Posted by bakingway
It’s the last week before Christmas and definitely Cookie Week! Cookies are the perfect dessert for a houseful of guests, and a beautifully wrapped tray or colorful bag of cookies makes the perfect gift for friends and neighbors. If you get started today and bake a bit at a time, you’ll have quite a selection by Christmas day. Here is a collection of my favorite Holiday Cookies which emphasize distinct flavors, varieties and colors to make gorgeous cookie trays!
CUTOUT SUGAR COOKIES:Cream: 1/2 cup Butter 1 cup Sugar Add: 2 Eggs Combine and add: 2 3/4 cup AP Flour 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda 1/2 tsp. Salt 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Chill. Roll out to 1/2″ thick. Cut with desired cookie cutter shapes. Bake on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.ROYAL ICING: Place in mixing and whip at high speed: 2 cups Powdered Sugar 1 Tabl. Dry Egg White Powder (found in baking aisle of grocery store) 1/4 cup Water 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Add more water as needed to make spreading consistency. Icing can be colored with food colors. Ice cool cookies. Allow the icing to dry completely.
Tip: If you are doing more than one color on each cookie, allow to completely dry before adding the next color.
CHOCOLATE DIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES:Cream: 3 cups Butter, room temperature 1-1/2 cups Brown Sugar 1/4 cup Sugar Gradually Add: 3 Egg Yolks 1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract 3 Tabl. Milk Add to above and mix until all is incorporated: 6 cups AP Flour
Chill the dough 30 minutes before using. Roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters into desired shape. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
Melt a good quality chocolate and dip 1/2 of cookie in melted chocolate. Place each dipped cookie onto a parchment sheet. Allow the chocolate to dry well before stacking and freezing.
CHRISTMAS BONBON COOKIES:Cream: 1 cup Butter 1-1/2 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar Add: 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract Mix in: 3 Cups AP Flour 1/2 tsp. Salt 6 Tabl. Cream or milk
When the dough comes together, wrap it in plastic to chill. Take your “surprise” (I use Hershey’s Kisses) and press it into the center of a 1″ ball of dough. Roll the dough into a ball to cover the “surprise”.
Place on parchment lined or greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned.
When completely cool, ice with royal icing and colorful sprinkles or dip in melted chocolate.
GINGERBREAD COOKIES:Cream: 1-1/2 cups Butter, room temp. 1-1/2 cups Brown Sugar Add: 1-1/2 cups Molasses Gradually add to above, one at a time: 3 Eggs Add to above: 7-1/2 cups AP Flour 1 tsp. Salt 1-1/2 tsp. Baking Soda 2 Tabl. Ground Ginger 2 Tabl. Cinnamon 2 Tabl. Ground Cloves
Chill the dough. Roll out and cut with gingerbread men/women (whatever) cutters. Before baking, you can add red hot cinnamon candies and press into the dough if you wish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely. Ice with Royal Icing.
ALMOND CRESCENT COOKIES:Cream: 2 cups Butter, softened 3/4 cup Sugar Add: 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
Stir in: 3 cups AP Flour 2-1/2 cups Almond Flour* 1 tsp. salt
Chill the dough for at least one hour. Scoop out 1-1/2″ balls. Roll the dough into a cylinder and shape with fingers. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Cool completely. I keep mine in the freezer and shake them in a bag with powdered sugar before I serve.
*Almond Flour used to be only accessible at specialty baking stores, but now, you can find it in regular grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find it in your store, finely grind the almonds with 3 Tabl. of Flour in a food processor – and you have almond flour!
SOUR CREAM CUTOUT COOKIES:Cream: 1 cup Butter 2 Cups Sugar Add: 2 Eggs 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract Sift Together: 5-1/4 Cups AP Flour 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1 tsp. Baking Soda 1 tsp. Salt 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg Mix alternately with flour: 1 Cup Sour Cream
Chill the dough for a few hours or overnight. Roll out on floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Cutout with your favorite cookie cutters and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Ice with Royal Icing – Decorate as desired!
CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER BUCKEYES:Melt in a pan over low heat: 1/2 cup Butter 2 cups Peanut Butter Combine in a large bowl: 5 cups Rice Cereal 1 cup Powdered Sugar
Pour the melted butters over the dry mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Form the peanut butter mixture into small balls, pressing firmly together and shaping with your hands. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Melt 1 package of your favorite Chocolate. Dip COLD balls into the chocolate and place on parchment to set the chocolate. These freeze very well – not that you’ll be able to keep them there. Enjoy!
PEANUT KOOKIE BRITTLE:Cream: 2 cups Butter, soft 2 cups Sugar Add: 1 tsp. Salt 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract Add: 4 cups Flour Stir in: 2 cups cocktail peanuts
Press firmly into the bottom of 1″ sided cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 min. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Allow to completely cool before serving/freezing.
RUGELACH:CREAM: 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened 8 oz. Butter, softened ADD: 1-1/4 cups AP Flour 1/2 tsp. Salt
Place the dough onto plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a rectangle and roll out with rolling pin until fairly thin. *For my cinnamon nut, I spread soft butter over the dough, drizzle honey on top of the butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Now, roll the rectangle up, starting from the long side, forming a long roll, approx. 1-1/2″ in diameter. Wrap that roll in plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator.
When you are ready to bake, cut 1-1/2″ pieces with a sharp knife. Brush each piece with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in HOT (pre-heated) oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until nicely browned. These freeze very well.
*Experiment with fillings, spread apricot jam and roll, or use raspberry jam and mini choc.chips, use you imagination!
CHOCOLATE CRACKLETOPS:Melt in microwave (low heat and gradual): 5 squares of Baking Chocolate 1/2 cup Butter In mixing bowl, place: 2 cups Sugar Add melted chocolate to the sugar and mix. Beat in one at a time: 3 Eggs, large Add and mix: 2-1/2 cups AP Flour 2 tsp. Baking Powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 cup Walnuts (optional)
Refrigerate the dough overnight or at least 6 hours. Roll COLD dough into balls. Roll each ball in confectioner’s sugar and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.