you in the new year some time. XX

  4. I love seeing her little hands in your photos and I love seeing her in the kitchen baking with you. Cookies look wonderful.

    Best wishes Amanda, to you and your beautiful family for a wonderful Christmas and many blessing for a healthy and happy 2012 to all of you.

  5. I'm in love with chia seeds right now. Not only for the health benefits, but they just give a nice look to the recipe too. These cookies are no exception - they're adorable!

  6. I'm in love with chia seeds right now. Not only for the health benefits, but they just give a nice look to the recipe too. These cookies are no exception - they're adorable!


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