I grew up in Florida, which meant that I had an entirely different Christmas experience for my childhood than what all the carols and Christmas specials were written about. However, there was one year, many years back, that my parents lived in Santa Fe. I was really excited to get the white Christmas I had been waiting for my entire life. Little did I know, Santa Fe at Christmas surpasses any childhood dream of Christmas magic, any concept of community or instant nostalgia that I had ever before experienced. It was, indeed, a winter wonderland.
Aside from the trail of paper bags filled with tea lights, luminaria as they’re called, that were nestled in the snow to guide the locals’ song-filled way along Canyon road, my memory of Christmas in Santa Fe remains in special cookies that the locals make during the holidays. I’ve played with two of them for you here, versions of the New Mexican biscochito (loved so much it’s considered the state cookie), and a chocolate “pignon” cookie that I remember from a local bakery.