Each year in October, I put together my new Christmas cookie collection. I use to make the same recipes every year for several reasons. First my original list of Christmas cookies when I was a young wife became my traditional recipes. I only baked those recipes one time a year so my husband and kids looked so forward to eating them. Through all those years, my sisters, friends and I kept collecting more and more recipes.
After starting my Painless Cooking website I was shocked at how many recipes I did have. I am talking about “great recipes”. I decided to only make each recipe one time. This is the only way I had a chance of trying all these delicious recipes. For several years now I have made up a totally new Christmas cookie collection. It has been wonderful trying these great cookies. Too wonderful!
I still use my self-imposed guidelines when creating my Christmas cookie collection each year. I like to select a variety of flavors with different nuts and various fruits. Dried fruits always remind me of the holidays because we always had some kind of fruitcake and fruit cookies since my childhood. It is easy to turn any cookie into special cookies with a little decorating. Add a little icing or glaze and some holiday candies or sprinkles to turn any cookie into a holiday special.
Each year my Christmas cookie collection includes some fruit recipes.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees; line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter on medium speed in large bowl until smooth.
Add powdered sugar beating until well blended; beat in egg and vanilla.
Combine candied fruit and walnuts in a medium bowl; stir in ¼ CUP flour.
Add remaining 2 ¼ CUPS flour to butter mixture; beat on low speed until blended.
Add fruit mixture and stir in with spoon; shape in small balls.
NOTE: If dough is too soft refrigerate until firm.
Roll balls in coconut and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
Press lightly with a glass dipped in sugar; place cherry half on top.
Bake 13 to 15 minutes until edges are golden.
Cool on wire racks; makes about 48.
Many people like to have liqueurs in some of their Christmas cookie collections.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease 24 miniature muffin cups.
Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla, almond and egg yolk; mix well.
Stir in the flour and salt mixing well; chill for 1 hour.
Place 2 teaspoons dough into each muffin cup.
Press dough up sides to form a shell; bake 10 to 15 minutes until set.
Carefully remove from mini cups; cool completely on rack.
FOR FILLING beat cocoa and butter in small bowl until fluffy.
Add powdered sugar and liqueur; blend well.
Spoon filling into pastry bag and pipe into cookie cups.
Sprinkle tops with grated chocolate; make about 24.
These little cherry pockets are nice to add to your Christmas cookie collection.
In large bowl combine butter and cream cheese; beat until light and fluffy
Add flour and baking powder to creamed mixture; mix well to form dough.
Refrigerate dough overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees; grease cookie sheets.
Combine and mix in small bowl the nuts and preserves.
Divide dough into 4 parts; work with 1 part at a time.
NOTE: Keep dough refrigerated when not working it.
On floured surface roll each part to a rectangle (12X10 inches)
Cut rectangle into 2 inch squares; place HALF squares on cookie sheet.
Place 1 teaspoon preserves mixture in center of each square.
Top with remaining squares; press edges together with a floured fork.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned; remove from cookie sheets and cool.
Repeat with remaining 3 parts of dough.
FOR GLAZE combine powdered sugar and enough of the milk for glaze.
Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies; makes about 60 cookies.
Every year I have apricots in my Christmas cookie collection.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in butter and cream cheese until mixture is crumbly.
Add the coconut and preserves blending well.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes; cool completely.
Mix frosting ingredients until well blended; spread over cookies.
Candy canes are a must for a Christmas cookie collection.
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with mixer.
Beat in egg, vanilla and peppermint.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half; stir coconut into one half.
Blend red food coloring into the other half of dough.
Cover and chill dough 30 minutes.
Divide each of the dough halves into 30 balls.
NOTE: Keep half of each color of balls refrigerated.
With hands roll each ball into a rope 5 inches long.
For each cane pinch together the ends of 1 red and 1 white rope.
Twist ropes together and twist the other ends together.
Place on ungreased baking sheets curving to form a cane.
NOTE: Leave space between the canes for expansion during baking.
Repeat making canes with all the balls; bake for 10 minutes.
Each Christmas cookie collection needs to include delicious chocolate recipes.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Lightly grease with solid shortening and flour 9X13 inch baking pan.
FOR COOKIES combine butter and chocolate in saucepan.
Heat over low stirring until both have melted.
Add remaining cookie ingredients stirring until well blended.
Spread mixture into prepared baking pan leveling top.
FOR FILLING place 6 OUNCES softened cream cheese in mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and next 4 filling ingredients; beat until smooth and fluffy.
Stir in the walnuts and spread over the chocolate cookie mixture in pan.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with the marshmallows; bake 2 minutes.
FOR FROSTING combine butter and chocolate in large saucepan.
Add the 2 OUNCES cream cheese and milk; over low heat stir until melted.
Add powdered sugar and vanilla stirring until smooth.
Immediately pour hot frosting over the marshmallows; swirl together.
Cool completely and cut into bars; store in refrigerator.
Cut into 48 bars.
Cinnamon and other spices are traditional for my Christmas cookie collection.
Preheat oven to 325F degrees; lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
With mixer on medium beat egg whites until foamy; gradually beat in sugar.
Increasing speed to high continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Blend in lemon peel and cinnamon; set aside ½ CUP of this meringue.
Fold almonds into remaining meringue mixture.
Gently roll or pat out to 3/8 inch thick on surface coated with granulated sugar.
Lightly sprinkle top with granulate sugar; cut out with 2 ½ inch star cutter.
NOTE: Dip star cutter into powdered sugar with each cookie to prevent sticking.
Carefully place stars on prepared cookie sheets.
Place ½ teaspoon of the reserved meringue onto each cookie spreading out to the points.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
With spatula immediately lift stars from baking sheets to cooling rack; makes about 36.
I love lemon so I always include lemon in my Christmas cookie collection.
FOR COOKIES combine butter, powdered sugar and extract in bowl.
Stir in the flour and salt; blend well and refrigerate about 2 hours.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
Line four cookie trays with parchment paper.
Divide dough into about 80 balls; place 1 inch apart on baking sheets.
Flatten balls slightly with bottom of glass dipped in granulated sugar.
Bake about 5-6 minutes until edges are light brown; immediately remove to cooling rack.
FOR FILLING combine sugar and cornstarch in saucepan; stir in water and next 3 ingredients.
Add a drop of yellow coloring to tint.
Cook and stir constantly until mixture boils; stir and cook 1 minute longer and cool.
Put 2 cooled cookies together with cooled filling; dust with powdered sugar.
Makes about 40 double cookies.
Bells are a symbol of Christmas so why not include them in your Christmas cookie collection.
Combine sugar, butter, shortening, egg and vanilla in large bowl.
Stir in flour, salt and baking soda until well blended.
Divide dough in 2 parts; PART 1 ONE THIRD; PART 2 TWO THIRDS.
Stir food coloring (Red or green) into TWO THIRDS dough part.
Shape colored dough into a roll (10 X 1 ½ inches).
Form into bell shape by pressing top of roll together leaving lower half curved.
Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Separate ¼ CUP of the plain dough and set aside for the clappers.
Roll the remaining plain dough into a rectangle (10X5 inches) on wax paper.
Wrap rectangle around bell shaped roll; wrap and refrigerate overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
Cut roll into 1/8 inch slices; place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Shape tiny ball with reserved plain dough; place at bottom of each bell.
Bake 7-8 minutes until edges begin to brown. Makes about 4 ½ dozens.
Spritz cookies are so popular so why not include these chocolate ones in your Christmas cookie collection.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Combine in large bowl powdered sugar and butter; beat until fluffy.
Add egg and almond extract blending well; blend in flour and salt.
Fill cookie press using the bar plate.
Form 4 strips of dough on ungreased cookie sheet the length of the pan.
Score cookies at 2 ½ inch intervals; bake 3-5 minutes until set not brown.
Cut cookies on scored lines; lift to rack to cool completely.
FOR GLAZE first line cookie sheets with wax paper.
Over low heat melt chocolate with solid shortening stirring until smooth.
Remove chocolate from heat; place in larger pan of hot water to keep warm.
Dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate allowing excess to drip off.
Place cookies on prepared lined cookie sheets; arrange almonds on chocolate.
Store between 2 pieces of wax paper covered loosely in cool place.
Add molasses and more spice to your Christmas cookie collection.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; lightly grease cookie sheets.
FOR COOKIES combine flour and next 6 ingredients in medium bowl.
In large bowl beat the butter with mixer on medium until creamy.
Gradually beat in brown sugar until blended; on high beat until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, molasses and vanilla until blended.
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture.
Stir in the raisins until blended.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets 1 ½ inches apart.
Bake 12 minutes or until set.
Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes; move to rack and cool completely.
FOR ICING melt butter in small saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat; add powdered sugar stirring to blend.
Add vanilla and milk; mix well.
NOTE: If icing is too thick, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
Spread icing over cookies; decorate if desired for the occasion.
Makes about 3 dozen.
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