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What's your Favorite Christmas Cookie that you give as a Gift?

It's early, but I'm getting a jump on my shopping list for my holiday gift bags, and I'd like your list of your favorite cookies that you give as gifts.

I usually give traditional cookies, but I'd like to branch out this year!

Here's my list:

Oatmeal raisin walnut
peanut peanut butter
russian teacakes
traditional decorated sugar cookies
lemon bars
chocolate crinkles
candy cookies
chocolate chip

Thanks for expanding my cookie horizons!

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  1. Shortbread...easy to make, and you can stamp it with holiday images, or use sprinkles, choc. syrup, etc to make designs.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MsDiPesto

      This year I'm giving shortbread. I make them as small cookies and then dip them in chocolate. Kind of turns out like a Keebler.

      1. re: GenieinTX

        In past years I have made a variety of differently flavored shortbread rounds. I sized the rounds to fit tins. I sliced the shortbread eight ways (like a pizza) and individually packaged a couple of "slices", in those crisp Wilton bags, tied them closed and labeled them. I reassembled the round using all the different varities. It makes a pretty dramatic presentation when the tin is opened, but it's less work using just one basic dough.

      2. re: MsDiPesto

        love the idea MsDiP of stamping the shortbread. how do you make yours? is it butter, flour and sugar only?

      3. I always make Hermits, which in our house were always Christmas cookies - though the recent thread on Hermits made me realize that is not generally the case!

        1. Biscotti
          white chocolate chip w/ cranberries and brandy
          lemon poppy glazed shortbread
          gingerbread men
          angel fingers (similar to russian tea cakes)
          chocolate chip
          oatmeal w/butterscotch chips
          raspberry thumbprints

          1. I almost always make these: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht... They are far and away my favorite cookie I've *ever* made and everyone loves them! I just made circles, usually scalloped, at Christmas time, because the shape of the cookie doesn't hold very well with more complicated shapes, i.e. a Christmas tree or whatever. I usually use raspberry jam, but have used others as well... raspberry is the most festive!

            And not cookies, but this toffee recipe is fabulous and I intend to have it in my regular rotation! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

            5 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              I cant get the lMartha Stewart ink to work- I know the post was last year so Im sure this must have something to do with it- I would love the recipe if you wouldnt mind posting! Thanks!

              1. re: gastronomy

                I've been having trouble with their links timing out lately, so I just paraphrased it.

                Cream Cookie Sandwich Hearts

                Makes 36 cookie sandwiches.

                2 cups all-purpose flour
                1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
                1/3 cup heavy cream
                1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
                Pinch of salt
                1 1/4 cups pink sanding sugar, for rolling (I just use regular granulated sugar)
                3/4 cup red-currant jelly (I've used all kinds of red jams or jellies- red raspberry has been a favorite)

                Mix together flour, butter, cream, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Make 2 flat disks of the dough and chill, wrapped in plastic. Chill for 2 to 3 hours. Instead of flouring your work surface, sugar your work surface. Roll out the dough using one disk at a time to about an 1/8" thickness. Sugar your work surface and your cookies often to prevent sticking. The dough does soften quickly, so try to work quickly. Cut out in desired shapes- the original recipe uses hearts obviously. For some reason, intricate cookie cutters to do not work well, so I usually use just circles at Christmas time. Place cookies on a silpat-lined or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Chill cookies on cookie sheet again until firm. Bake cookies at 325 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Stir jelly or jam until smooth and spoon about a 1/2 teaspoon on one half of cookies, and sandwich with the other half.

                My notes:
                I've had luck with rolling the dough into balls, rolling in sugar, and then flattening with the bottom of the glass instead of going through the process of rolling them out. They don't seem to turn out quite as flaky, but works in a pinch.

                I've also made them with Splenda- it's a little harder to roll them out without sticking, but works well enough. I just used sugar free jam in that case.

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Thanks for this Katie, & for the notes re sugar-free cookies, this will come in handy. And thanks to gastronomy for opening up this thread again, very timely! Good recipe ideas here.

                  1. re: morebubbles

                    Thank you so much!!! These sound wonderful!!!!! :) The personal notes really help!!!!

              2. re: Katie Nell

                sorry didn't read down far enough

              3. I've been making a very rich butter-cream cheese cookie topped with half a marascino cherry for about 30+ years. The cookbook from which I got the recipe called them "Cherry Crowns (and they were topped with candied cherries); someone many many years ago christened them "Boob Cookies" instead, and so they have remained in my family.

                I also love to make some kind of pinwheel cookie - I've had a couple of recipes for raspberry or cherry and pistachio pinwheels, which are a festive and seasonal pink and green. I tried one recipe that was a 3-way pinwheel with chocolate, but found that the chocolate flavor overwhelmed the balance.

                The past couple of years I've also made a Christmasy biscotti recipe, with pistachios and almonds and dried cranberries and cherries.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Allstonian

                  I make a very rich butter and cream cheese cookie that gets dipped in pink glaze and sprinkled with red sugar. These were dubbed "Santa Balls" by my friends and that's what we still call them.

                  In the past few years the pretzel logs I dip in homemade caramel, roll in chopped nuts and drizzle with chocolate have been getting more requests than cookies. My best friend calls these "kitty litter sticks" because I used to roll them in a mixture of chopped chocolate and peanut butter chips. They taste way better than they look.

                    1. re: MobyRichard

                      Late reply, but this really made me laugh! Poor Santa.

                2. Last year I made mini coconut macaroons with chocolate bottoms. They taste like a "Mounds" candy bar and they hold up nicely.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: susan1353

                    Thanks for all of your replies ! if you happen to have a recipe, cookbook name or link handy, would you be so kind to post it? I'd appreciate that!
                    Thanks in advance to my fellow cookie hounds.

                    1. re: OneJayneDoe

                      It just isn't Christmas around our house without making my Mom's sugar cookies. There are many recipes out there but they are best made with a secret ingredient, cream of tarter, which makes them light and helps the dough to rise. Our traditional cookie cutters include Christmas tree, star, Santa, bell, scalloped circle, etc., many of which I either inherited or bought at antique stores. It is always a family event to get four or five colors of icing going, with a table full of sprinkle bottles in all colors and varieties, cinnamon red hots, etc., and fingers all around dyed every color of the rainbow. We leave the decorated cookies out a full 24 hours to set, then stack them up by shape and put them (covered) in the cold storage room until I make up my plates of *goodies* to give to family, friends and co-workers. I also make orange balls, rocky road, almond joys, spiced nuts, gumdrop cookies and sundry other treats. Last year a big hit was *Midnight Rum Balls*, a recipe provided on Chowhound by our own anneinminneapolis. She is a sweetheart and I love her recipe. It is now included in the annual must-do list.

                      1. re: pilotgirl210

                        Pilotgirl, I'm flattered - and impressed - that you remembered the source for those Midnight Rum Balls almost a year later! I'm glad you liked them. I think they're originally from Women's Day magazine, back in the 80's.

                        I'm so glad I posted the recipe, because I got all sorts of ideas for variations from many creative chowhounds, including you.

                        Here are links for the recipe and some variations. Important: Note the recommendations for reducing the sogginess - it seems that oreo package sizes have been downsized since the recipe was first developed.




                        1. re: AnneInMpls

                          Of course I'd remember the recipe came from you, Anne, as I also remember that you like Pink Squirrels almost as much as I do!......tee hee. We're from the same era and I consider you a cooking soulmate. Hmmmm.....drinking Pink Squirrels while making rum balls. Will have to do that this year!

                          1. re: pilotgirl210

                            Maybe drinking lots of Pink Squirrels would help develop a "pink squirrel" boozy cookie. Hey, that actually sounds pretty good - the drink ingredients combined with Nilla wafers and lots of powdered sugar...

                            But this season, I'll think I'll be drinking "our" other favorite drink: Lemon Drops. Either that or my new favorite, Kaffir Lime Drops (see the Spirits board). Maybe I'll try baking some lime sugar cookies to go along with the drink.

                            Best regards,

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              Oh my gosh.......lemon drops. Soooo sinfully good! But of course I love to eat straight lemons, so there ya go. Will have to try the lime drops. Thanx for the heads-up!

                    2. re: susan1353

                      susan, I know this is years ago, but in case you're still looking at these Christmas cookie threads, would love to know how you made those macaroons with chocolate bottoms that tasted like Mounds. love Mounds and more love Almond Joys.

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        I make these cookies most years...they are a regular macaroon except make an little indentation in the middle of the cookie before baking,after baking and cooling, dip the bottom in melted chocolate-you can use melted candy discs but I like the flavor or melted semisweet chocolate chips, let dry upside down, then you can add either a red jelly or more chocolate to the middle just before serving. They can be made ahead and frozen until ready to serve.
                        Hope this helps,

                    3. A few very lucky friend get kifli. They are made with gobs of butter, sour cream, flour and a package of yeast. No sugar. They are rolled out in powdered sugar (horrible) and then filled with a little jam or fruit paste. Light, buttery, tender, crisp, with a sligh caramel edge from the exterior edge. They are my favorite cookie in the world.

                      They are beyond delicous and everyone asks for them and I dread making them every year!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: JudiAU

                        Would you mind sharing the recipe? I searched for one a little bit, but the recipes varied a lot and it was difficult to figure out which ones were the traditional recipe. It sounds slightly similar to the one I posted above.

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          I have a stained 3x5 card with the ingredients only but here goes the instructions from memory. My family lost the real recipe about twenty years ago.

                          Kifli (Czech variation)

                          4 cups of flour
                          4 egg yolks
                          1/2 pint sour cream
                          1 lb. of butter
                          1 package of yeast

                          Proof yeast with a little warm water. Mix egg yolks and sour cream.

                          Cream butter and alternate adding liquids and flour. Add yeast. Knead gently using as little flour as possible. Chill for at least an 1 hour or overnight. Cut into four pieces so can work with the dough more easily; chill the pieces you aren’t working with. The dough will look normal and good-tempered when you take it out of the refrigerator.

                          You can roll the dough out in powdered sugar (difficult-lovely exterior), a mixture of powdered sugar (tolerable-nice exterior), or flour (easy-sad exterior). I suggest starting with a 50-50 ratio. The dough

                          Roll out the dough—maybe 1/8 inch thick. Cut cookies 2 inches square. Fill each with about 1 tsp. conserves or fruit filing (Solo being a good choice—we use prune, apricot, poppy as well as raspberry jam).

                          Chill briefly and bake? My guess is about 350/375 for 6 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on a rack.


                          1. re: JudiAU

                            Thank you so much... I'm in the mindset that everything tastes better with sour cream!!

                        2. re: JudiAU

                          Judi, your kifli has yeast and sour cream? My recipe (from my former mother in law) has butter, cream cheese and flour in the dough...Huge pain to make. Beyond delicious. I fill some of mine with poppy seed or a walnut filling.

                          1. re: Elizzie

                            Cream cheese, i.e. Philadelphia, is mostly an american product, isn't it? I've always assumed that the cream cheese was a substitution for other ingredients like sour cream/farmer's cheese, cottage cheese, etc. that were harder to find in the U.S.

                          2. re: JudiAU


                            these sort of remind me of the kiffo's [sp?] pronouned [Kee-pho] cookies that my MIL used to make.

                            they were my favorite cookie of all the cookies she tradtionally made each year and through out the year. probably because they were not overly or overtly sweet. the dough itself was not, and I especially liked the apricot, would not touch the prune sorry but eeewwwwuuu, and once in a while I'd grab a cherry filling one but those were special..... somewhere I'm sure the recipe resides but no idea where.

                            they were shaped like a little burrito and filled wth either prune, apricot or cherry filling that she'd made from scratch as well. she rolled the dough out in powdered sugar too, I know because one year, I made a batch that but's been a hundred years ago. mine were not nearly as perfect or pretty or even the same size as her's but they were good and she enjoyed eating one of her cookies made by me, but being nothing like hers. we always said she should have opened up a cookie store, Mrs. Fields would have quickly gone out of business.

                          3. My mom would make snickerdoodles, with anise seed and rolled in cinnamon.

                            She also loved the cookie-gun cookies, just for looks and ease of gifting.

                            I also in the past have made kolacky, Polish crescents filled with nut or poppy seed or fruit jam, dusted w/powdered sugar. My version contained no yeast, and was mostly butter and cream cheese, very easy. This is close to what I remember (I used a pizza cutter after rolling the dough to make rectangles, filled one corner and rolled into crescents): http://www.recipezaar.com/76441

                            14 Replies
                            1. re: Covert Ops

                              I just made snickerdoodles yesterday!! No anise seed, but definitely rolled in cinnamon sugar. Fun to make and a wonderful texture. These will be added to my list of must bakes for the hols.

                              1. re: prunefeet

                                Yeah, my mom has a habit of calling things by incorrect names -- I don't know if they were ACTUALLY snickerdoodles. But I know they contained partially-ground anise seeds -- not extract -- and I can't seem to find a rec around.

                                1. re: prunefeet

                                  That's a big sugar cookie type thing, no?


                                  Of course, it looks like a Pizza base there.


                                  1. re: prunefeet

                                    Actually, someone in another post just jogged my memory -- my mother did make snickerdoodles, but the anise cookies I'm thinking of are called biscochitos! :-D

                                    1. re: prunefeet

                                      Snickerdoodles are awesome year round, but I love making them around Christmas, because they're so easy and simple and absolutely yummy...

                                    2. re: Covert Ops

                                      ''She also loved the cookie-gun cookies, just for looks and ease of gifting''
                                      gad I'd give my really straight teeth if someone would show me how to use a cookie press.
                                      I can't do it, can't do it, can't do it.

                                      1. re: iL Divo


                                        iLD, you can, you can, you can!

                                        we made a big batch of these for Turkey day. Terrific little recipe.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          HillJ come to my house, I have a really good coffee maker and Kona coffee in the whole bean stage in the bag, we can drink coffee all day and YOU CAN TEACH ME.............I'm all left thumbs, but thanks...........I'll read up, thanks HillJ

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            Man...I love Kona coffee...I wish I could take you up on your offer! But seriously iLD, you can make a Spritz cookie I promise. Maybe you just need the right "gun" to start with. There are a zillion YouTube videos on using a cookie press and they all teach the same technique. Make spritz dough and chill it. Load gun. Press gun. Bake. I swear that is ALL there is to it. The rest is decoration :)

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              I have one of those presses but was mystified. Didn't realize you have to use spritz dough only, duh. Guess I should have read the instructions. Is there any fancy spritz dough recipe out there, instead of just butter and sugar?

                                              1. re: coll

                                                hi coll. The Spritz dough is basic and intentional in order for the press to set up and dispense properly but there are dozens of add-ins, tints, flavors, decorations and variations you can use that adjust the basic dough recipe. The Wilton site has many posted for both sweet & savory options. Also, always work with a chilled dough. Above I posted a recipe for a cracker dough we used at Thanksgiving.

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Looks like I'll finally be using my cookie press for something this year! Your pumpkin crackers, and the cinnamon apple butter cookies, are just what I was looking for....thought I had to make just boring sugar cookies. So psyched now, I was going to cut back a bit this year but my plans just changed.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    Good for you! I will say this a cookie press comes with several die cuts, right-some work better than others--we all wind up with our favs. If the dispensed dough starts to go haywire on you re-chill the dough. You can reuse the dough, reload the gun, chill the dough inside the gun. All good tips once you get use to using the press.

                                        2. re: iL Divo

                                          I haven't had much luck with cookie presses either -- am hoping the Wilton link will help though because I want to try the Fiori di Sicilia Spritz cookies from the King Arthur site. I purchased a bottle of KA's citrus/vanilla flavoring awhile back and haven't used it yet. I'll try to post the results.

                                          Link: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                      2. Shortbread dipped in chocolate - Martha Stewarts recipe (although i'm searching for a new one)

                                        3 Layer Bars
                                        Cinnamon sugar pecans
                                        Toffe - the kind made with Saltine Crackers (people go wild over those, that combo of sweet and salty!)
                                        Almond Candy Cane cookies (labor intensive but always a favorite

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mrsmegawatt

                                          If you're looking for a shortbread variant with mix-ins, I highly recommend this recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies from the Food Network. I added dried cherries to the recipe, and it was amazing - people fought over these cookies!



                                        2. Holiday cookies have been in my brain the last few weeks, too!

                                          Close friends get Swedish Ginger or Sugar cookies- rolled paper thin and cut out in holiday shapes. Sugar cookies get only a dusting of colored sugar to not take away from the amazing taste!

                                          My family has also made:
                                          Polish tea cakes (butter thumbprints rolled in nuts w/ rasp jam)
                                          Nutmeg logs
                                          Lemon logs (lemon nut cookie dipped in dark chocolate)

                                          Growing up, my mom made literally thousands of cookies & froze them. We got to eat her delicious cookies from Thanksgiving thru March! I have followed her tradition, but only make a couple of varieties & double batches of those.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tall sarah

                                            The lemon logs and Nutmeg logs sound good, I've never encountered anything like those, would you be willing to share the recipe?

                                          2. Neopolitan (rainbow) cookies
                                            Linzer tarts
                                            Buried cherry cookies (like brownie, made with marischino juice. and marishino cherry on top, covered with fudge like icing) (got this out of a kids mag!)
                                            Peanut butter/rice krispie truffles
                                            Bourbon balls
                                            Pignolia cookies
                                            Almond crescents
                                            Bakery cookies (butter cookies sandwiched with jam, dipped in chocolate and sprinkles on one end, you know them!)
                                            Surprise cookies (made with a fun sized/miniature snickers bar wrapped in peanut butter cookie dough, it all melts together into layers of chocolate and caramel and nuts: my favorite)

                                            I have a big family and ship everyone cookies every year, so I have to make lots, takes a solid week but I'd rather do that than shop at the mall!

                                            1. I've taken over the family tradition by baking Candy Bar Cookies which were the 1962 Pillsbury Bake-Off Grand Prize Winner. A shortbread cookie, with a gooey caramel-pecan topping, with choclate on top of this, and finished off with a whole pecan. My mom made them every year. Very labor intensive, but well worth the time and effort. These only get made once a year at Christmas time, so they've always remained very special. Great given as a gift. I still have the original yellowed printing from Feb/'62 which I believe was printed in Parade magazine. Delicious!!!

                                              2 Replies
                                                1. re: BarefootandPregnant

                                                  The "original" ingredients vary from what is posted on the attached website.

                                              1. I know it's not exactly what you asked for, but I made mini-loves of quickbreads one year (banana, apple and an irish sodabread) and everyone RAVED. They all loved fudge too (and I make the super-easy no frills microwave kind, not the real good stuff)
                                                Besides that, my cookie baking extravaganza includes:
                                                Chocolate chips
                                                White chocolate macadamia
                                                Oatmeal Rasin
                                                Rum Balls (I make them with Jack Daniels and call them Jack Daniels Balls!)
                                                Ginger Cookies (not snaps, but nice soft chewy ones)
                                                Chocolate Peanut butter Cup Cookies
                                                Pecan Sandies
                                                Hello Dolly bars

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: CeeBee

                                                  Could you please post a recipe for your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies?
                                                  I tasted one once and loved it - but I could never find the right chocolate cookie recipe to recreate.

                                                2. I am so NOT a baker. However, last year I made these chewy ginger cookies which were a huge hit. I'm going to have to make double or triple batches this year. Even I adored them and I'm not a huge cookie fanatic.

                                                  Be forewarned - the batter is VERY stiff - it was an arm breaker. I didn't own my stand mixer yet and it was NOT the kind of mixture you could use a electric beater with. But well worth the effort. This year - the Kitchen Aid will make it much easier.


                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: sivyaleah

                                                    I couldn't make it through the holidays without my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I'll be starting to make my cookies Thanksgiving week this year, I think. That makes me wonder, in your experience what doughs freeze better than others? Short term vs. longer? I only use butter and don't like (have no experience with, wouldn't go with) shortening based dough. Again, thank you! thank you!

                                                    1. re: OneJayneDoe

                                                      Hi Jayne, I guess you didn't read my post well enough - I said I don't bake LOL. I wouldn't know a thing about freezing dough - I'm a complete novice. In fact up until last year I never baked a cookied for Christmas. I'm Jewish, but married into an Italian family and it was my first dive into the cookie-making tradition. I'm happy I did since it was such a success and I intend to continue with it for now on.

                                                      1. re: sivyaleah

                                                        I'm so sorry! I apologize. I did read your post. My reply was to the posters in general if they freeze dough. Sorry! Glad to hear that you've joined the baking club. I hope that you enjoy it! Congratulations on your success!

                                                      2. re: OneJayneDoe

                                                        I freeze most doughs, EXCEPT oatmeal cookie dough. The oatmeal gets really soggy and the cookies lose their texture.

                                                        1. re: pilotgirl210

                                                          Yep, I'm amazed at how well doughs freeze... I just started experimenting with freezing dough last year. I always have something in the freezer: at the moment, chocolate chunk, m&m, and butterscotch white chocolate!

                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                              do you tend to freeze the dough as a big bulk, or pre-shape the cookies then freeze? how do you package it?

                                                              1. re: pamd

                                                                I pre-shape the cookies, either cut-outs or balls or whatever, put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer, and then once they get hard, I put them in ziploc bags. I'm amazed at how this has changed my baking for events and such... I'm no longer baking at midnight to bring cookies to work the next day!

                                                          1. re: OneJayneDoe

                                                            I have not had a problem freezing any of my cookie dough. What I do, is make the dough, make each cookie, put them on a silpat on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, I take them off the cookie sheet and put them in a freezer bag. That way I always have a supply of cookies ready to bake, be it one or two dozen.

                                                        2. I make springerle and pfefferneuse, several kinds of biscotti, and a rich slice-and-bake butter cookie with pistachios and dried cherries. Also several kinds of fudge, with both white and dark chocolate.

                                                          1. I have a dark chocolate with mint icing drop cookie that is very popular.
                                                            Bisciotti are always popular
                                                            Shortbread is a holiday standard
                                                            sugar cookies
                                                            Rugulach or other similar eastern European cookies made with a cream cheese dough.
                                                            Danish wedding cookies
                                                            oatmeal-butterscotch and chocolate chip cookies.
                                                            Linzer cookies
                                                            sour cream drop cookies.
                                                            rum balls


                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Kelli2006

                                                              Could you post your recipe or a link to your dark chocolate with mint icing drop cookie? Thanks, it sounds fabulous!

                                                              1. re: KellyC

                                                                I second that request! Chocolate and mint is one of my favorite combos!

                                                                1. re: Aloo0628

                                                                  If either of you are still interested I could post the recipe. I'm sorry that I didn't see the request 5 years ago.

                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                      Mint iced cocoa cookies.

                                                                      3/4 Cup. butter

                                                                      1 Cup white sugar

                                                                      1 large egg.

                                                                      1 tsp vanilla

                                                                      2 Cup AP flour

                                                                      3/4 Cup cocoa (not dutched)

                                                                      1 tsp baking powder

                                                                      1/2 tsp table salt

                                                                      1/2 tsp baking soda

                                                                      1/4 Cup 2% milk

                                                                      Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients to previously creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Chill overnight. Drop by 1/2 teaspoons on a greased baking sheet. Bake for approx 10 minutes at 325° F. Apply frosting after fully cooled.


                                                                      3 Tbs of butter

                                                                      1 1/2 C powdered sugar

                                                                      1 Tbl milk

                                                                      2-3 drops of green food coloring.

                                                                      1-2 drops of oil of peppermint.

                                                                      Cream butter and sugar and add milk, beat until smooth and fluffy. Add food coloring and mint and beat well to combine. Add more oil of p'mint to taste if you prefer. Chill for 1+ hour and then generously ice the cookies.

                                                            2. Last year a friend of mine baked about a dozen different kinds of cookies. The ones I liked the best were the Italian cookies that have several layers and are rectangular, chocolate, green, and pink. Some of which have marzipan mixed in.

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: niki rothman

                                                                Are those the ones that have the chocolate coating on the outside?

                                                                If someone has a recipie for those (I know them as petit fours, but maybe they have a different name?) I would LOVE to get my hands on that. I adore them!

                                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                  aka neopolitan or rainbow cookies. There were a few recipes posted a couple of months back. I make them every year, it's not much harder than making a three layer cake, except for the cutting of all the little pieces at the end..
                                                                  If you can't find the recipe, let me know, I have to run to my office now but I can post tonight (it's pretty long).

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    No, don't bother if it's long. I can do a search online now that I know what they are called. Thanks!

                                                                    1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                      I also make rainbow cookies every year, and I use the recipe from epicurious. I think they turn out well, and I always get compliments. Another holiday staple for me is fudge, I make it every year. The rest of the cookies depends on how much time I have and what I feel like making that year.

                                                                      1. re: lizzy

                                                                        Here's the recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                        They're a little time-consuming, but not difficult. They taste great and are special because most people wouldn't even think of making them at home.

                                                              2. Biscotti - at least 4 varieties with various dips - most popular
                                                                The peanut butter cookies with the caramel and dark chocolate hersheys kisses
                                                                Fruitcake drop cookies -I'll dig out the recipe if anyone wants it.
                                                                thumbprints with meyer lemon ginger marmalade

                                                                Dang, it's already time to start planning......

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                  Yes. Fruitcake Drop Cookies sound great! I love fruitcake, now maybe I can trick everyone else into eating some.

                                                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                    I'm making rainbow cookies for the first time this year(recipe from allrecipes.com)any tips? hope I can pull it off. I bake all kinds of cookies for christmas every year adding new ones here and there. I would love to have a biscotti recipe made with almonds and cinnamon if you know of any, also I love rugulach and would love a recipe for that. Also could anyone tell me how long cookies will stay fresh, I am always baking at the last minute so no gets stale cookies. Thanks for all the help!
                                                                    What I'm baking this year:
                                                                    Chocolate crinkle cookies
                                                                    Cream cheese spice cookies
                                                                    Peanutbutter kisses
                                                                    Thumbprints w/raspberry and apricot
                                                                    Tea tassies
                                                                    and hopefully/biscotti & rainbow cookies

                                                                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                                      Scrapironchef--I found this site by googling for Woman's Day Fruitcake cookie recipe. It seems that you might be the only person that has this recipe! I have made them for years but now my recipe is in storage and here I am with a big thing of candied fruit and a bottle of brandy, craving a cookie! Sure hope you can help. Thanks so much.

                                                                    2. These are all sounding so good. My usual for exchanges is Russian tea cakes [Mexican wedding]. Years ago I did make some candy cane cookies, twisting a red and a plain dough log together into the shape of candy canes.

                                                                      1. I told my husband I started my Christmas shopping today. There was a sale at the local grocery store on sugar so I bought 20 pounds! I make both cookies and candies.
                                                                        For cookies several I make every year are:
                                                                        Champagnebrod-a press cookie filled with apricot jam (Gourmet Dec 1975)
                                                                        lemon stars-lemon butter cookies filled with lemon curd (Cooks Illustrated basic cookie dough)
                                                                        apricot foldovers-cream cheese dough filled with dried apricots (Ladies Home Journal Dec 75)
                                                                        craisin pistachio biscotti
                                                                        macademia lime cookies (Nick Malgeri' Cookies Unlimited)

                                                                        For candies (all from Better than Store Bought by Helen Witty & Elizabeth Schneider):
                                                                        lemon, orange & grapefruit rinds
                                                                        almond buttercrunch
                                                                        white chocolate, craisin, pistachio bark
                                                                        vats of caramel corn

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                          AGM_Cape_Cod, you were kind enough to post your lemon stars recipe last year, and it's wonderful! I made them last winter, and they were a huge hit. Better yet, the recipe makes tons, so the investment in time and effort was worth it.

                                                                          Here's a link to that recipe, for others who think this cookie sounds interesting (go for it - they're great!)



                                                                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                            Ditto, it's going to be an annual recipe for me.

                                                                          2. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                            I really really want to make the lemon stars but I'm concerned about the lemon curd. Will these have to be refrigerated? I don't want to give anyone the gift of food poisoning for christmas.

                                                                            1. re: ktm

                                                                              I don't know if I should admit this, but I use prepared lemon curd, Stonewall Kitchen I think it's called, the reason I first made these cookies is because I had a jar of it I wanted to use up somehow. The cookies are in my garage now and although it's in the 50s this year, I'm definitely not worried. No one got sick last year.

                                                                          3. I make Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies, also known as the Chocolate Cookies of Doom, adapted from Maida Heatter:

                                                                            DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

                                                                            2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
                                                                            6 oz. semisweet chocolate
                                                                            2 tbsp. (1 oz.) butter
                                                                            1/4 c. flour
                                                                            1/4 tsp. baking powder
                                                                            1/8 tsp. salt
                                                                            2 eggs
                                                                            3/4 c. sugar
                                                                            2 tsp. ground coffee
                                                                            1/2 tsp. vanilla
                                                                            6 oz. chocolate chips
                                                                            8 oz. walnut pieces (optional)

                                                                            1. Preheat oven to 350°.

                                                                            2. Line cookie sheet with foil; oil lightly. (Or just use a non-stick cookie sheet, or--my preference--a silicone sheet such as Silpat.)

                                                                            3. Melt chocolate and butter over hot water; stir until completely mixed and smooth.

                                                                            4. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.

                                                                            5. Beat eggs with sugar, coffee, and vanilla on high speed; reduce speed and add melted chocolate.

                                                                            6. Add dry ingredients; stir just until blended. Add chips and nuts.

                                                                            7. Spoon onto cookie sheet; bake 8 minutes or just until tops are dry. (Caution: these burn easily.)

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: rootlesscosmo

                                                                              There was a similar recipe a few years back on Food Network's 12 days of cookies. Instead of walnuts I do pecans and the FN recipe also adds white chocolate chips. It's almost too much -- one cookie will do ya (in).

                                                                            2. peanut butter cookies with a hershey kiss smooshed in the center.

                                                                              1. The family Christmas tradition is bratzeli. This is a Swiss cookie, made in a bratzeli iron, which presses out the lacy-patterned cookies, 4 at a time. Roll up 4 balls of dough, put in the hot iron, press down the top. Sssszzz. Remove and repeat -- for the next hour or two.

                                                                                When a girl in the family came of age, she got her own bratzeli iron.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                  there is an italian version of these cookies called pizzelles--which I make every year (and when I got married, I got my own iron!)
                                                                                  They are a bit labor intensive (standing there while each cookie bakes) but SOOOOO worth it!

                                                                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                                                                    Would you please let me know where you got your bratzeli iron. Thanks so much. you can e-mail kyleckelly@earthlink.net

                                                                                  2. For something fruity..
                                                                                    Apricot Cups
                                                                                    (placed inside of mini cupcake tins)

                                                                                    2 oz bittersweet chocolate
                                                                                    24 dried apricots
                                                                                    1 Tbsp chopped pistachios

                                                                                    Microwave the chocolate on high for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through until completely melted. Dip the apricots halfway into the chocolate. Let the excess drip off. Place the apricots onto wax paper. Sprinkle the pistachios over the chocolate-covered portions, and place them in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.

                                                                                    Makes 8 servings

                                                                                    1. I've made all kinds over the years, because I like old favorites, but I also always like to try something new, and there are so many tempting cookie recipes out there. But the one that has gotten more raves than any other from the first time I made them is a fruit florentine - a buttery almond florentine with golden raisins and dried cranberries, drizzled with bittersweet chocolate. They don't freeze, but they keep for a couple of weeks, so I've still been able to make and mail them long distance without going crazy.

                                                                                      I also love these chocolate, hazelnut, and ginger biscotti, and so does everyone who gets them: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                                        1. I will usually do peanut butter blossoms and a sweet and savory biscotti for gift giving. However, I have to hand it to my mom who still makes an assortment of cookies that she gives to her 3 girls to then give away as gifts as well (of course, we certainly keep some for ourselves too!).

                                                                                          Mexican Wedding Cookies
                                                                                          Persimmon Cookies
                                                                                          Date Bars
                                                                                          Italian Anise Cookies (not biscotti)
                                                                                          Chocolate Crackles
                                                                                          Lemon Icebox Cookies
                                                                                          and it's not a cookie, but Fudge

                                                                                          Thanks Mom!!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: rosielucchesini

                                                                                            I love Date Bars and have been unable to find a receipe that replicates the ones of my childhood. Please post yours! Thank you.

                                                                                          2. Some great ideas here. I plan to start an annual cookie/candy holiday tradition to send to friends and family. We just moved away, so all packages will need to be sent via mail across country. I am not really a baker, so could someone give me some guidelines on the following:

                                                                                            *What kind of timeline should I give myself for completion of cookies, being sent, eaten. (ie - how perishable are cookies/candies in general, especially if being sent)
                                                                                            *Freezer guidelines? (Put dough in freezer or can you put some completed items in freezer)
                                                                                            *Any recipes that are not recommended for longevity?
                                                                                            *How do you usually send via mail?

                                                                                            Thanks in advance!

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: akp

                                                                                              Nothing against the USPS, but also consider Fedex or UPS, you can track them from the minute you ship and they're a little better with the guaranteed delivery. From someone with lots of experience shipping holiday cookies. You can do 1 day, 2 day, 3 day, whatever suits your fancy.

                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                You can track with USPS as well - just have to choose it if you're shipping Parcel Select or however you're shipping (not all USPS shipping allows tracking, however).

                                                                                                And I'd take the USPS over UPS any day in the reliability of shipping. UPS is an absolute nightmare if you have a claim issue. Just my experience.

                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  I mostly do Fedex, especially because they're about 3 minutes from home (across from PO). No complaints at all. I've never been able to get tracking from the Post Office, except actual delivery confirmation when using Priority or first class, not that I ever had an actual delivery issue. They admitted to me if you pay extra for confirmation or whatnot, the package gets special service.

                                                                                              2. re: akp

                                                                                                Depending on the type of cookie you are making you can make & freeze up to 3 months ahead of time. I actually have 3 types of chocolate chip cookies in my freezer right now. I roll them in parchment & slice & bake when I'm ready. Also shortbread freezes well.
                                                                                                For shaped cookies I roll, cut & freeze them. I'll layer them between parchment paper & store them in a rectangular tupperware.

                                                                                                I send via 2 day mail. If I have truffles or some kind of ganache or moist filled cookie, I'll ship overnight.

                                                                                                1. re: sugarbuzz

                                                                                                  You can freeze already-baked cookies, too. For years (at least 20), my mother has been cooking and freezing 15-20 different kinds of cookies up to 3 months in advance of her big holiday party. She wraps them with wax paper between layers in airtight plastic containers or in zipper-locked plastic bags inside the plastic lining and cardboard of empty cereal boxes (which she saves for this purpose) that are taped shut and labeled. On the day she needs them, she just takes everything out of the freezer to defrost several hours in advance. I have eaten so many of her cookies that I can attest to the fact that most bar and drop cookies taste wonderful even after having been frozen for a couple of months!

                                                                                              3. I've made a zillion over the years. The ones our family loves most are my *intensely-clove-tasting* spice cookies (a very good palate cleanse!).

                                                                                                (Although, I do love my rosemary shortbread cookies, and many love my Blackberry-Sage Thumbprints.)

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Funwithfood

                                                                                                  Hey Funwithfood,
                                                                                                  Love anything with cloves, could you share recipe or link to recipe for the "intensely-clove-tasting" spice cookies?


                                                                                                  1. re: twh1475

                                                                                                    Sorry Tim--haven't been around lately...here it is:

                                                                                                    Refreshingly Spicy Spice Cookies

                                                                                                    1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
                                                                                                    1/2 cup dark molasses
                                                                                                    2 cups sugar
                                                                                                    4 large eggs -- room temperature
                                                                                                    5 1/2 cups flour
                                                                                                    3 teaspoons baking soda
                                                                                                    3 tablespoons cinnamon
                                                                                                    2 tablespoons ground ginger
                                                                                                    3 tablespoons ground cloves
                                                                                                    3 teaspoons ground mace
                                                                                                    3 teaspoons kosher salt -- (or 1 1/2 tsp reg.)
                                                                                                    Sugar Topping
                                                                                                    1/2 cup sugar

                                                                                                    Note: Prepare dough ahead--needs to chill overnight.

                                                                                                    In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the oil, molasses, 2 cups sugar, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth.

                                                                                                    In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, mace, and salt; stir to combine. Add this dry mixture to the wet mixture in thirds. Mix until well combined. Chill the dough overnight.

                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (or Silpat mats). Form dough into 1 1/2-inch round balls and roll in the sugar to coat completely. Place the balls 3-inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops crack over then entire top. Cool on racks then store in a sealed container. Makes 5 dozen.

                                                                                                    NOTES : These are very "clovey" and deliciously spicy!

                                                                                                    (Freeze beautifully!)

                                                                                                2. I make very tasty small cookies with sun-dried strawberries, white chocolate and candied lime peel-all the traditional candy cane colors!

                                                                                                  1. Wow, great cookie list. I like to make these stained glass cookies:


                                                                                                    They are a little odd to eat, but they look really pretty on a tray of mixed cookies.

                                                                                                    I'm going to try to add more candies to my mix this year.

                                                                                                    1. My favorite gift to make is a round of shortbread baked from a beautiful thistle-design shortbread mold and cut in eight wedges. I put it on a scalloped 10" cake board and wrap it in red cellophane folded in pleats all toward the center.

                                                                                                      I love how shortbread just improves with two or three weeks' aging, so I can make this ahead of time.

                                                                                                      Question for all you givers of cookies: Do you give one kind of cookie, or do you give a variety in one container? If the latter, how do you keep the different scents from infusing all the cookies, and the crsip cookies from getting softened by the moist cookies?

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: browniebaker

                                                                                                        Last year I gave them out on a large plate in a single layer. I let the recipient sort it out. My sister wraps them individually in colored plastic wrap tied w/ bright ribbon or colorful metallic twist ties.

                                                                                                        1. re: MollyGee

                                                                                                          I love the way all the different cookies, with all the different colors, look together on one big platter. I keep everything out in the garage until I give them away, it's pretty cold out there this time of year, and never noticed flavors "infusing" one another (I doubt anyone else would either, they usually just inhale them anyway!)

                                                                                                        2. re: browniebaker

                                                                                                          For this years gifts, I've purchased individual clear party bags that I will put into decorated (hand stamped) gift bags with tissue and tags. I'll wrap the cookies when they're cool, then package them for each recipient. Each person on the list gets a different assortment, depending on their favorites.

                                                                                                          1. re: browniebaker

                                                                                                            I give a variety of cookies, usually 4-7 or so, depending on how much baking time I've had that year. I use either cellophane bags, or plates wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon like a basket. I try not to do anything too moist, though this year I did Christmas brownies. My solution is to pack the cookies at the last moment, and then usually people just eat them right away.

                                                                                                            This year I made

                                                                                                            raspberry pecan thumbprints (a Martha Stewart recipe from her Christmas book, and one of my all-time top 5 favorites)
                                                                                                            Wienerstube (a Maida recipe, also top 5, a dark chocolate refrigerator cookie that's both spicy and peppery, an acquired taste but wonderful. I use black cocoa like for Oreos, and my vintage heart molds. I've also made Martha Stewart's chocolate pepper cookies, which were a bit hit with the relatives. One insisted I make them again the following Christmas, hinting strongly that she might not be around to eat them if I waited longer <g>)
                                                                                                            Christmas brownies (also Maida Heatter, variation by me with red candied cherries and candied pineapple this year). These seem to be the people's choice this year ;)
                                                                                                            lemon-pistachio from the current Martha Stewart Living

                                                                                                            When I have more time I also do a biscotti, I think chocolate-pecan are the best I ever made (the cookie that got me an unsolicited job offer as a pastry chef)
                                                                                                            I've also made Neapolitans, they're beautiful in the assortment
                                                                                                            Also checkerboards, but the recipe I used wasn't very tasty unfortunately
                                                                                                            Gingerbread with springerle molds (Saveur recipe)

                                                                                                          2. I was gonna ay shortbread, but then I read biscotti.

                                                                                                            How about some marbled vanilla-chocolate shortbread?


                                                                                                            1. I don't bake as much as I used to, but one of the family favorites is something called Orange-Spice Chewies...my late stepfather would hoard these as they were his favorite.

                                                                                                              A very easy recipe to make - lots of ginger (I think <g>), and no butter in the recipe, just oil, then formed into balls and rolled in a sugar/dried orange peel mixture. I don't have the recipe with me, but can post it later tonight if anyone wants.

                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Sounds delicious. Would love the recipe if it's not too much trouble.

                                                                                                                1. re: SLO

                                                                                                                  Here you go, SLO. And that "1 tsp." of ground ginger? I usually make it at least 2 tsp. :-) This is just the way the recipe was originally written (and for the life of me, I cannot remember where I got it - I believe some magazine of my mother's from the 1970s.)

                                                                                                                  Orange-Spice Chewies

                                                                                                                  Serving Size : 24
                                                                                                                  3/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                                  3 Tbsp dried grated orange peel
                                                                                                                  2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                  3/4 cup salad oil
                                                                                                                  1/4 cup light molasses
                                                                                                                  1/4 cup honey
                                                                                                                  2 tsp baking soda
                                                                                                                  1 tsp ground ginger
                                                                                                                  3/4 tsp ground allspice
                                                                                                                  1/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                                  1 egg

                                                                                                                  Into a large bowl, measure 1/2 cup sugar, 1 T. grated orange peel, and remaining ingredients. With mixer at low speed, beat ingredients until well blended, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. In a shallow bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar and remaining grated orange peel.

                                                                                                                  Preheat oven to 350°F. On lightly floured surface, with lightly floured hands, shape about 1 1/2 T. of dough into a ball (mixture will be sticky); roll ball in sugar mixture and place on large ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar mixture to make about 24 balls in all, placing balls about 3 inches apart on cookie sheets. (I've found that if you bake 9 cookies per sheet, they won't run into each other.)

                                                                                                                  Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are browned and edges are firm (rotate racks in oven halfway through baking time). Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Store cookies in tightly covered container.

                                                                                                                  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                                                                  Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 151 Calories; 7g Fat (42.0% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 9mg Cholesterol; 132mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

                                                                                                                  NOTES : The first time my stepfather tasted these he said he didn't want any other cookie at Christmas! (Well, he did try all the others, but he kept coming back to these!) They're definitely not the traditional Christmas cookie, but they've become so in my family.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                    Thanks so much... I know what I'm doing tonight when I get home from work!

                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  These sound fabulous and I want try them. Possibly a stupid question, but where do you buy dried orange peel, or do you make it yourself? Thanks -

                                                                                                                  1. re: mohotta

                                                                                                                    Any supermarket will have them - usually the choice is Spice Islands or McCormicks in my local Stop & Shop. When I'm making these cookies, I usually buy 2 bottles at a time, so I don't run out.

                                                                                                                    Also wondering if SLO got a chance to make them a few nights ago and if they were liked! No hard feelings if they weren't. :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                      Actually couldn't find dried orange peel, went to three supermarkets. Thought about using fresh, but decided to look in a few more markets over the weekend.
                                                                                                                      I will report back!

                                                                                                                      1. re: SLO

                                                                                                                        You can also order dried orange peel from Penzey's.

                                                                                                                        1. re: celeste

                                                                                                                          I will be in Grand Central Station tomorrow and I think there is a Penzey's in the food hall. Need more instant gratification than snail mail!

                                                                                                                3. Does anyone have a recipe for these: white chocolate chip w/ cranberries and brandy?

                                                                                                                  1. one of my favorite standbys is the toffee cookie recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook. my mom always made it when i was growing up and they just taste like the holidays to me! and everyone i've ever shared them with has gone crazy for them.

                                                                                                                    they're basically a buttery, brown-sugary, toffee cookie base covered with dark chocolate and pecans. they're a bar cookie, so it's easy to make large batches and i cut them into triangles because 1) they look so pretty and 2) that's how my mom always did it!

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: funkymonkey

                                                                                                                      Those sound amazing... I searched online for the recipe to no avail, but just added it to my check out list at the library!

                                                                                                                    2. Growing up in New Jersey and still today it has always been:

                                                                                                                      Spritz cookies (died green pressed out into Christmas tree shapes with a little piece of candied cherry on top)
                                                                                                                      Chocolate Shortbread Logs (shortbread dipped in chocolate)
                                                                                                                      Kourambiedes (Greek butter cookies dusted with confectioner's sugar).

                                                                                                                      These days I add on to the list, a new favorite is Cranberry Cookies with Orange glaze and a Chocolate-macaroon type of cookie with rum soaked raisins (a good keeper I found out)

                                                                                                                      1. I usually go over the top with my holiday cookies..but I'm toning it down this year due to the fact that I can't afford to send out so many packages to friends that have spread out all over the U.S.

                                                                                                                        Some of these are from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle. I highly recommend this book for all of your holiday baking. Everything I've made from this book has turned out great. She even has cat & dog treats. There are also some great tips on how to package & send your cookies. Like package your crisp & soft cookies separately so that the crisp cookies don't absorb any of the moisture from the other cookies.

                                                                                                                        pb cocolate chip
                                                                                                                        brownies with some macerated tart dried charries
                                                                                                                        pecan tassies
                                                                                                                        whoopie pies
                                                                                                                        thumbprints(apricot & rasp)
                                                                                                                        chestnut honey madelines
                                                                                                                        ginger shortbread
                                                                                                                        earl grey shortbread
                                                                                                                        lemon cormeal cookies
                                                                                                                        cranberry rugelach
                                                                                                                        fig pillows

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: sugarbuzz

                                                                                                                          Fig pillows? The name alone is intriguing. What are those?

                                                                                                                          1. re: sivyaleah

                                                                                                                            It's from the book I mentioned. It's somewhat like a fig newton.
                                                                                                                            A cinnamon dough filled with a dried fig filling. The dried figs are cooked in some water, lemon juice,brandy,sugar,cinnnamon..etc It's then pureed & spooned onto a rectangular piece of dough..folded up & baked seam side down. It is then sliced like a biscotti.

                                                                                                                            A really great recipe.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sugarbuzz

                                                                                                                              Sounds like a stuffed Beignet, only baked and not fried.


                                                                                                                              1. re: TexasToast

                                                                                                                                No it's very cookie like. More like a stuffed biscotti.

                                                                                                                          2. re: sugarbuzz

                                                                                                                            Oooh - could you please post the ginger shortbread recipe?

                                                                                                                            1. re: sugarbuzz

                                                                                                                              Chestnut honey madelienes sound amazing. Would you be able to post your recipe (or your source?). Thanks!
                                                                                                                              I make:
                                                                                                                              fingerklatchen (almond thumbprint with red currant jelly)
                                                                                                                              peanut/chocolate/butterscotch clusters
                                                                                                                              Welch cookies (made on a griddle with currants)
                                                                                                                              ginger chocolate chip cookies
                                                                                                                              sugar cut-outs

                                                                                                                            2. i usually go overboard and end up baking for days...

                                                                                                                              i like to make:
                                                                                                                              pistachio brittle
                                                                                                                              mexican wedding cookies
                                                                                                                              fudge- hazelnut or keylime white chocolate
                                                                                                                              chocolate truffles (various fillings)
                                                                                                                              maamoul (middle eastern date filled shortbread)
                                                                                                                              walnut baklava

                                                                                                                              this year i will add the kosher butter crunch recipe i found on chowhound (SOOO GOOD)

                                                                                                                              1. Has anyone seen the new Fine Cooking magazine (December) that features their best cookies from the past 12 years? They look great. I'd be interested if anyone has made any of them. Here is their list:

                                                                                                                                1994: Almond Biscotti
                                                                                                                                1995: Raspberry Bars
                                                                                                                                1996: Cocoa Walnut Butter Cookies
                                                                                                                                1997: Coffee Thins
                                                                                                                                1998: Toasted Almond Butter Thins
                                                                                                                                1999: Blondies
                                                                                                                                2000: Sugar Cookies (layered with jam)
                                                                                                                                2001: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
                                                                                                                                2002: Chewy Cranberry-Oatmeal Cookies
                                                                                                                                2003: Orange-Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
                                                                                                                                2004: Chocolate Chunk Cookies
                                                                                                                                2005: Double-Ginger Crackles

                                                                                                                                1. shorbread always and forever:

                                                                                                                                  chocolate(with brown sugar, cocoa AND unsweetened chocolate)
                                                                                                                                  brown sugar shorbread (with dried cherries and pecans)

                                                                                                                                  last year i added an almond flavored rolled cookie made with confectioners sugar, sandwiched with ganache.

                                                                                                                                  this year, i'm trying a new recipe for ginger chewies.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: wonderwoman

                                                                                                                                    Could you please share the recipe for the brown sugar shortbread. I have been looking for a recipe with dried cherries and pecans for a long time. Thanks

                                                                                                                                  2. I had no clue what to bake this year for family, friends or community volunteers. My thanks to the OP for setting this thread in motion and all the baking suggestions put forward.

                                                                                                                                    My contribution if you enjoy pineapple and chewy cookies:

                                                                                                                                    PINEAPPLE DROP COOKIES

                                                                                                                                    1 c. butter, softened
                                                                                                                                    2 c. sugar
                                                                                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                                                                                    2 tsp. vanilla
                                                                                                                                    4 1/2 c. flour
                                                                                                                                    1/2 tsp. soda
                                                                                                                                    1/2 tsp. salt
                                                                                                                                    2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                                                    1 c. crushed pineapple, drained

                                                                                                                                    Cream butter, sugar and eggs in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Drop by teaspoonful on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Yields: 72 servings.

                                                                                                                                    1. Nothing says Christmas to me like a Pepperkaka cookie. I grew up with these and now I make them. It is a spicy (cardamon/ginger/clove or all spice) crisp cookie. Love them.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: juliebird

                                                                                                                                        Oooh. These are yummy. My Danish in-laws make them too. I like to eat mine as a cracker with sharp cheese (had them this way in Sweden).

                                                                                                                                      2. Hi,

                                                                                                                                        This thread is full of great suggestions (and it's good to know there are so many manic holiday bakers out there, so I'm not alone). I'd just add a couple of choices that have been big hits with my friends and family:

                                                                                                                                        Cherry Almond Biscotti (a Martha stewart living recipe)
                                                                                                                                        Cranberry Pistachio Cornmeal biscotti (ditto)

                                                                                                                                        Also, Real Simple has a wonderful recipe for gingersnaps made with an unusually wide array of spices and a big hit of chopped candied ginger. We have taken to called them "Turbo Snaps" in our house--they have a great chewy texture if you don't overbake them, and one batch makes 6 dozen, which is handy for quantity baking.

                                                                                                                                        My hands-down favorite cookie involves two rounds of delicate, walnut dough (like shortbread but lighter and flakier) sandwiched around raspberry or apricot jam and topped with zigzags of chocolate. This is an old Washington Post recipe that I managed to hang on to. All my East European friends claim it's authentically from *their* home country, which must say something.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: lisacs

                                                                                                                                          Any chance you'd be willing to share the recipe for the Washington Post sandwich cookie? It sounds luscious! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                        2. I'm of midwestern stock, and I make a lot of really basic cookies every year. They don't sound as exciting as some of your recipes! Many are my mother's recipes that she's been using for years. This year I want to branch out a little more and try some new recipes for my friends, so this thread has been great. I have a too-long list of what I'd like to make, but the "regulars" that I can't imagine not making again this year are:

                                                                                                                                          Snickerdoodles (from Mom's 1969 Betty Crocker cookbook)
                                                                                                                                          Double-Nut Chocolate Chip (based on a "Mrs. Fields" recipe)
                                                                                                                                          Deluxe Sugar Cookies (from Betty Crocker)
                                                                                                                                          Spritz cookies
                                                                                                                                          Monster cookies (oatmeal, pb, choc chips, M&M's)
                                                                                                                                          mini "Oreo" cookies (from a retro desserts cookbook, discussed in another thread)
                                                                                                                                          Brownie cookies
                                                                                                                                          Cranberry-Pecan bars

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Neuromancer

                                                                                                                                            Yes, I love the more exotic stuff, but you can't beat the classics. Snickerdoodles are one of my great 70s childhood food memories. I make them now for my daughter's more finicky friends--no one can resist!

                                                                                                                                            Can you point me to the mini "Oreo" thread? That sounds like fun...

                                                                                                                                          2. I make something I call Oreo Truffles, but I think the original recipe was called Coated Cookie Drops. It's finely crushed oreos and cream cheese, rolled into balls and coated with chocolate. I usually dip some in white chocolate, some in dark and some in milk, then drizzle red and green candy coating on them. (I change the colors if I do it for other holidays.)

                                                                                                                                            1. I make cookies that look like little christmas mice. I took my favorite cream cheese sugar cookie and added some unsweetened cocoa to the recipe. Roll into a small (1") ball and form into an egg shape. Take sliced almonds and press into the top for the ears. Bake ~12 minutes. Immediately insert a mini candy cane - straight end into the cookie- into the fatter end to make the "tail." Let cool. when cool use white decoratator icing to make eyes. Put a dot on the "nose" and place one red hot candy for the nose. They are so cute!!

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jcooks

                                                                                                                                                This sounds absolutely adorable, and I think I just found a project for my friends' kids the next time I go over and visit for the day so their parents can Xmas shop!

                                                                                                                                              2. I've had to adjust my Christmas cooking making due to my childrens' nut and peanut allergies, which means no more peanut butter cookies, no more 7 layer bars (unless I delete the walnuts), etc. Here is my humble repertoire of Christmas cookies, et al:

                                                                                                                                                Oatmeal chocolate chip

                                                                                                                                                Snickerdoodles (of course!)

                                                                                                                                                Lemon bars (from Rose Beranbaum's cookie book)
                                                                                                                                                If I'm feeling extra ambitious (not in recent years) I'll make the chocolate orange bars instead

                                                                                                                                                Joe's Froggers (from CH's own galleygirl, with the spices doubled) Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28885...

                                                                                                                                                Penuche from Gourmet's big yellow cookbook

                                                                                                                                                1. Every year I make Greek butter cookies, my version come out like little snowballs that taste like less sweet Pecan Sandies. And I have a friend who lives in the Dominican Republic who begs me to send him my gingerbread and nothing but my gingerbread.

                                                                                                                                                  My mother has these spice drop cookies with an orange glaze that everyone loves when I include them in my gift tins.

                                                                                                                                                  And it's not Xmas for me without Christmas Cake Cookies. Lots of bourbon soaked dried fruit, candied cherries and dense spice cake. No one likes Fruit Cake, but everyone loves these cookies.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                                    I've been trying to find a recipe for Fruitcake Cookies! Do you mind sharing?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                      I will go and look for it tonight! It's a coveted recipe my mother has had for 30+ years.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ballulah

                                                                                                                                                      Would you share your Greek butter cookie recipe? They sound terrific! Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lcd

                                                                                                                                                        Ditto on the Greek butter cookies...I'll find the recipe tonight and post it later. I adapted the recipe from a NY Times article from about 8 or 9 years ago, it was an article about Grandmother's traditional holiday recipes. The dough is so simple and absolutely fool proof, and the batch is enormous.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Rasberry and Apricot "jammies" or baby cakes
                                                                                                                                                      chocolate pixies
                                                                                                                                                      sugar cookies
                                                                                                                                                      mystery bars
                                                                                                                                                      coconut macaroons
                                                                                                                                                      madellines dipped in chocolate
                                                                                                                                                      grand marnier brownies
                                                                                                                                                      mini cheese cakes

                                                                                                                                                      Breakfast trays
                                                                                                                                                      carrot bread
                                                                                                                                                      banana bread
                                                                                                                                                      Bing cherry scones
                                                                                                                                                      blueberry scones
                                                                                                                                                      mini quiches - not the tiny ones I have these a 5 inch pans for a little savory leek and bacon or pruciutto with brie or fontina
                                                                                                                                                      And a spinach and cheddar muffin

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                        Can I get the recipe for the leek and bacon mini quiches??

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jules127

                                                                                                                                                          A lady I know makes something like this and I swear that she will take the recipe to her grave!!! I have also tried Sarah Bernhardts and, I agree, they are not quite the same. Would you please, please share your version of the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                      2. Every year I make a cookie that's basically an almond macaroon, covered on the flat side of the cookie with a thick layer of a very light chocolate buttercream, and then dipped on that same side in chocolate. I've seen something similar, called Sarah Bernhardts, in bakeries in NYC but they are never as good. I have requests for these from friends of friends whom I hardly know.

                                                                                                                                                        Last year though I found a cookie to rival these from Gourmet mag. called Spoon Cookies. They have a minimum of ingredients and noone, and I do mean noone, can figure out what's in them. The secret is browned butter but everyone thinks it's some kind of ground nut. They are a pain to make as the article along with the recipe will attest but worth every tear! You must make them at least a few days ahead of time. And get ready, your reputation as a Cookie God/dess will be written in stone. Here's the link:


                                                                                                                                                        BTW, this is my first post to Chowhound. Cookies are my obsession -- I'm glad I found you all!

                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DivaDog

                                                                                                                                                          Welcome DivaDog... cookies are my obsession as well! I loved that spoon cookie article when it first came out, but it definitely intimidated me!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DivaDog

                                                                                                                                                            I made those spoon cookies. They were tasty, but for me, not TDF. If you can find a more expedited process (forms, etc) it might make the process easier. (I used tiny muffin pans)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Funwithfood

                                                                                                                                                              When you say "tiny muffin pan", how tiny are you talking about? My mom and I used mini muffin pans for our toffee brownie bites, but would have liked an even smaller mini muffin, but I've only ever seen one size of mini.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Funwithfood

                                                                                                                                                                Do you think the spoon cookies would work as thumbprint cookies?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                                                                                                                  My guess is that they probably would not -- the dough is pretty crumbly until it's pressed together. That's probably why she uses a spoon as a form. Please let me know if you try it though. Maybe I like more comlicated cookies. Give me something with a bit of a challenge any day over a simple drop cookie. Then again, that's probably why I don't bake a great variety of cookies during the holidays. In addition to those 2 recipes, I make caramels (also time intensive due to being wrapped individually) and peanut brittle.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DivaDog

                                                                                                                                                                    I was thinking you could press it together into a tight ball and flatten it with the thumbprint, then spoon in a bit of jam and bake.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Amuse Bouches

                                                                                                                                                                      Are spoon cookies too delicate to ship safely?

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: DivaDog

                                                                                                                                                                      I did end up trying it, and they were delicious, although not beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DivaDog

                                                                                                                                                                  A lady I know makes something like this and I swear that she will take the recipe to her grave!!! I have also tried Sarah Bernhardts and, I agree, they are not quite the same. Would you please, please share your version of the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                3. Chocolate Rads
                                                                                                                                                                  White Chocolate Brownies (not really "brownies", really "whities")
                                                                                                                                                                  My dad's Toffee Chocolate Chip cookies
                                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate-dipped Coconut macaroons
                                                                                                                                                                  Toffee Grahams
                                                                                                                                                                  Chocolate Scotcheroos

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I make grasshopper cookies: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                                                                                                                    And only at Christmas because they take a long time to put together, but we always had them around Christmas time growing up. And, hermits...sigh...I had totally forgotten about those. Is that a New England thing?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I think Hermits are a very New England thing....hermits and a nice big glass of cold milk....it's a good bribe for Santa, too.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thegolferbitch

                                                                                                                                                                        Hermits seem to be a New England thing. I recently made my Maine-born friend's hermit recipe, and my NJ-born husband had never heard of them. (We live in MA, and I've seen them in bakeries/at deli counters around here, but not in NC, where I grew up.)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                                                                                          Share the recipe please! Though, I'm headed to Boston in a few weeks and could just pick some up.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Love the mice! Another kid-friendly idea, which I simplified from a Martha Stewart Kids magazine a few years back, is to make reindeer faces from smallish gingerbread men. Once they're baked, turn the gingerbread men upside down (head at bottom, feet at top). Spread melted semisweet chocolate on the head and then draw ears and "antlers" up the legs with chocolate--a bamboo skewer works well for this. Make the reindeer face using a cinnamon red hot for the nose and white chocolate chips dotted on the tips with dark chocolate for the eyes. If you want the antlers to look velvety you can dust them with a little white sanding sugar before the chocolate sets. Kids love these--and adults like the ginger-chocolate combo.

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks to Neuromancer for the recipe link.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. A while back someone asked for the recipe for my all-time favorite holiday cookies, adapted from the winning recipe in a Washington Post cookie contest. Sorry--have been swamped with work of late and not much of a presence on the boards.

                                                                                                                                                                          These are a bit like Linzer cookies--you could increase the resemblance by adding a bit of cinnamon, cloves, and lemon zest to the dough. The original recipe called for decorating the finished cookies with zigzags of melted chocolate, but I prefer a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                          3/4 c. walnuts
                                                                                                                                                                          1 1/4 c. flour
                                                                                                                                                                          dash of sea salt
                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 c. butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                          6 T. granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                          1 t. vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 c. sieved apricot jam, apricot lekvar, or raspberry jam
                                                                                                                                                                          1 T. Grand Marnier, Chambord, or other complementary fruit liqueur (optional)
                                                                                                                                                                          powdered sugar for dusting

                                                                                                                                                                          In a food processor, grind the nuts finely. Add the flour, salt, and sugar, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, cut into chunks, and the vanilla; pulse on and off till a crumbly dough forms.

                                                                                                                                                                          Turn the dough onto a sheet of wax paper. Lightly knead the dough just to form it into a ball. Chill slightly, then roll between sheets of wax paper until it is about 1/8" thick. Cut into circles with a 2" scalloped round cutter. Reroll scraps--note that the fat content in this dough is so high that you can reroll without ruining the texture. If dough or unbaked cookies are difficult to handle, chill the dough again briefly.

                                                                                                                                                                          Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 8 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool on the sheets (they're fragile when warm). Then combine the jam and liqueur, if using. Sandwich two cookies together with jam in the middle and dust with powdered sugar. Makes about 20; recipe is easily doubled.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. I always make whole candied orange slices dipped in dark chocolate which are labor intensive, but delicious and impressive. This year I am trying gingerbread cookies sprinkled with both raw sugar and kosher salt. It was the favorite recipe of one of the chefs on a food network gingerbread house challenge. Sounds intriguing. I want to also make some thumbprint cookies with a lemon curd filling.Does anyone know if I would have to refrigerate these due to the curd?

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ktm

                                                                                                                                                                              Oooh, I'd love a recipe for candied orange (or I'm thinking lemon) slices with bittersweet chocolate! How special!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: compucook

                                                                                                                                                                                My pleasure. Here you go...

                                                                                                                                                                                Get some good thick skinned oranges. Lightly scuff the exterior of the skin with a grater to open up the pores without removing much of the rind. Slice them in half and then in slices about 1/4 " to 3/8" thick. Carefully remove the seeds while trying to maintain the integrity off the flesh. Blanch the slices briefly. Mix 3 cups sugar with 1 cup water and dissolve over medium to high heat in a large bottemed shallow pan like a saute pan. Once it is good and hot, put a layer of the orange slices in and simmer them in the syrup until the skins turn slightly translucent. As they cook you can either carefully flip them or spoon syrup over tops so they cook evenly. The tricky part is to not destroy the flesh of the orange. Once they are done, lay them on a wire rack or skewer them and hang them between some glasses or any other way you can get them to drain off the syrup and dry. (You can do several batches in the same pan of syrup, but as the batches grow, the syrup will become thinner so after the 3rd batch, you should start over. I always try to get 3 pans going at once to save time.)It will take a couple to a few days for them to dry enough to handle. They will remain somewhat sticky, but not so sticky that the syrup will come off on your fingers. If you lay them flat on a wire rack, you will need to flip them every day. Once they are dry you can dip them halfway in melted chocolate. Then wrap them in wax paper and keep them in an airtight container. They will tend to get too hard within a couple of weeks so enjoy them sooner rather than later. They are delicious and beautiful and make a very elegant gift.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm in the middle of a biscotti production. Super easy and really fun to mix and match flavors. Going to give them as several in a coffee mug wrapped in celophane.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sgwood415

                                                                                                                                                                                I would love to have some of those biscotti recipe's if its not too much trouble. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Thank you!!
                                                                                                                                                                                What kind of chocolate do you use? Just good quality chocolate chips or do you use a candy makers chocolate with a bit of wax?

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: compucook

                                                                                                                                                                                  I just use good chocolate chips, but I do sometimes have trouble with discoloration / blooming, which I camouflage by dusting the chocolate end with cocoa. (I just read something that made me suspect this may be beacause I overheat the chocolate) I've never heard of using wax, but it sounds like something worth trying.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. If you temper good-quality chocolate, it shouldn't bloom.


                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't say it was fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I love 2 pistachio cookies that are online at that famous cooking magazine site for recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    One is oatmeal apricot pistachio cookies and the other is called, I think, pistachio orange lace cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Both are crispy and both are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Holiday cookies aren't part of my tradition (I'm Jewish) but I thought I'd make a batch of cookies to give to my hairdresser and manicurist (who takes care of my really red nails!), both of whom I'll see this week. So I just made a batch of cream cheese cookies, using a recipe my mother has been making for many, many years. It's pretty basic--only butter, sugar, cream cheese, flour, vanilla extract and walnuts--not pretty/holidayish at all, but, boy, are they ever good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow I'll make a batch of chocolate chip mandel brot, my SIL's recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rednails

                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi from a fellow red nails girl - could you please post the recipe for the cream cheese cookies? Always on the lookout for walnut recipes...thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Cream Cheese Cookies

                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 lb butter
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 lb cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 tsp vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 cup (or more) chopped walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                          Cream butter and sugar, then add cream cheese and mix til well blended. Add vanilla, flour and walnuts and mix again. Drop by (rounded) teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350F til light brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tips--don't be tempted to make the cookies larger, or bake them too long. They're very rustic looking that way. They're soft when they come out of the oven, but will harden when cooled. Also, don't use less than full fat cream cheese either.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting story---my mother always said she found the recipe in a newspaper and that it was Sid Caesar's. I recently read a book by Carl Reiner and there's a whole chapter wherein he talks about giving out the recipe while MC'ing an anti-Vietnam war benefit. The recipe was printed in a newspaper the next day but the funny thing is--he forgot one ingredient! I think it was the flour. He credits the recipe to Sid Caesar's personal chef.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, enjoy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rednails

                                                                                                                                                                                            I just made another batch tonight and realized I've been using a whole 8 oz brick of cream cheese! Dunno if that makes a difference or not. I think my mother always used a whole brick. Also, the cookies are more rustic if you don't smooth out the rounded teaspoon when you drop them on the cookie sheet. Its just a matter of which way you like them better (appearance I mean).

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rednails

                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks a million - and thanks for the further note. Will definitely try these and report!
                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                You're welcome. I made another batch last night, brought them into work and they disappeared in a flash. You are forewarned!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Lots of easy variations but here's mine:


                                                                                                                                                                                        2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 (8 ounce) package cream
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                        1 cup finely chopped walnuts
                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup rough chopped raisins

                                                                                                                                                                                        Cut cold butter or margarine and cream cheese into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter or margarine, cream cheese and sour cream until crumbly.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Shape crumbly mixture into four equal disks...wrap each disk and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Roll each disk into a 9 inch round keeping other disks chilled until ready to roll them.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Combine sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and finely chopped raisins (may substitute miniature chocolate chips for raisins).
                                                                                                                                                                                        Roll each disk into a 9 inch round keeping other disks chilled until ready to roll them. Sprinkle round with sugar/nut mixture. Press lightly into dough. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Place on ungreased baking sheets and chill rugelach 20 minutes before baking.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
                                                                                                                                                                                        After rugelach are chilled, bake them in the center rack of your oven 22 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Variations: Before putting the filling on the dough, use a pastry brush to layer apricot jam as well as brown sugar. Then add the recommended filling. You may also make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and roll the rugelach in this prior to putting them on the cookie sheets.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Peanut Brittle and Toffee is a great addition to any cookie tray!
                                                                                                                                                                                          They are both very easy to make too.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This year I am giving away cut out cookies and decorating kits. Some friends have expressed the desire to make homeade cookies, but are short on time.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've also made homeade fudge and cranberry, walnut, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Now I just need to make sure I don't eat them before I give them away.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Though not a traditional Christmas cookie, my husband loves the peanut butter
                                                                                                                                                                                              cream sandwich cookies I make. Prepare your favorite pb cookie recipe and
                                                                                                                                                                                              "glue" two cookies together with pb icing. These freeze well so can be made in
                                                                                                                                                                                              advance. Being from Ohio originally, no Christmas would be complete without

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. ina gartens jam thumbprint cookies are to die for!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I always make my grandmother's date bars -- very old skool, very delicious. I also make
                                                                                                                                                                                                  cherry streusel bars (recipe from an old Bon Appetit, I think), very decorated cut-out sugar cookies, and for candy -- Martha Stewart's English Toffee recipe. Last year I finally found fudge that I love, too, and sometimes do a 3-nut brittle that kicks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chinitav

                                                                                                                                                                                                    chinitav, would you be willing to share your fudge recipe (assuming you check this)? I've tried a few and haven't been impressed with the outcome or the ingredients. Thanks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Btw, what are date bars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ScarletB

                                                                                                                                                                                                      date bars are usually a bar cookie w/a oatmeal base, date filling (chopped or pureed in the center w/sugar, etc), and then an oatmeal topping (same as base layer).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pecan or walnut tassies. It seems that everywhere I go no one else has ever heard of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KristieB

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those (pecan) are a specialty of my mother-in-law's in Iowa - they spent some time at Lackland AFB in San Antonio years ago and I always figured she learned to make them there. Are they a TX thang?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I make something like a buckeye (but with dates and walnuts and completely covered with chocolate).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Those are every year. We also do sugar cut-outs every year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Other then that I try to mix it up. Chocolate covered pretzels with crushed candycane and a pinch of salt. Almond Roca. Lefse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm trying to add a Norwegian cookie for dh's family and a German one for mine this year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have two all-time favorites. My mother's sugar cookies, using one of the few recipes to feature cream of tartar, and midnight rum balls. A sugar cookie just isn't a sugar cookie, in my book, without cream of tartar. Try it with, then without, and you'll see what I mean. The midnight rum ball recipe I found on Chowhound about five years ago and people love them! I also make Mario Batalli's slivered almond brittle (sooooooo good), rocky road candy, fudge (of course) and divinity (but never on a rainy day......tee hee.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Ooops just posted this on another thread, oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just watched Paula Deen do her Christmas cookie swap.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Taped it actually as I love to watch a person make a cookie that I think I'd try.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Loved the white and red pinwheel cookies some of which she [prebaking] pierced with a cookie stick in the middle of and they look like lollipops. I'll do those for sure but I'll use 3 colors for the doughs, red white and green and roll them up on top of each other and slice, should be great. One lady also did a chocolate crackle cookie but the difference seemed to be that her's turned out cracked on the outside but still rather gooey on the inside, something my chocolate crackles don't do, stay gooey, maybe less baking time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Curious if anyone makes their own colored sugars for decorating? I do and like the ease of not having to go track colors down at Michaels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2nd that question! I was just wondering this re: making your own colored sugar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Re: chocolate crackles I would first try making them the same way, but taking them out of the oven earlier (maybe 1m or so from your current time, depends on total bake time) before you think they're done. The difference could be that by taking them out when you currently are, they continue cooking (from the heat) out of the oven, resulting in a less/non gooey inside. If that doesn't work, then higher heat (I'd try it in 25F intervals), lower bake time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Rolled Sugar Cookies And Snickerdoodles