Cookies Around the World – A Twelve Country Geography Study

Several years back, I had this idea that to supplement our geography curriculum, we would COOK around the world.  It was getting close to Christmas time so I thought, why don’t we start with traditional Christmas cookies around the world?  It was a hit!  We have done it many Christmases since.  Not all our recipes are necessarily “Christmas” cookies, but all the cookie recipes can be traced back to a certain country or culture.  We have our tried and true favorites we do every year and we always try a new one or two each year.

I recently did this as a class for our homeschool co-op, so I finally compiled my recipes into neat printables AND created little country info sheets to go along with them.  I have now made that available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store under “Cookies around the World”.

I am going to give you one of my Cookies Around the World recipes!  (All recipes AND the country info sheets can be purchased from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.)

Spanish Butter Wafers


    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 cup vegetable shortening

    1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

    1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

    2 large eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds*
*Anise extract is easier to find and use. So use 1 teaspoon of anise extract for every two teaspoons of seeds.  For this recipe, ¾ teaspoon of extract may be substituted.


Combine the flour and salt.

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter, and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Stir in the anise seeds. Cover and chill for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough and form into balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until lightly colored. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

If you want the county info sheet and to get a general idea of what to expect in the full resource, you can check out the Cookies around the World freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Want more?

Head to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download the Three Country Preview Pack for $4.50 or download the whole Twelve Country Cookies Around the World Unit for $15.00



Author: Tabitha

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