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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Lemon Cake-Mix Cookies

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

DAY 9: Lemon Cake-Mix Cookies

A soft, lemony, slightly gooey cookie.

We make a similar cookie with a white cake mix that we call Snowball Cookies, but there was just something wrong with calling these “Yellow Snow”- ball Cookies.

This is a great recipe for kids and beginning bakers, as there is minimal measuring. Kids are also great helpers when it comes to rolling things in powdered sugar. Just plan a little extra clean-up time if you let them help with that step.

RECIPE:

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Lemon Cake-Mix Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 tsp fresh lemon zest, optional
1 box lemon cake mix
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and lemon zest and then cake mix. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Place about ½ cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into balls (about 1” in diameter) and then roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust cooled cookies with additional sifted powdered sugar.

Makes 2 ½ – 3 dozen cookies

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Blondies

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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.

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RECIPE:

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Squares 1

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Blondies

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.

Makes 32 squares

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

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DAY 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These should be called “Super-Easy-One-Bowl-No-Mixer-I-Forgot-To-Make-Cookies-For-The-Bake-Sale-Tomorrow-Don’t-Even-Have-To-Soften-The-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Bars”

They are that easy.

These cookies will stay nice and chewy (without burnt edges and soggy middle) if you bake them in two 8×8” pans instead of one 9×13” pan.

Since we have one non-chocolate eater, I usually prepare the batter without the chocolate chips, put half of the batter in one pan and sprinkle the top with cinnamon/sugar. Then stir some chocolate chips into the remaining batter and put the chocolate chip version in the other pan.

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RECIPE:

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Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

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. Stir sugar and brown sugar into melted butter until incorporated. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the  flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and then cut into squares.

Makes 32 bars

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Hot Cocoa Cookies

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DAY 8: Hot Cocoa Cookies

Fun cookies made with hot cocoa mix and freeze-dried mini marshmallows. The cocoa mix makes for a light-chocolately flavored cookie. A good quality dark chocolate mix will give more flavor than a milk chocolate variety.

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These little marshmallow bits are great for sprinkling into cocoa or over ice cream. And they are perfect for cookies. Don’t add real marshmallows to cookie dough: they will melt in your oven and all over your cookie sheets. Burnt melted marshmallow goo is not fun to clean.

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These are also available in chocolate and peppermint flavors. Peppermint marshmallow bits and mint flavored chocolate chips make for great Mint Hot Cocoa Cookies!

RECIPE:

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Hot Cocoa Cookies
                (adapted from Love From the Oven)

1 cup  butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3  cups flour
4 pkg (about 1 ¼ oz  or ¼ c each)  Hot Cocoa Mix
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 ½ cups dried Marshmallow Bits (not soft marshmallows!)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Use a mixer to cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow bits.

Drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

For Mint Hot Cocoa Cookies: use mint chocolate chips and peppermint flavored marshmallow bits.

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Butterscotch Cinnamon Chip Cookies

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DAY 7: Butterscotch Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Hershey’s now sells delicious cinnamon chips for baking.

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They are perfect for adding to a brown-sugar based butterscotchy dough. And a great alternative when you are looking for an easy-to-make drop cookie without chocolate.

RECIPE:

Butterscotch Cinnamon Chip Cookies2

Butterscotch Cinnamon Chip Cookies

2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups dark or light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 (10 oz) bag cinnamon baking chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in cinnamon chips.

Drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Joy Cookies

Almond Joy Cookies5

DAY 6: Almond Joy Cookies

I have always been a sucker for anything coconut. Add almonds and I am hooked for sure. When I saw these on Heather Christo Cooks, I knew that I had to make them as soon as possible. They are really amazing eaten warm.

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RECIPE:

Almond Joy Cookies3

Almond Joy Cookies
———(adapted from Heather Christo Cooks)

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper.

Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and almonds; dough will be thick.

Scoop onto baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Don’t overcook.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

 

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Quick & Easy Nutella Crescent Rolls

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A quick and easy idea today that isn’t really a recipe, as it only contains three ingredients: a tube of packaged crescent rolls, a jar of Nutella and some chopped nuts. I used walnuts, but chopped hazelnuts, pecans or almonds would also be good. These are the jumbo-sized rolls, but you can make them with any of the varieties.

Great for kids to make for a Mother’s Day breakfast (or dessert). And always popular with hungry teenagers after early-morning seminary.

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Open tube of crescent rolls; separate dough into triangles. Spread with Nutella. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

3711 129-1Roll into crescent shape, beginning with wide end. Curve ends into crescent shape. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. Bake according to package directions until golden brown. Serve warm.

RECIPE:

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Nutella Crescent Rolls
———-(adapted from Deep South Dish)

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (regular or jumbo)
Nutella
Finely chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds or pecans)

Unroll and separate raw crescent roll triangles. Spread with Nutella. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Roll into crescent shape, beginning with wide end. Curve ends into crescent shape. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner. Bake according to package directions until golden brown (about 15-18 minutes at 350°F for the jumbo size).

Cool slightly. Serve warm.

 

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Even More Christmas Cookies

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If you are still looking for more Christmas cookies, here are some other great ideas for giving (and keeping).

Swedish Peppar KaKar:
(a soft mild gingerbread; even more fun when you make them tiny)

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Mint Oreo Cookies:
(super easy: start with a cake mix)

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Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(soft, chewy cookies all dressed up for Christmas)

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Cherry Nut Mudslides:
(a great cookie for more discriminating tastes)

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Snickerdoodles:
(as much fun to eat as to say)

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Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies:
(my favorite cookies ever)

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Peanut Butter Kisses:
(try using some of the fancy Kisses flavors)

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Chocolate Rolo and Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies:
(two very different cookies from one easy dough)

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Russian Tea Cakes:
(these are the kids’ favorites-they are suckers for a little colored sugar)

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Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints:
(Santa’s favorite indulgence)

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Sugar Cookies:
(soft and slightly sweet; the anchor of any respectable Christmas cookie tray)

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