Wicked Good Christmas Cookies

We are sharing some of our favorite cookie recipes.

Jessie: One of the absolute favorites in my house is a version of Mexican Wedding Cakes. They are simple, quick and shatter in a burst of buttery goodness in your mouth. IMG_20131216_170359_584I was only able to photographer one lonely cookie because the rest have all been gobbled. I felt so bad for it I had to put it out of its misery right after the photo was taken. Here’s the recipe for about two dozen cookies:

1 cup butter (please, no substitutions!), at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

additional confectioners’ sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375. Beat softened butter in a mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in flour and salt. The dough will be quite stiff. Pinch off small bits of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on an ungreased baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until bottoms are a golden brown but the tops are still light in color. Roll in additional confectioners’ sugar while still warm. Cool on a rack. Nothing could be nicer on a snowy day than these cookies served with a cup of strong, hot tea.

kissescookiesSherry: My favorite cookies aren’t that different than Jessie’s but they have a surprise in the middle! My mom made them every Christmas for me — Chocolate Walnut Kisses.

At medium speed of a mixer, mix:

  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

At low speed beat in:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup very finely chopped walnuts

Shape the dough around a Hershey’s Kiss. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes until cookies are set but not brown. Roll in powdered sugar. Makes 40+. Eat a few warm!

Julie: I love cookies. But these days, I don’t have time to bake. (This weekend I will, promise.) So I am into bar cookies. And fudge. The fudge is the Never Fail Fudge from Fluff. I kid you not–makes a ton, and tastes great.

The bar cookies du jour? O’Henry bars–a throw back from when I was a kid.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter/spray a 10 x 15 pan.

Mix together 1 c. softened butter, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 c. corn syrup, 4 c. rolled oats, 1 t. vanilla. Put in pan, and bake 10-15 minutes. Don’t over bake. Cool.

Melt 1 c. chocolate chips (I use semi sweet, but milk also works. And I use more if I have them) and 3/4 c. peanut butter. Spread over the cooled bars, and refrigerate them. Cut into squares. Note: if layering, use wax paper between the layers. They are a little messy.

My granddaughter Viola and my daughter-in-law Sunny. Viola will be the 6th generation of my family (at least) to learn to make these cookies.
My granddaughter Viola and my daughter-in-law Sunny. Viola will be the 6th generation of my family (at least) to learn to make these cookies.

Barb: I make Christmas cookies every year. Same six kinds, same kinds my mom made, five of the six are cookies my grandmother made every year. Yes, I am a traditionalist, especially around Christmas.

Hazelnut Wreaths

To 2 well beaten eggs

Added creamed
½ lb butter
1 cup sugar

Then add
2 ½ cups flour
4 oz chopped hazelnuts

Form into small flat discs. Place in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Roll dough out one disc at a time on a flour covered surface. Cut into rings. (A smallish donut cutter is good.) Decorate with red and green pineapple “bows.” Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Edith: My quick go-to cookie is a version of Mexican Bride Cakes, but you press IMG_3129the dough out into a low flat pan. Bake once, sprinkle powdered sugar on top, cut into inch-square squares, and bingo!

But since Jessie already dibbed that one, here is my grandmother Ruth Skinner Flaherty’s English Butter Cookies taken directly from the well-used recipe card I probably IMG_3128wrote out in high school. Mysteriously crossed out is the important instruction to cut out with cookie cutters. Roll out in powdered sugar, use the cookie cutters of your choice, and then sprinkle with red or green sugars before baking. Let cool on a flattened brown paper grocery bag.

Readers: What’s your favorite holiday cookie?

10 Thoughts

  1. I love sugar cookies to cut into Christmas shapes, but my favorite holiday time cookie is midnight blizzard that I developed with one of our daughters out of several different favorite recipes. They are a very dark chocolate cookie with white chocolate chips. I make them crispy, but she prefers them cakey. We sometimes made the cakey version with walnuts and raisins but no chips. Those we’ve always called chunkies after the candy bar.

  2. I’ll go with the traditional sugar cookies. I have to have an excuse to keep collecting strange and wonderful cookie cutters. And diverse sprinkles. And sugar in odd colors. It’s an addiction.

      1. I love cookie cutters, too. Especially because my butter cookies (seen in the photo) are so short the dough is hard to work and small cutters are needed to minimize the number of times the dough gets rolled. I have some I’ve been using since childhood, but like to add new when I see them. The sugar thing got so out of hand I had to make a rule for myself a few years ago I had to use them up before I could add new ones. I’ve got about another year to go. Had to make the same rule for myself with cookie tins, especially has many kind friends return then after the holiday.

    1. I love my cookie cutters! And I have coveted my sister-in-laws tiny mitten cookie cutter since we were roommates—long, long ago! My favorite, however, is the one my mother-in-law gave me made by my husband when he was a little boy. It’s really a giant biscuit cutter, but it makes fantastic round sugar cookies or Christmas wreaths with the middle cut out with the smaller round cutter.

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