Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 2

DAY 10: Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

A slightly fancier shortbread, these are one of my very favorite cookies. Orange flavored not-too-sweet shortbread cookies dipped in dark chocolate; I love this flavor combination.

The dough is shaped into a log, refrigerated until firm and then sliced into rounds to bake. Dipping only half the cookie keeps the fingers much cleaner than trying to dip the whole cookie!

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 1

You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

 

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2012): Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread

RECIPE:

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Orange Shortbread Cookies 2

1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp pure orange extract
1 tsp fresh orange zest
2 1/3 cups flour
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil or shortening

Use a mixer to cream butter and sugar  until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and orange extracts and orange zest. Gradually blend in flour.

Roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough log in clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice dough with a sharp knife into 1/4″ slices, reshaping dough into circles, as necessary. Place cookies onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately to wire rack to cool.

While cookies cool, heat chocolate and coconut oil (or shortening) in a double boiler. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to cool.

OPTIONAL: You can also shape the dough logs into squares or triangles if you are looking to provide some variety of shape on your Christmas cookie tray. I wrapped my dough log in plastic wrap and then pressed it into an empty plastic wrap/foil box and used the box edges to form the mold for the dough.

(Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons 3

DAY 9: Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Traditional coconut macaroons are always a fan favorite here.. These macaroons are flourless, gluten-free cookies made from coconut, egg whites, sugar, and almond extract.

Coconut Macaroons 2

They are technically more of a candy than a cookie, but sugar is sugar however you categorize it.

Coconut Macaroons

The “dough” is cooked on the stove prior to baking, which leaves you with a wonderful chewy macaroon on the inside and crispy toasted coconut on the outside.

Dipping the bottoms in chocolate is optional, but I definitely recommend it.

Coconut Macaroons 1

 

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2010): Old Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

RECIPE:

Old-Fashioned Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons 3

1 (14 oz) pkg flaked sweetened coconut
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp almond extract
1 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or silicone liners.

In a medium saucepan, stir together coconut, egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly (a spoon drawn through the mixture should leave a clean path). Remove from heat; stir in almond extract.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets (I use a small cookie scoop). Let stand on cookie sheets for 15 minutes before baking. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack. Cool completely.

Dip bottoms of macaroons in melted chocolate, if desired. Place on waxed paper until chocolate has hardened.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread (12)

DAY 8: Scottish Shortbread

Sometimes simplicity makes for the best cookie. There is nothing fancy about this shortbread. Just good, quality ingredients that combine to make a cookie that melts in your mouth. A perfect companion to a cup of homemade hot cocoa.

Scottish Shortbread (5)

For a fancier treat, dip half of each cookie in melted dark chocolate.

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2013): Scottish Shortbread

RECIPE:

Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread (5)

2 cups butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
4 ½ cups flour
OPTIONAL: 6 oz dark chocolate (about 1 cup chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make sure that butter is very soft, but not melted. Cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer for a full 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Gradually add flour, mixing well.

Lightly sprinkle flour on a pastry board or mat. Gently press dough into a rectangle ½” thick (about 10”x 12”). Use a rolling pin to level out the top of the dough. Cut dough into 1” strips lengthwise and then into 2-3” wide rectangles. Prick each cookie with a fork about 4 times.

Use a thin metal spatula to transfer unbaked cookies to an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a small space between cookies. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on a wire rack.

OPTIONAL: Melt chocolate and pour into a narrow bowl or cup. Dip half of each cooled cookie in the melted chocolate. Place on parchment paper or wax paper to harden.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Chewy Molasses Crinkles

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

DAY 6: Chewy Molasses Crinkles

These are a soft and chewy molasses cookie, similar in taste to gingerbread, but without the work of rolling and cutting dough.

I love the way the house smells while these are baking! Better than a scented candle any day.

2018-09-24 16.24.54

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2016): Chewy Molasses Crinkles

RECIPE:

Chewy Molasses Crinkles

2018-09-24 16.24.54

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar: ½ cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add egg and egg yolk and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in the molasses and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat until mixed.

Cover and chill dough for one hour. In a small bowl, stir together the ½ cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Roll the chilled dough into 1” balls and then roll the balls in the Cinnamon Sugar mixture. Place dough onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Do not overbake, or they will no longer be chewy. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Makes 3 dozen

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 1

DAY 5: Sugar Cookies (Two Doughs/Many Variations)

Sugar Cookies are the iconic Christmas treat. Good thing they are also extremely versatile. Once you have your sugar cookie base, you can easily change up the design for very different looks and tastes. I have two basic sugar cookie doughs that I like to use. The first is a soft, thick dough that stays pillowy soft and tender after baking. This is the dough I use for most of my sugar cookies:

Sugar Cookies 2

But if I need really sharp edges, and absolutely no spread when the dough is baked, I go with the dough below. The cookies are still soft if you don’t overbake them, but they are more dense than the other recipe.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Whichever dough you choose, you can make traditional frosted sugar cookies, with various types of icing, or try something just a little different. These two options are actually easier than frosting with a regular icing.

Snow Capped Christmas Trees:

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies:

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies 2

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:
Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies (2009)
Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies (2014)
Snow Capped Christmas Trees (2016)
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies (2016)

RECIPE:

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 2

Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in 4 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt. Mix in enough additional flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough to desired thickness (about 1/4” thick) and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long.  They should look white when done.

Frost and decorate as desired.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 6 dozen cookies made from 3” cookie cutters.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
Optional: Shimmery Sanding Sugar or Coarse Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and slowly mix into the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.

Do not chill dough. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to almost 1/4 inch. You want these cookies to be thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 25 cookies made from 4” snowflake cookie cutters.

(Sharp edged sugar cookie dough from In Katrina’s Kitchen)

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
Green food coloring
About 12 oz white chocolate, or white melting candy discs

Prepare sugar cookie dough.  Mix in a few drops of green food coloring. Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour, if necessary, for easier handling. Roll out dough and cut out with Christmas tree cookie cutter.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe.

Place white chocolate in a bowl at least as wide as the cookie sides you will be dipping. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until melted and smooth. Dip each edge of the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
1 package Jolly Rancher candies, cut in half for small openings

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough to about 1/8” and cut out with large  cookie cutters. Place shapes on lined baking sheets. Cut out a smaller shape inside of each cookie  (after placing on baking sheet). I used the centers from a linzer cookie cutter set to make the center openings

Place half of a Jolly Rancher candy in the center of each cookie. Use a whole Jolly Rancher if the opening is large enough to lay the entire candy down inside the opening.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe. Cool completely on the baking sheet. When candy centers are completely cool and hardened, remove cookies to a sheet of parchment paper.

Store covered between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper. The candy centers will stick together if they touch.

Frostings

Sugar Cookies 2

Glacé Icing

1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
¼ cup+ 2 Tbs  whole milk
¼ cup + 2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Gel food coloring
Additional powdered sugar to reach piping consistency

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and almond or vanilla extract. Add food coloring for desired colors.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off of a whisk in a thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, add additional powdered sugar until icing is stiff, but spoonable.

(Glacé Icing from Our Best Bites)

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant ¼ cup water
½ lb powdered sugar (about 2 cups)
½  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 3-5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

For Snowflakes: Use a thick open circle decorator tip to pipe thick lines onto each snowflake. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar or sprinkles immediately after piping lines (on each cookie). Icing will harden quickly.

Chocolate Butterfly Cupcakes 11

Cooked Vanilla Icing

1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Optional: food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy, and completely uniform throughout.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Swedish Peppar KaKar

ninjabread-men-3

DAY 3: Swedish Peppar KaKar (soft, mild gingerbread)

These are not your average gingerbread cookies. They are so much better! The traditional gingerbread flavors are all there, but there is only a little bit of molasses, which gives them a very mild flavor. Bake them for just a short time, and they are soft and wonderful.

Ninjabread Men 1

These cookies are fun to make with these ninja cookie cutters. You can get fancy with the icing, but I usually just pipe a few details.

Mini gingerbread 1

We also love to use our tiny gingerbread man and angel cookie cutters for these. They are only about 1 ½-inches tall. But be careful, they are very addictive. And when you can pop a whole cookie in your mouth in one shot, it is easy to talk yourself into “just one more.”

Swedish Peppar KaKar

You could pipe an icing around the edges or to make faces on these as well, but they are great just on their own. We end up with enough other cookies filled or topped with frosting that it is nice to have a less sweet, but super flavorful “plain” cookie.

DSC04171 DSC04189

My 2009 gingerbread helpers! I wish I could still get them to cooperate like this in the kitchen.

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:
(2009): Mini Gingerbread Men/Angels
(2013): Ninja-bread Men

RECIPE:

Swedish Peppar KaKar

ninjabread-men-3Mini gingerbread 2

(soft, mild gingerbread cookies)

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp molasses

Combine dry ingredients; set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend in egg and molasses. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Add a little bit more flour (up to 1/4 cup), if necessary, to get a dough that is soft, but not sticky.

Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll to about 1/8” and cut into small gingerbread men and angels (or ninja-bread men).

Bake at 350°F for 6 to 8 minutes for small shapes (8-9 minutes for larger cookies). Don’t overbake, or they will become crispy instead of soft. Cool.

Decorate with Royal Icing, if desired.

Makes about 60 mini gingerbread men or 30 ninja-bread men.

Royal Icing

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/4 cup water
½ lb powdered sugar
½ tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

NOTE: This makes “stiff” icing which is perfect for piping details. If you want to flood (totally frost) your cookies first, double the recipe above. Reserve some stiff icing to outline and pipe details. To fill in your cookies, first tint the remaining icing with food coloring.Then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. Outline the cookies first with stiff icing, then flood the center with the thinner icing. Wait several hours until icing has completely hardened before piping on additional details over the flooded icing.

(Royal Icing from Bake at 350)

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

12-23-10 061-1

DAY 1: Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

Happy December and the first day of No Empty Chairs’ Tenth Annual “Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies”. This year, I am reaching back into the blog-files to share twelve of our family’s very favorite Christmas cookies.

12-23-10 047-1

First up is a shortbread style cookie studded with candied cherries and pecans. This is a great make-ahead dough that you can pull out and slice anytime. Bake just a few at a time, or a whole batch.

12-23-10 033-1

Roll the dough into a log and it can be stored in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake.

12-23-10 043-1

Use a sharp knife to slice dough into rounds that are about 3/8” thick.

12-23-10 053-1

ORIGINAL BLOG POST (2011): Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

Christmas is a wonderful season to both spend time with family and loved ones and to reach out beyond our normal sphere of influence. See below for ideas on how you can light the world in all areas of your life.

#LightTheWorld

Light the World 2018

 

RECIPE:

Christmas Cherry Pecan Cookies

12-23-10 061-1

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup pecan halves
2 cups red and green candied cherries, halved

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cream butter and powdered sugar; blend in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour and then add pecans and cherries. Chill dough for 1-2 hours. Shape into 2  logs with about 2” diameter. Roll in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into slices about 3/8” thick and bake for 13-15 minutes. Do not let cookies brown.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Blondies

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Squares 1

DAY 3: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Blondies

These bar cookies are as simple as they come: One Bowl, No Mixer Needed, No Waiting for Butter to Soften, No Last Minute Trip to the Store for Ingredients, No Scooping Multiple Batches of Cookie Dough, No Waiting by the Oven to Switch Baking Sheets

And they are super good: like snickerdoodles, but without all of the work.

Some days it is just all about simple.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Squares 2

RECIPE:

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Blondies

Makes 32 squares

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Squares 1

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar: 1 Tbs sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8” square baking pans (or spray with Baking Pam).

Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave. Use a wooden spoon or curved spatula to stir sugars into melted butter until incorporated. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pans. Sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes before baking.

Bake at 350°F for 26-28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and then cut into squares.

2 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies (Egg Free)

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

DAY 2: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are soft and chewy, and egg-free for those with allergies. I like to keep them on hand for my daughter’s friend who has an egg allergy (if I can keep other hands out of the container!).

Here are some other egg-free cookie recipes:

RECIPE:

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies (egg-free)

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups  chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

In a mixing  bowl, cream together the cream cheese, melted butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients and then mix into the butter mixture. Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Roll the dough into 1 to 1 ½-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are just barely golden brown. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts

9th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Toffee Sandies

Almond Toffee Sandies 3

Welcome to December and No Empty Chairs’ 9th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies Celebration! Twelve more days – Twelve more cookies.

DAY 1: Almond Toffee Sandies

Similar to Pecan Sandies, but with the sweet, crunchy addition of caramel toffee bits. A new family favorite!

Almond Toffee Sandies 1

Sharing cookies and treats is one of my favorite ways to show love during the Christmas season. Another great tool to find ways to love and serve is this Light the World campaign.

Need some inspiration on ways to Light the World? This 25 Ways, Over 25 Days calendar gives great inspiration from the ultimate source of light, whose birth we celebrate. Click through for ideas on how to apply the Savior’s teachings this Christmas season:

 

Image result for light the world calendar jpg

RECIPE:

Almond Toffee Sandies

Makes about 7 dozen small cookies

Almond Toffee Sandies 2

(adapted from Taste of Home)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mild flavored olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt **
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups coarsely chopped whole roasted almonds
1 package (about 8 oz) toffee bits

(**reduce salt in recipe if using salted almonds)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Gradually beat in oil and vanilla and almond extracts.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt””, and cream of tartar. Mix into the butter mixture gradually. Add chopped almonds and toffee bits and mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until bottom of cookies just begin to brown. Cool on wire racks.

Light the World Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Cookies, Desserts