Our Favorite Christmas Cookies

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author/source: Cathie Briggette

Every year, usually the 2nd week in December, my daughter and I go to a Christmas Cookie Swap.  Each year we search and search for the best cookie recipes.  The ones below are some of our favorites.  Some are extremely easy and some are a little hard, but all will make anyone eating them think you are the yummiest cookie maker.  Happy Baking!

 

CLASSIC BUTTERY SPRITZ COOKIES

Total Time 16 minutes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes

Buttery-Spritz-Christmas-Cookies
Ingredients

Buttery Spritz Cookies

  1. 1 cup butter softened
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 1/4 cups confectioner sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Spritz Cookies Glaze

  1. 1 cup confectionery sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon milk or half and half
  3. sugar sprinkles for decoration

Directions

Buttery Spritz Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Mix together butter and confectioner's sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add in egg, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Gradually incorporate flour until well combined, taking care not to overmix.
  3. *Place in a cookie press fitted with your choice of disc. Press cookies through cookie press onto a baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2 - 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes and then remove from the oven to cool completely.

Spritz Cookies Glaze

  1. Arrange a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together confectioner's sugar and milk until well combined and smooth in a small bowl.
  3. Once cookies are cooled, dip each cookie into the glaze and place on the wire rack.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles as desired and allow to dry completely.

Notes

*To make without a cookie press, simply scoop dough by the teaspoon, roll into a ball and place onto rimmed baking sheet. Gently press your thumb into the center for thumbprints or with your palm or the bottom of a glass to flatten and bake as directed. Alternately, you may lightly dust counter with confectioner's sugar and cut cookies with small cookie cutters and bake as directed.

Peppermint-Pattie-stuffed-chocolate-chrismas-cookie
PEPPERMINT PATTIE-STUFFED CHOCOLATE COOKIES

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 14 York Peppermint Pattie Minis
  • Sprinkles, for decorating

 

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and baking powder; in another bowl, whisk together eggs and oil. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until fully combined.
  2. Using your hands, form small balls of dough. Flatten a ball, then place a Peppermint Patty in the center and fold dough over to completely cover. Transfer to baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough (you should have enough for about 14 cookies).
  3. Top with sprinkles and bake until cooked through 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely.


Hot-Chocolate-Holiday-Cookie-CupsHOT CHOCOLATE COOKIE CUPS

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CUPS
  • 1 box brownie mix, plus ingredients called for on the box
  • 10 oz. mini marshmallows
FOR THE TOPPING
  • 1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chocolate-covered pretzels
  • Red, green, and white nonpareils

 

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a cupcake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each well in cupcake pan about 3/4 full with brownie batter.
  3. Bake until edges look set but centers still look a little undercooked, 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove brownie cups from oven and press marshmallows into centers. Return to oven until marshmallows puff and melt, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cups are cool, melt chocolate chips in the microwave.
  6. Break off pieces of chocolate-covered pretzels and use melted chocolate to stick them to sides of cookie cups. Let set.
  7. Drizzle chocolate over the tops of marshmallows and garnish with sprinkles. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


RUM BALLS

rum-ball-Christmas-cookiesMakes about 60

  • 3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 75)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • Powdered or granulated sugar

Mix crushed wafers, powdered sugar, pecans, and cocoa. Stir in rum and corn syrup. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Refrigerate in tightly covered container several days before serving

 

CHOCOLATE CRINKLE COOKIES

Chocolate Crinkle-Christmas-CookieThis classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies recipe is fun to make, super delicious, and perfect for the holidays!
Total time: 30 mins
prep time: 20 mins
cook time: 10 mins
ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored oil (such as vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, for coating the cookies
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.  Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the granulated sugar and oil. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs and vanilla, beating on medium-low speed until combined.  Then gradually fold in the flour mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined.
  3. Form the dough into a large ball, and place it on a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Wrap the plastic around it so that it is sealed tightly.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours) until the dough is chilled completely through.
  4. Once you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Fill a small bowl with the powdered sugar.
  5. Remove and unwrap the dough.  Then form the dough into 1-inch round balls.  Dip each dough ball in the powdered sugar until it is completely covered on all sides, and then place them least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.  Then remove the baking sheet from the oven, and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool until they reach room temperature.
  7. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

 

GINGERBREAD THUMBPRINT COOKIES

Christmas-Gingerbread-Thumprint-CookiesHoliday favorite Gingerbread Cookies with a chewy center and spiced white chocolate filling.  Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies are a favorite for the holiday season and the dough couldn’t be any easier to make.

Prep Time 25 minutes

 Cook Time 8 minutes

 Total Time 33 minutes

 Servings 60

Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 3/4 cup granulated sugar or packed light brown sugar OR 1/4 cup+ 2 tablespoons SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Sweetener Blend
  3. 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar OR SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
  4. 1/2 cup molasses
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  13. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  14. 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for dusting OR 1/3 cup SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Sweetener Blend
Filling
  1. 1 cup white chocolate chips
  2. 4 1/2 teaspoons skim milk or fat-free milk
  3. 1 teaspoon molasses
  4. 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 2 dashes ground nutmeg

Topping

  1. 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  2. 2 teaspoons skim milk or fat-free milk
 Directions
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
  • In a bowl fitted with a mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed; about 4 minutes.
  • On medium speed, beat in molasses until combined.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.  Use a spatula to wipe down the sides of the bowl and beat until combined; about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients until combined.  Wipe the sides of the bowl down with a spatula then beat; 1 minute.
  • Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough.  I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop. Cut cookie scoop dough in half then roll each half into a ball.  Each ball is mini; about 3/4 inch or about a little more than 1/2 tablespoon of dough.
  • Roll dough into 1/3 cup granulated sugar then place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Place dough 1 inch apart.  Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, carefully indent the cookie in the center and press in just to form the center. Don't puncture through the dough to the cookie sheet.
  • Bake cookies about 7-9 minutes.  I baked mine for 8 minutes but oven temperature may vary.  Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, indent the center of the cookie.  Allow cookies to cool before filling.
To Make the Filling

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate chips and skim milk. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and molasses.   Working in batches, carefully spoon about 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture into the indent.  I had about 50-60 mini cookies.  Reheat chocolate mixture as needed to spoon easily into indents.  Allow to cool; about 10 minutes.

To Make the Topping

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt white chocolate and skim milk until silky smooth.  Carefully drizzle cookies with chocolate. Allow cookies to cool then store in airtight container. 

 

RASPBERRY ALMOND SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Raspberry-Almond-Shortbread-Christmas-Cookies Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened.
  2. 2/3 cup sugar.
  3. 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.
  4. 2 cups all-purpose flour.
  5. 1/2 cup raspberry jam or your favorite flavor jam.
  6. 1 cup powdered sugar.
  7. 2 to 3 teaspoons water.
  8. 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract.
Directions
  1. Combine butter, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add flour; beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
  2.  Heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Make an indentation in center of each cookie with thumb (edges may crack slightly). Fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon jam.
  4. Bake 14-18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.
  5. Combine all glaze ingredients in a bowl with whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.


HERSHEY KISS S'MORES COOKIES

Hershey-Kiss-Smore-Christmas-CookiesPrep Time:  5 mins
Cook Time:  9 mins
Total Time:  14 mins
S'mores cookies start with a graham cracker filled cookie base, topped with a gooey marshmallow, and a chocolate kiss - for your favorite s'mores flavors in a delicious and cute cookie!

Servings: 28

Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs/pieces (decide how fine you want them)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 12-16 large marshmallows
  • 24-32 Hershey Kisses
  •  Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Mix together the butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl till creamy.
  • Add in the egg and vanilla and mix till incorporated.
  • In another bowl add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, and graham cracker crumbs.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir together till a soft dough is formed.
  • Scoop 1-inch sized balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone liner.
  • Bake cookies for about 7 minutes, until top is golden.
  • Cut marshmallows in half (scissors work great) and unwrap kisses.
  • Top each cookie with a marshmallow half with the sticky side down.
  • Return to the oven and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until marshmallow puffs up.
  • Remove from oven and top each marshmallow with a Hershey Kiss.
  • Allow cookies to rest on cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.