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My Favorite Christmas Cookies

I was invited to two cookie exchanges this year.  I normally don’t go to the cookie exchanges because of past experiences when I had to take home store bought cookies to replace my hours of hard work.  These exchanges worked a little differently, we could pick and choose from the choices up to the number of dozens of cookies I brought.

Since I only brought 3 dozen cookies this wasn’t too hard to do, and I got to take home a nice assortment of homemade goodies.

OK, I admit it, I used real sugar for these instead of the healthier version.  Once a year I think it is fine to use the real thing.  Sucanat in the snowballs, I think adds too much flavor and masks the delicious pecan/butter flavor of this cookie.

Pictured above are my all time 3 favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes that I always make because I like them.  They don’t look so festive but they are yummy and usually disappear quickly at Holiday Open Houses and other Christmas parties.

To join the Christmas Cookie Recipe Contest -Share this  page link with your Facebook and Twitter friends.  When you have done that and post your favorite recipe (please don’t post recipes from other websites – just your own family favorite)  in the comments section below you will have a chance to win an Enviro Cloth – $14.50.  There will be five randomly chosen winners.

BUTTER NUT SNOWBALLS
(I have had this recipe for nearly 30 years!)

1 Cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (I use kamut flour)
2 cups finely chopped walnuts or pecans ( I use pecans) (more of a coarse flour consistency)
Confectioner’s Sugar

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and blend well. Add in the finely chopped nuts. Shape into 1 inch balls. Bake 325 degrees F for 30 minutes. Do not brown! Roll in confectioner’s sugar while still warm and place on cooling racks.


DATE BARS
These are excellent, yummy, festive, delicious

2 1/2 Cups dates, cut up
1/4 Cup sugar or Sucanat
1 1/2 Cup water
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts (opt)
1 1/4 cups whole grain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar  or Sucanat
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 TB water

Combine dates, sugar and 1 1/2 cups water in saucepan. Cook, stirring frequently, until like thick jam. Cool. Stir in nuts, if desired. Meanwhile, sift together flour, salt and soda into mixing bowl, stir in oats and sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle 1 TB water over oat mixture; mix lightly. Pat about 2/3 of crumb mixture into greased 13 X 9 X 2 pan. Spread with date mixture. Cover with remaining crumb mixture, pat lightly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool; cut into bars. Makes about 40 bars.

Double Chocolate Mint Treasures


3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar or Sucanat
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups whole grain flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg, vanilla and peppermint extract. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add to wet ingredients and then stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes on greased cookie sheet.


PEANUT BLOSSOMS (not pictured)
This recipe is fun to make with your children. They love to place the candy kiss in the middle of the cookie after they are baked.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose or whole grain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar or Sucanat
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar or Sucanat
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
2 TB milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
48 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped

In a large mixer bowl, stir flour, soda, and salt.  Add remaining ingredients except candy and beat at low speed of mixer until well combined, scraping bowl occasionally. chill dough 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll small amounts of dough into 1 inch balls.   Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each center. The cookie cracks around the edge. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 4 dozen, about 70 calories each.

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10 comments to My Favorite Christmas Cookies

  • Katrina

    I saw on Facebook you were asking for favorite Christmas cookie recipes. One my family really enjoys (and they look pretty, too!) is this one:

    (I just copied the recipe I use from allrecipes, hope that’s ok. Link is here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Split-Second-Cookies-2/Detail.aspx )

    Split Second Cookies

    Ingredients
    3/4 cup butter, softened
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup raspberry jam

    Directions
    1.In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

    2.Divide dough into four equal portions; shape each into a 12-in. x 3/4-in. log. Place 4 in. apart on two greased baking sheets. Make a 1/2-in. depression down center of logs; fill with jam.

    3.Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes; cut diagonally into 3/4-in. slices. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

    One thing we like to do is change it up a little by using different jams to fill each “log”. Raspberry is a favorite, but apricot is really yummy also.

  • These Ginger Molasses cookies are hands down my favorite cookies! I made a batch for my husband to take on a fishing trip (since ginger is good for motion sickness and he was going ocean fishing). One of his buddies told him that usually he doesn’t ask for recipes, but would it be possible to get this recipe. I can tell you I was quite flattered! I have it posted on my food blog (that I am ashamed to tell you I haven’t updated in nearly a year… I need to get back to doing that!) http://ourmostlyhappyhome.blogspot.com/2009/12/ginger-molasses-cookies.html A single recipe makes 16 BIG cookies (using a 1/4 c scoop) These cookies are great right from the oven and FANTASTIC a few days later =-)

    Ginger Molasses Cookies

    1/2 C butter, softened
    2 oz cream cheese, softened
    1/2 C sugar
    1/2 C brown sugar
    1 egg
    1/4 C molasses
    2 C whole wheat pastry flour (you could use AP flour, but you can’t tell these have wheat flour in them)
    1 T ground ginger
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt

    Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and molasses. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add all at once to creamed mixture and beat just until combined. Cover and chill dough at least 1 hour (overnight REALLY is best) Drop dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 12-16 minutes. Let rest on cookie sheet for several minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

  • i LOVE shortbread cookies, and i make them for almost every holiday in our home. this is an original scottish recipe and it just melts in your mouth…

    scottish shortbread
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup (2 sticks) butter, chilled

    Sift dry ingredients in a bowl. Break butter into dry mixture and work in with a pastry knife or hands until dough is smooth and well blended (like pie crust, but it will take longer for this dough to come together. i recommend using your hands to mix, or knead it. be patient!).

    Roll dough about 1/2″ thick and cut into rectangular bars. Poke holes into the bars with a fork and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Place sheets in refrigerater and chill 45 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 275. Bake 40-45 minutes.

  • Marilyn Moll

    Liz, I love the simple, classic type recipes. THANKS for sharing.

  • Kathi

    Our family enjoys making traditional sugar cookies every year. This year we are debating whether to put icing on them or not.

    Sugar Cookie Cutouts
    2/3 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 cups flour

    In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 sec. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill dough about an hour or until easy to handle.
    On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8″ thick. Cut dough into desired shapes. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
    Bake at 375° for 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool and frost with powdered sugar icing. [1 cup sifted powder sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon milk or orange juice — blended together]

  • Marilyn Moll

    Kathi,

    Children absolutely love making these cut out cookies, but I personally don’t enjoy them that much, except with future grandchildren? This looks like a very good version of the cut out cookies. I think people need to be sure they don’t add too much flour so they are nice and butter and tender. Marilyn

  • Ginger Narmour

    For as many years as I can remember, my mom has baked these wonderful cookies and packaged them in small metal tins to give as gifts. My all-time favorite.

    ~Cinnamon Crisps~
    Cream together:
    1 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    Then add:
    1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
    2 cups flour
    3 tsp. cinnamon
    Spread dough onto sprayed baking sheet (jelly roll pan). Press down, and then brush with the beaten egg white. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans and press into dough. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Cut and place into tins while still warm. They crisp when cool, and stay wonderful through the Christmas week if they last that long! Blessings and Merry Christmas~
    Ginger

  • Kim Potter

    This is one of my favorite recipes its not really a cookie but more like a candy, ohh, but so good!

    Sponge Candy
    1 Cup sugar
    1 Cup dark corn syrup
    1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 Tablespoon baking soda
    6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
    1 Cup finely chopped salted nuts

    cook & stir sugar, syrup & vinegar in 2 qt pan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook, without stirring until mixture reaches 300 degrees. Immediately remove from heat; stir in soda quickly. Pour onto 13 x 9 ungreased pan. Do not spread. Cool. Heat chocolate until melted; spread over candy, sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate until chocolate in set, about 1 hour, break into pieces and enjoy! Makes 1 pound. This is a fun recipe to make with kids.

  • I grew up making homemade sugar cookies with my Mom and now I have even been able to make them gluten free! Here’s the recipe:
    Our Family Sugar Cookie Recipe:
    Cream together in a large bowl:
    2 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup butter, softened
    Then add:
    1/4 cup milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    In a separate bowl mix together:
    4- 4 1/2 cups cake flour (gluten free cake flour mix see notes below)
    3 tsp xanthan gum
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda

    Slowly add flour mix to butter mix. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out to approximately 1/2 inch thickness (for soft cookies, less for crispy). Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

    Gluten free notes:
    I have not tried this dairy or egg free. I think it would be easy enough to substitute a dairy free liquid, not so sure about egg free. When rolling the dough, just take approximately 1/3 of the dough out to roll (dust silpat with tapioca starch or some other non gritty flour). I used a silpat to bake on as well.

    gf cake flour
    # 3 cups brown rice flour (fine ground)
    # 1 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
    # 1/2 cup tapioca flour
    # 1 1/4 teaspoons guar gum or 1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
    Mix together and store in air tight container or ziploc in the fridge.

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