The holiday season, for many, is a great excuse to eat sugary goodies like cakes, cupcakes and cookies. For children, making and eating cookies and the cookie dough is a great activity where they learn about working in the kitchen. The kids can achieve something and work with mom and/or dad while doing so. Often for cookies, the default is chocolate chip which is an institution, but at Christmas time, different flavors like gingerbread come into play for a while and different smells from spice cookies fill the room and remind people about goodwill and happy memories. Many people who swear off sweets for the whole year could be found stealing buckets of frosting and eating it in a dark corner of the house, away from prying family eyes.
Chef Mahmoud Herabi, Pastry Chef
Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
1 N. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
(954) 465-2300

Chef Mahmoud Herabi was born and raised in Algeria, Africa and studied at the renowned Hammersmith and West Culinary School in Barons Court, England. Chef Herabi has traveled to 17 countries throughout his career as a pastry chef, having lived and worked in London, Paris and New York City.

Traditional Ritz-Carlton Chocolate Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 8 oz. butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Mix ingredients and bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.

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Santa’s Cookies

  • 2 1/2 lbs. almond flour
  • 2 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 5 lbs. butter
  • 5 lbs. cake flour


  1. Shape ingredients after mixed into 1-pound bars.
  2. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12 minutes.
Rum Raisin cookies

  • 4 oz. butter
  • 4 oz. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz. All-Purpose flour
  • 2 oz. raisins


  1. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12 minutes.

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Eric L Labrador is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. His work can be found on