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Christmas Cookies


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Oh, beautiful. I'm adding that to my cookbook wish list. You can never have enough cookie recipes!

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Just wanted everyone to know that I tried Jaymes' recipe for Fruit Cake cookies - look on the first page of this discussion thread - and they are wonderful! I'll definitely be adding them to my list each year from now on. Thanks for sharing, Jaymes!

Bryan Ochalla, a.k.a. "Techno Foodie"

http://technofoodie.blogspot.com/

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

Orson Welles (1915 - 1985)

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I'm short on money for gifts this year, so I'm doing a lot of baking for Xmas gifts. A fancy tart for my mother and fudge for my sister and father. That actually means I'll probably not have time to do much in the way of Christmas cookies. The last time I did so was two years ago (last year I had the flu, so no cookies from me).

Most of my Christmas cookie recipies are from my grandmother. 2002's list included:

Iced Sour Cream Orange Drops -- I've never seen another cookie like these, but I'm sure she got them from somewhere sometime in the 50's.

Peanut Butter Honey Cookies -- Not from my grandmother, a very whole foods-y recipe (not in the grocery store sense). But for such a crunchy origin, they're quite good.

Ladylocks -- I've got the homemade puff-pastry spiral part down, but the filling I wasn't happy with. My grandmother's notes on the subject are incomprehensible, unfortunately.

I've had a hard time finding a substitute that doesn't include marshmellow cream.

Spritz - just the plain sugar kind.

Since then I've inherited my grandmother's pizzelle maker. I don't think I'll have time to use it this year. If I do have time for some cookies, I'll make macaroons (for my grandfather) and the orange drops.

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Iced Sour Cream Orange Drops? THOSE sound yummy! Care to share the recipe? If you don't have it typed up I can wait until after the holidays, but would love to know a bit more about them...I'm (gasp) not a chocolate fiend, but I love anything that involves citrus!

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Just wanted everyone to know that I tried Jaymes' recipe for Fruit Cake cookies - look on the first page of this discussion thread - and they are wonderful!  I'll definitely be adding them to my list each year from now on.  Thanks for sharing, Jaymes!

Look at me...I'm beaming!!! :biggrin:

I agree, they are good. Even folks that don't like fruitcake like these. They're sorta the same, but different. Completely different texture....because of course they're cookies, not cake.

Thanks for letting me know.

:rolleyes:

Edited to add: I've been to a LOT of cookie exchanges throughout the years, and this is one of my favorite recipes to take. In addition to being delicious, they're very festive and pretty and 'Christmasy' and I've yet to have anyone else show up with the same thing.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I just finished a cookie exchange. We were supposed to send a dozen cookies to five different people. I couldn't decide, so I chose six different types to make up the dozen (a seventh was Herme's Hazelnut Chocolate Sables from this thread...didn't send those out since I didn't think it would appeal to everyone's palates). I think all of these will also make it to my own holiday table. Not too sure on the wreaths...they were a bit of a pain (tasty though).

pcncookies04.jpg

Clockwise from bottom left:

- Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies

- Pine Nut Tassies

- Chocolate-Pistachio Wreaths

- Caramel Pecan Cookies

- Caramel Nut Acorns

- Cherry Swirls

I just tried your Caramel Nut Acorns. Very cool - thanks for sharing the recipe! It was a little tough dealing with the crumbly dough at first, but as soon as I realized that I had mistakenly used only 1 stick of butter instead of the 1 cup specified it got much better!!!!

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Cool, I'm glad you tried them. That one's been in my wife's family for years (still have the tattered, yellowed, hand-written recipe card from her grandmother) and one I don't have a source for. I do know that everyone who tries them loves them. And you have to work quickly with the dough while it's warm, or it gets too crumbly even with the right amount of butter. Oh yes, it's also a yearly required cookie.

In case others are looking for recipes, they're here.

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Iced Sour Cream Orange Drops?  THOSE sound yummy!  Care to share the recipe?  If you don't have it typed up I can wait until after the holidays, but would love to know a bit more about them...I'm (gasp) not a chocolate fiend, but I love anything that involves citrus!

Actually, I just traded this recipe with one of my ESL students. You could possibly make these with butter, but you'd hardly taste it and the cookies wouldn't be so soft and thick. Mine always come out looking a bit like macaroons, my grandmother's were usually smooth.

Orange Drop Cookies

1c veg. shortening

1 1/2 c sugar

1/3 c orange juice

4c flour

1/2 t salt

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

2 eggs

1c sour cream or sour milk

2c powdered sugar

1 t orange rind

Cream shortening, sugar and eggs. Add orange juice, flour, salt, baking soda & powder and sour cream. Mix and drop on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool.

Mix powdered sugar and orange rind with water or orange juice to make glaze

If anyone has ever heard of other cookies like this, let me know. I'm sure these came from somewhere, but I have no idea where.

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Ooh, cookies! I went baking crazy this year! Last year I bought a copy of Dede Wilson's Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies, and it's become my Christmas cookie Bible. I've made the Chocolate Bourbon Balls (incredibly easy and boozy -- the best kind of Christmas cookie!) for the past two years running, and also the Pfeffernusse (her recipe has a lot of cardamom and ground almonds and ground candied peel, which make them taste sort of uber-Christmas to me). Both of these also have the advantage of keeping for well over a month. I also made her Nutmeg Logs this weekend, which are like nutmeg flavored sugar cookies with a rum icing -- I've rechristened them eggnog cookies. They're excellent. I also made the recipe in her book for mincemeat for mince pies, and it's delicious. My family never really had traditional cookie recipes (maybe because we had Christmas pudding and a Christmas Eve prune cake?) except for indifferent sugar cookies, so I was excited about this book!

I know I sound like a commercial for the book, but I've found it both inspiring and reliable.

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These are one of my faves:

They are from the website Christmas-cookies.com.

Lime Pistachio Cookies

Makes about 18

For the cookies:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

1 cup finely chopped pistachios

For the lime icing:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel

Cream butter and sugar; beat in egg. Stir in flour and lime peel; mix in pistachios. Refrigerate dough 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick; cut shapes with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool. Pipe icing to outline cookies.

Lime Icing:

Beat butter with powdered sugar, milk, and lime peel until smooth. If frosting is too stiff, beat in a few drops more milk; if too soft, beat in more powdered sugar. Makes about 1 cup.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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I've made the Chocolate Bourbon Balls (incredibly easy and boozy -- the best kind of Christmas cookie!) for the past two years running

Amuse,

My girlfriend and I made 140 bourbon balls this past week. The best part is they get better the longer they sit around!

We used Wild Turkey 101 this year -- it was a value based decision.... what brand/proof did you use?

I love these things!

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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I've made the Chocolate Bourbon Balls (incredibly easy and boozy -- the best kind of Christmas cookie!) for the past two years running

Amuse,

My girlfriend and I made 140 bourbon balls this past week. The best part is they get better the longer they sit around!

We used Wild Turkey 101 this year -- it was a value based decision.... what brand/proof did you use?

I love these things!

They are still good when they sit around but the alcohol evaporates, so they're less fun! We used Jim Beam because we could buy a small bottle -- we're not bourbon drinkers normally. We drink either scotch or rye.

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rcarter - Thanks for reviving this thread!

After reading this I've added Trish's White Choc Cranberry bars, Susan's Aunt Laura's Christmas cookies and Hilda's Friend's Almond Shortbread to my list. I love ones that come with a story. :wub:

2004 Cookies:

Bird's Nest

Gingersnaps

Lebkuchen

Chocolate Candycane

Triple Ginger

Cakes:

Wendy's Secret Banana Cake (plain, sourcream ganache + crumble toppings)

RLB's Grand Marnier cakelets

Linzertorte

Tarts:

Flo Braker's Scheherazade

Fruit

Run the earth. Watch the sky.
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I realise this is extremely late, but my family's holiday cookies are:

Mama Tonkel’s Cherry Tarts - My maternal grandmother's recipe

1 8oz. Cream Cheese

2 Sticks Butter

1 C. Flour

2 jars Cherry Preserves

Mix first three ingredients well. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate overnight. Roll out thin and cut into squares. Put a cherry in centre and pinch the corners together to make a flower. Bake on cookie sheet lined with foil at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until light golden brown.

Mama Kemp’s Vienna Cookies - My paternal grandmother's recipe

1/2 Lb. Butter

3/4 C. Sugar

4 Egg Yolks

3/4 Lb. Flour

Juice and grated Rind of 1/2 Lemon

Cherry or Apricot preserves

1 Egg (for glaze)

Cream Butter and Sugar. Add Egg Yolks. Cream for 10 minutes or until pale yellow and fluffy. Add lemon juice and rind. Slowly blend in 3/4 Lb. flour. Form small balls. Press in centre with thumb to form a well. Brush with egg. Fill centre with preserves. Bake for 20 minutes at 350º, until golden brown.

And we also make:

RLB's Un-Rugelach

Apricot Tarts

Pecan Tassies

Butter Cookies - A secret family recipe

Pecan Sandies

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This year I made snowflakes, lots and lots of snowflakes.... I used the sugar cookie recipe from Cook's Illustrated - after trying out several others as well - and find it offers the best taste and results. I tinted the royal icing a very light mint and used blue pearl luster dust on the edges. These were an enormous hit!

gallery_22153_506_1103903315.jpg

Josette

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This year I made snowflakes, lots and lots of snowflakes.... 

Exquisite.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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gallery_8176_527_1104195543.jpg

Here is the cookie tray I ended up taking to the office this year.

My regular selection:

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Molasses Cookies

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Fruitcake Cookies (annual attempt to recreate a lost family recipe - next year I will try Jaymes' recipe!)

Apricot White Chocolate Pistachio

Some new ones:

Swedish Cardamom Cookies

Pine Nut Tassies (from Gourmet - they had several other recipes from this basic dough but I ran out of time)

Cardamom squares with espresso and chocolate icing

And some great new ones from this thread - Thanks!

Chewy Ginger Cookies from kitwilliams

Acorn Cookies from kthull

Almost forgot the Sparkle Cookie recipe I got from the LA Times last year. I think I have also seen it mentioned on this site.

Edited by rcarter (log)
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  • 10 months later...

It's that time of year again, already! What are you baking?

So far, my plan is:

*Gingersnap balls

*Lemon bars

*Mocha Nut Butterballs

*Cream Cheese Foldovers

*Chocolate meringue kisses

*Spritz

*Sugar cookies (I hate making these and they're not special enough IMO, but they are demanded)

My dilemma: I'm very proud of the first four recipes, and with also making the last three, that's generally enough for my family and friends. I've seen dozens of scrumptious-sounding recipes in this thread, but I don't want to give up the tried and true for the unknown. (No, I don't have time to make test batches!)

This is extra-important to me this year, because I've been asked to bake trays of cookies and sell them. (Huge excitement for me!!) But--how many different types? How many of each type? How much to charge?

What do you think? :huh:

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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I'm trying to keep it simple this year. Will be making a few gingerbread houses to give to friends who will build them with their families.

I have been playing with decorating cookies so will be making cookie bouquets with gingerbread and sugar cookies. Boring but it's what the kids like.

I bought Martha's new cookie magazine and here's my version of the cover picture

gallery_20283_442_18049.jpg

I had some royal icing to use up so I made some gingerbread cookies to practice on. Here's the results-will have to work on Santa's faces for the next batch

gallery_20283_442_83480.jpg

Sandra

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Freeze the shaped dough and you can make a ton of cookies. Just mix, shape and place the unbaked dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, place it in the freezer (uncovered) until the dough is hard, quickly transfer to a ziploc bag or plastic container, and freeze until you want to bake them. If your freezer's good and cold, the dough will keep for 2 months.

I make 16-20 kinds of cookies every Christmas, and it's really not stressful when you do it this way. If you start now and make a few kinds each weekend over the next three weekends, you can bake them off the second or third weekend in Dec and have a lovely assortment.

I vary the mix every year, but every year I ALWAYS make:

Pecan Tassies

Cinnamon-Almond Crescents

Rogelach

Chocolate Snowballs

Pecan Snowballs

Soft Gingerbread

Lemon Spritz

Linzers

Sugar Cut-outs

Chocolate Peppermint Patties

Orange-Almond Wafers (dipped in tempered Belgian chocolate)

Chocolate Almond Wafers (Chocolate lace cookies coated with Belgian Chocolate)

The family expects these. Then I add whatever I want to experiment with to complete the mix and balance the colors, flavors and textures.

Cookies are my favorite thing. And Christmas is my favorite time of year, so I'm in heaven just about now!

I am lovin' this thread! I read every entry and there are some really great recipes here.

Thanks for ringing in the cookie season!

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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