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Your Favorite Christmas Cookies!

  • d

And in doing a quick search of the site... We haven't done this poll yet! :) What are your favorite Christmas Cookies to bake?


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  1. Gebeckenes. (A thinly rolled cut butter cookie, mit decorations, from Austria/Germany.)

    3 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      Karl, Isn't gebeckenese "fried cow's udder"? LOL

      1. re: AMM

        Sorry for the typo. It's a generic term for baked goods, but it's an old family recipe under that name.

        Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

        1. re: AMM

          Sorry for the typo. It's a generic term for baked goods, but it's an old family recipe under that name.

          Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2. j
        Jane Hathaway

        Bon Bons from the old Betty Crocker cookbook. They've been on the holiday cookie plate for generations in my family.

        1. Like Thanksgiving, Christmas needs to be classic, with as few surprises as possible. With that in mind I nominate the penultimate Christmas cookie: Corny Spritz cookies in shapes like wreathes and Christmas trees, pumped out of a press and decorated by the kids with red and green sprinkles and those round gold and silver whatchamacallits (on the tip of my tongue - somebody help me). But being a stickler for fine flavor, please be sure to make them with fresh unsalted butter and the best vanilla - plenty of both.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Niki Rothman


            My favorite christmas cookie is a family recipe -- it's a cake-like cookie, rolled and cut with cookie cutters, then frosted and decorated. The recipe came from my great grandmother, who was Norweigian.

            1. re: DanaB

              Care to share the recipe?

              1. re: DanaB

                Dragees it is.
                May Santa bring you everything on your list.

                1. re: DanaB

                  Im hoping to see the recipe for this one! as well as all the others, of course!

              2. Linzer tarts, Neopolitan Rainbow Cookies, Bakery Cookies (butter cookie sandwiches dipped in chocolate and sprinkles on one edge), rugelach, those are the traditional. But I've found a few similar but different one the last few years too. If I'm going to eat all those calories, it had better be special!!

                3 Replies
                1. re: coll

                  Neopolitan Rainbow Cookies are a must!!

                  1. re: Dev

                    Yes, they are the best tasting, but even more for the color on the platter!

                    1. re: Dev

                      If you have a recipe for Neopolitan Rainbow cookies, please post it. TIA

                  2. Just the good old stand by of sugar cookies with butter cream frosting. One year when I was really pressed for time, I bought some of the Lofthouse sugar cookies for a work holiday party-BLECH. I always take the time now to make my own.

                    1. My favorite remains shortbread followed by Russian tea cakes.

                      1. I always make Hermits - spice cookie w/raisins & nuts, coffee & sour cream. Also Russian Tea Cakes aka Mexican Wedding Cakes.

                        1. b

                          I love mexican wedding cakes, rosettes, sand castles and those chocolate cookies that are cracked on top and brushed with confectioners sugar.

                          1. Wafer thin anise flavored sugar cookies - with or without frosting, but always cut with Christmas shaped cookie cutters. Hershey's chocolate kiss "snowballs" with almond dough. Pineapple cake cookies. All from my grandmother.

                            1. Having baked about 30 dozen cookies today, I feel I can answer this question with some authority! I like to have a range of flavors, and this year I'm doing five: Lemon Sables (from Dorie Greenspan), Ginger "Hottendots" (MFK Fisher), Mexican Wedding Cakes (Joy), Linzers (CIA Baking at Home) and, thanks to Candy on this board, Chocolate Brownie cookies from Claudia Fleming. My favorites among these are either the lemon sables (fantastically crispy and lemony) or the linzers (made with toasted hazelnuts, these are staggeringly delicious and make the kitchen smell divine while you make the dough).

                              I am hoping to get to the old warhorse--Roll Cookies from the old Joy of Cooking, cut into festive shapes including that of my home state of Michigan (both peninsulas) and garishly decorated.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: LindaMc

                                Please please please post the recipe for the lemon sables!

                                1. re: brooklynmasala

                                  Was just going to make the same request. Would love the recipe!

                              2. We always make the gingerbread men and chocolate coconut cookies from Fanny Farmer, and a recipe for toffee squares that I got years ago from a friend's mother. Though I'm thinking I might make Nigella's chocolate peanut squares instead this year.

                                1. My grandmother's Russian Tea Biscuit recipe, giant chocolate toffee cookies (epicurious), Double Chocolate Biscotti

                                  1. christmas cookie baking is a major production in my house. so far i've got about 10 dozen in the freezer, and it'll probably be double that by the time i'm done. classics that must be made every year or else the cookie eaters will be extremely disappointed include decorated cutouts made from the ethel's sugar cookies recipe in the 1960s version of betty crocker's cookie book (a few years ago i switched from the betty crocker icing recipe to royal icing made with merigue powder because it holds the food coloring better and has a nice sheen) and chocolate peanut butter balls from a 1970s church cookbook. this year's first-time flavors include chocolate peppermint crinkles from epicurious, which came out really great, and an experiment with lemon snowball type cookies that are good but very tart. i still need to add some sort of nut and/or spice cookies to the collection - the most important thing is of course that the cookies taste good, but i also feel the need to have an interesting balance of shapes, textures, etc. on my cookie plates.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SH

                                      love the chocolate peanut butter balls. my recipe calls them "buckeyes".

                                      1. re: SH

                                        I would love the recipe for the lemon snowball type cookies. Thanks

                                      2. I have four cookies I make every year-apricot foldovers, lemon stars (rolled lemon cookies filled with lemon curd), craisin pistachio biscotti and champagnebrod (pressed cookie filled with apricot jam). Then there are the candies-candied fruit rind (lemon, grapefruit & orange), white chocolate craisin pistachio bark, almond buttercrunch and caramel corn.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: AGM/Cape Cod
                                          Daniel Dumont

                                          Your response to the cookie question is the first I've read so far but your four regulars sound so great, I have to ask: are you willing to share the recipes? My mother used to make an apricot cookie that had a single soaked dry apricot in a cream cheese cookie dough. Those lemon stars sound fantastic as well. Will you share? Please? Pretty Please?

                                          1. re: Daniel Dumont
                                            AGM/Cape Cod

                                            Lemon Stars

                                            Yields approximately 6 dozen single-layer cookies or 3 dozen sandwich cookies
                                            2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                            1/4 cup cornstarch
                                            2 teaspoons baking powder
                                            Tiny pinch salt
                                            2 egg yolks
                                            3 tablespoons light cream
                                            ¾ teaspoon lemon oil
                                            1 cup white sugar
                                            3 Tablespoons grated lemon rind
                                            12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
                                            4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

                                            1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone paper.
                                            2. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix yolks, cream, and lemon oil together in a measuring cup.
                                            3. Cream sugar with butter, lemon rind and shortening until lightened and pasty. Beat yolk mixture into creamed butter until just combined.
                                            4. Add dry ingredients and beat until mixture begins to clump together (about 18 or 20 seconds on lowest speed of electric mixer).
                                            5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently to shape into a soft dough. (Can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 6 months).
                                            6. Working with 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll to about 1/8-inch thick on a well-floured work surface. Use cookie cuter of your choice to cut
                                            out shapes. Using a spatula, transfer cut-outs to prepared baking sheet, placing them about 1 inch apart.
                                            7. Bake at 350 degrees until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
                                            8. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

                                            I cut the cookies with a star cookie cutter. Then with an aspic cutter (you know those little tiny ones) I cut a star out of the middle of the cookies. It is probably better to bake a sheet of tops and bottoms separately since the tops with the cut out color faster. When they are cool I put a little lemon curd (I make my own using the recipe from Better than Store Bought by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie.) on the bottom cookie. Then I top with the cut out star set offset. They will soften up with the lemon curd but are wonderful right away.

                                            1. re: AGM/Cape Cod

                                              AMG/CapeCod, could you share the lemon curd recipe, I would like to make some.
                                              Thank you

                                              1. re: heylids

                                                I'm sure they're better with homemade, but I use bottled lemon curd, usually Trader Joes or the English brand they have in the grocery. That's why I made these cookies the first time, to use up a bottle I had!

                                          2. re: AGM/Cape Cod

                                            Hey Dommy, I tried making candied fruit rind last year and they didn't come out, I blanched the grapefruit rind and proceeded with the instructions but they absorbed most of the sugar and were not firm, just soft...I threw the whole batch out. Any suggestions?? TIA

                                            1. re: 4chowpups

                                              I've had the same problem with ginger.

                                              1. re: 4chowpups

                                                this is a long cooking process - you have to cook the peel until the sugar syrup is virtually gone (but not completely gone, otherwise the candy will scorch - so that the syrup reaches a high enough temperature thicken/candy - but not so that it gets hard.

                                                will have to go back to the recipe book and repost after i do.

                                              2. re: AGM/Cape Cod

                                                What is an apricot foldover and do you have a recipe? :-)

                                                1. re: Celeste
                                                  AGM/Cape Cod

                                                  Sorry this is so late.

                                                  Apricot Foldovers
                                                  Makes 50 cookies

                                                  1/4 cup orange juice
                                                  6 Tablespoons sugar
                                                  4 ounces chopped dried apricots

                                                  1 1/4 cup unsifted flour
                                                  6 Tablespoons sugar
                                                  Pinch salt
                                                  4 ounces cream cheese
                                                  1/4 cup butter
                                                  3 Tablespoons sour cream

                                                  For Filling:
                                                  1. In a small saucepan, mix the orange juice, sugar and apricots.
                                                  2. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Let simmer until the apricots are tender adding orange juice as needed to keep from burning.
                                                  3. Let cool. Will keep refrigerated for months.

                                                  For Dough:
                                                  1. In a large bowl or bowl of food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
                                                  2. With pastry blender or off-and-on pulse cut in the cream cheese and butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
                                                  3. With a fork or pulses mix in the sour cream just until the dough holds together in a ball.
                                                  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
                                                  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
                                                  6. Grease 2 large cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
                                                  7. Divide the dough into pieces. Working with one piece at a time, refrigerate the others.
                                                  8. On a floured surface roll the dough into a rectangle. Cut into 2-inch squares with a fluted pastry cutter.
                                                  9. Place a small amount of apricot filling in the center of the square and fold the opposite ends together and pinch closed. You may want to moisten the dough to seal it.
                                                  10. Place on cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.
                                                  11. Let cool on a wire rack.

                                                  1. re: AGM/Cape Cod

                                                    I made these using your recipe last week. They were so tasty. My husband and I are allergic to sulfites, too, so we usually have to pass on delicious dried apricots, but for some reason they didn't bother us baked up. Thanks!

                                              3. Russian Tea Cakes, a really good thumbprint cookie filled with current jelly, my favorite fudge and sometimes gingerbread men and sugar cookies cut with cookie cutters or pressed cookies - all made with lots of butter!

                                                1. Some of these sound so good.

                                                  1. I'm not a regular holiday cookie baker, but two things (one isn't really a cookie) that I've made in the past that I really like are biscotti w/ pistachios and dried cherries w/ a little orange zest (forget recipe source) and Mario Batali's almond brittle linked below. The brittle is super easy and super addictive!! Key is to use sliced almonds as specified. I use the bag from TJ's.

                                                    Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Carb Lover

                                                      a note of warning: I grabbed two bags of dried cherries in the store this week. Got them home, and discovered they were cherry-flavored dried cranberries.

                                                      I'm an idiot, and these are things are hideous.

                                                      1. re: danna

                                                        Oh, thanks for the warning. Cherry-flavored dried cranberries sounds awful...guess it's similar to orange-flavored prunes, but I don't like those either!

                                                        1. re: danna

                                                          No you're not, I did the same thing and I couldn't believe I that I did that! I'm usually careful as they weren't cheap!
                                                          I have no ideas what to do with them. Just stick with Trader Joes and you can't go wrong...

                                                      2. If you are not afraid of flavor, you will love these (intensely clove flavor) Spice Cookies.

                                                        My daughter has loved these since she was three--she's got quite sophisticated buds! These are a family favorite--it's not Christmas without them.

                                                        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                        1. My all time favorites are cut out gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies decorated to the hilt with royal icing, dragées,crystal sugar and other wonders from Maid of Scandinavia.

                                                          1. I sit in stunned silence at the keyboard at how few Italian cookies have been mentioned so far!
                                                            Or is everybody too busy baking them...?

                                                            + trudilli (wine balls rolled on cut glass, deep-fried and dipped in honey)
                                                            + pistellis (botched spelling? anise wafer cookie)
                                                            + anise knots (with pink frosting if you do it like Aunt Ella)

                                                            from just outside Bratislava...
                                                            + crescent walnut rolls, and those same anise wafer cookies - someone else can explain how this and stuffed cabbage are the two cooking overlays between the Italians and the Slovaks...

                                                            and, added to the melting pot several decades ago
                                                            + chewy molassas ginger cookies

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: pitu

                                                              my favorite italian christmas cookie would be pizzelles. what made them xmas-y was noni would cut the still-warm pizzelles into xmas shapes (trees, candy-canes, wreaths, etc.). the best part was we kids got to eat the scraps.

                                                              although many in the family make them, noni's pizzelles were the best. my dad and i always made a beeline for them as soon as we got to her house.

                                                              my all-time favorite (non-italian specific) xmas cookie, though, would be the lowly peanut butter blossom. not particularly sophisticated or anything, but it's the first xmas cookie i remember eating, and what's not to love about chocolate & peanut butter.

                                                              1. re: mark

                                                                We still make pizzelle every year. We always reserve a few to mold into cups and cones.

                                                                And I get to eat the scraps. :-)

                                                                1. re: piccola

                                                                  now I'm confused! or is somebody pouring too much batter into the special waffle cookie iron so they can pull bits off the side . . . ?

                                                                  1. re: pitu

                                                                    our scraps came from the remnants after the shapes were cut. overflow scraps are good, too.

                                                                    1. re: mark

                                                                      We get two kinds of scraps: overflow scraps and "breakies" - basically when you wait too long to mold the pizzella and it breaks.

                                                                      We have a lot of "accidents" when we make pizzelle.

                                                                  2. re: piccola

                                                                    we make pizelle every year, too! and i always get the scraps and the "breakies".

                                                                    we sometimes make pignolata, those little donut holes covered in syrup and piled on each other.

                                                                    and i love snowball cookies - we make ours with dried figs and toasted walnuts.

                                                                    but my fave xmas dessert is the homemade donuts we've been making each year since... forever.

                                                                2. re: pitu
                                                                  Princess Bakesalot

                                                                  Every year I make a dozen kinds of cookies, nut brittles, pralines and fudge. My favorite cookies are cuccidati, fig filled italian cookies. I got my recipe from Gourmet a few years ago, it looks involved but they break it into easy steps and they're always a hit.

                                                                  Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                  1. re: Princess Bakesalot

                                                                    Sound great--thanks for sharing!

                                                                    1. re: Princess Bakesalot

                                                                      fabulous - thanks for the link

                                                                      1. re: Princess Bakesalot

                                                                        These sound fabulous.

                                                                        Our local Italian Bakery makes them plain and chocolate dipped. They have lots of unusual traditional Italian sweets.

                                                                        Is dipping them in chocolate authentic?

                                                                    2. I'm baking the following to send to friends and family.

                                                                      Leckerli (The Art of Fine Baking - Paula Peck)

                                                                      These should be made at least a week, preferably 2-3 weeks, before using, to enable Leckerli to mellow. In an airtight box, these will keep well for many months.

                                                                      ½ cup honey
                                                                      1 cup sugar
                                                                      ¾ cup candied orange peel, finely chopped
                                                                      1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
                                                                      1 cup blanched, sliced almonds
                                                                      2 ¼ cups sifted flour
                                                                      ½ teaspoon cloves
                                                                      1 teaspoon nutmeg
                                                                      1 teaspoon cinnamon
                                                                      1 teaspoon soda
                                                                      ¼ cup water

                                                                      Place honey and ½ cup sugar in a saucepan. Cook, stirring over low heat, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Add candied orange peel and grated lemon rind. Cool to lukewarm. Stir in sliced almonds, then the flour mixed with spices and baking soda. Cover dough and let mellow at room temperature for at least 2 days.

                                                                      Set oven at 325 degrees. Grease and flour baking sheets. On a well-floured cloth, roll out dough 1/3 inch thick. Cut into bars 1 ½ x 3 inches. Place on baking sheets. Bake approximately 25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.

                                                                      Cook remaining sugar with ¼ cup water until it spins a thread (230 degrees). Brush each cooky with hot syrup. When completely cool, store in airtight box.

                                                                      Yield: approximately 56.

                                                                      Pfeffernusse (Peppernuts) (Joy of Cooking)

                                                                      These cookies may firm up and even become hard during storage. To soften them slightly, add an apple slice wrapped in a paper towel or in an open plastic bag to the storage container. In a few days, the cookies will soften, and the apple can be discarded.

                                                                      Whisk together thoroughly:
                                                                      1 cup plus 1 tablespoon AP flour
                                                                      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                                      ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
                                                                      1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon baking powder
                                                                      1/8 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                      1/8 teaspoon salt

                                                                      Beat until fluffy and well blended:
                                                                      4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
                                                                      ½ cup sugar

                                                                      Add and beat until well combined:
                                                                      1 large egg yolk

                                                                      Stir in:
                                                                      ¼ cup slivered blanched almonds, finely chopped
                                                                      ¼ cup finely chopped candied orange peel
                                                                      1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

                                                                      Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with, in 2 parts:
                                                                      3 tablespoons light or dark molasses
                                                                      3 tablespoons brandy

                                                                      Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days to allow the flavors to blend. To bake, position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

                                                                      Pull of pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into scant ¾ inch balls. Space about 1 inch apart on the sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are faintly tinged with brown on top and slightly darker at the edges, 12-14 minutes; rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even browning. Remove the sheet to a rack and let the cookies stand briefly. Roll the cookies until well coated in:

                                                                      ½ to 2/3 cup powdered sugar

                                                                      Let cool completely.

                                                                      Ginger Snaps (Joy of Cooking)

                                                                      For very crunchy cookies, overbake slightly; for more tender ones, underbake by a minute or two. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.

                                                                      Whisk together thoroughly:
                                                                      3 ¾ cups AP flour
                                                                      1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
                                                                      ½ teaspoon baking soda
                                                                      4 teaspoons ground ginger
                                                                      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon salt

                                                                      Beat on medium speed until very fluffy and well blended:
                                                                      12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
                                                                      1 2/3 cups sugar

                                                                      Add and beat until well combined:
                                                                      2 large eggs
                                                                      ½ cup dark molasses
                                                                      2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
                                                                      ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon or orange zest

                                                                      Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture until well blended and smooth. Pull of pieces of the dough and roll between your palms into generous 1-inch balls. Space about 1 ½ inches apart on the sheets. Pat down the balls to flatten the tops just slightly.

                                                                      Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are tinged with brown and just firm when lightly pressed in the center on top, 10-13 minutes; rotate the sheet halfway through the baking for even browning. (The cookies flatten and develop cracks during baking.) Remove the sheet to a rack and let stand until the cookies firm slightly. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool.

                                                                      1. My favorite are Pecan Diamonds although mine are usually rectangles, can't quite get the diamond thing.

                                                                        1. My mom's fruit drop cookies, loved even by most fruitcake haters. The batter is so thick once I add all the good stuff, I have to mix it with my hands.

                                                                          We make more candy than cookies--my husband's chocolate creams (from his grandfather) are amazing. But I like to try something new every year. This year it will be the apricot almond shortbread bar cookies in this month's Bon Appetit.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Zorra

                                                                            Please post the recipe for the apricot almond shortbread bar cookies!

                                                                              1. re: luv2bake

                                                                                I loved these, next year I'm going to make a batch of these and another with raspberry jam and Chambord!

                                                                          2. I recently bought Rose Levy Beranbaum's Christmas Cook Book on eBay. I have been licking the pages. Every one of her recipes is beautiful and delicious.

                                                                            1. I always do Chocolate Rads - chocolate espresso cookies with big chocolate chip chunks and walnuts. They get more comments than any of the others I make. It's from a December 1992 issue of Bon Appetit, I think.

                                                                              1. Don't know what they are called but-top-rice crispies w/peanut butter and butterscotch chips.bottom pure melted semi-sweet choc chips.