LocalNews

Baking Christmas cookies remains a popular holiday tradition

brown and green cupcake with white icing on top

Christmas is here and baking cookies remains a popular tradition for many families.

Below are some fairly simple, yet still festive, cookie recipes. All of the article’s recipe suggestions – and more – can be found through The New York Times Cooking website, Allrecipes, and Betty Crocker.

Sparkling Shortbread Cookies (Makes 36 Cookies)

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1-2 large egg yolks

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 large egg white, beaten

½ cup decorative sugar

Steps:

1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Beat on low speed until incorporated and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. (Do not beat until fluffy, you don’t need to incorporate air into the dough.) Add the egg yolk and mix until just combined. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Add the flour to the bowl all at once and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer speed to low and beat until flour is fully incorporated, scraping the bowl again if needed, about 30 seconds. The dough will be in large crumbles.

3. Form the dough into two 9-inch logs. (If the dough is too crumbly to form into a log, mix in an additional egg yolk.) Wrap each log firmly in a strip of parchment paper and twist the ends shut. Refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to slice, about 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Brush the surface of each log all over with the egg white. Sprinkle a sheet of parchment paper with the decorative sugar and roll the log in the sugar to completely coat. Slice each log into ½-inch rounds. Lay the rounds on the prepared baking sheet, spacing at least ½ inch apart.

6. Bake until the cookies are golden at the bottom edges, rotating once halfway through baking, 18 to 22 minutes. Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The baked cookies can also be stored frozen in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Eggnog Snickerdoodles (Makes 24 Cookies)

Ingredients:

3½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsps. cream of tartar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1¾ cup granulated sugar, plus ¼ cup for rolling

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg plus 2 yolks, at room temperature

1 Tbsp. rum extract

2 tsps. freshly grated nutmeg

Steps:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar and baking soda, and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, 1¾ cups sugar and the salt on medium-high until very smooth and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, return the mixer to medium speed and add the egg and egg yolks, incorporating each before adding the next. Add the rum extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat for another minute or two.

3. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. (You may want to start by “pulsing” the flour, so that it doesn’t go everywhere.) Set the dough aside to hydrate for about 10 minutes while you prepare to bake.

4. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Make the nutmeg-sugar mixture by combining the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the nutmeg in a small bowl.

5. Roll the dough into balls, each one the size of a golf ball or about 45 grams, then roll each dough ball in the nutmeg-sugar. Transfer the balls to the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart, and bake 10 to 13 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through, until slightly puffed and just set.

6. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies are even better the day after they’re made, and will keep for 4 days sealed in an airtight container.

Fruity Meltaways (Makes 60-70 Cookies)

Ingredients:

12 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsps. pure vanilla extract

3 Tbsps. finely ground freeze-dried fruit, such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches or mangoes

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar (set aside for coating)

3 Tbsps. finely ground freeze-dried fruit (set aside for coating)

Steps:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a stiff spatula, mix butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt, lemon juice and vanilla until creamy and combined. Add ground freeze-dried fruit and mix until distributed. Add flour, and mix until it all comes together into a soft dough.

2. Divide the dough into two portions. On pieces of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap, roll each portion of dough into a 10-inch-long log. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or up to 3 months tightly wrapped in the freezer.

3. Set oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven, and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.

4. Using a sharp knife, trim about ⅛-inch off each side of the chilled dough logs, just so that you have flat ends. Slice the logs into scant ¼-inch-thick cookies. Roll the log a quarter turn after each slice to keep it round. (If the dough cracks while slicing, let it warm up at room temperature for 10 minutes.) Arrange on sheet trays ½-inch apart and bake, rotating the trays once during baking, until set and barely golden underneath, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. While the cookies bake, make the sugar coating: Sift together the powdered sugar with the ground freeze-dried fruit. While still warm, gently toss the cookies in the powdered sugar mixture and return to the sheet tray to fully cool. The cookies will keep for 2 weeks stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Pecan Pie Cookies (Makes 24 Cookies)

Ingredients for Filling:

¼ cup butter

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

3 Tbsps. light corn syrup

¾ cup finely chopped pecans

Ingredients for Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup brown sugar, packed

¾ cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Steps:

1. To make the filling: Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan; stir in confectioners’ sugar and corn syrup until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often, then stir in pecans until combined. Refrigerate the filling for 30 minutes to chill.

2. To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl; set aside.

3. Beat brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, egg, and vanilla extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in flour mixture to form a dough.

4. Pinch off about 1 tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball; press into the bottom of an ungreased cupcake pan cup so it lines the bottom and sides, like a pie crust. Repeat with remaining dough. Fill each crust with about 1 teaspoon of the prepared pecan filling.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookie shells are lightly browned, 10 to 13 minutes. Watch closely after 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the pans briefly before removing to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Soft Ginger Cookies (Makes 24 Cookies)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsps. white sugar

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsps. ground ginger

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

¼ tsp. salt

¾ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup molasses

1 Tbsp. water

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

2. Sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a bowl.

3. Beat butter and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, then stir in molasses and water. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture until well combined.

4. Use floured hands to shape dough into 24 walnut-sized balls. Roll each ball in the reserved sugar until coated. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets, and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, switching racks halfway through.

6. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies (Makes 24 Cookies)

Ingredients:

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

1 Tbsp. brandy

1½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup dried cranberries

¾ cup white chocolate chips

Steps:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets.

2. Beat brown sugar, white sugar, and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy. Add egg and brandy and beat until incorporated.

3. Combine flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until just combined. Fold in cranberries and white chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, switching racks halfway through; cookies will still appear slightly doughy.

6. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

No-Roll Sugar Cookies (Makes 48 Cookies)

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 egg

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Colored sugar or granulated sugar

Steps:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper; set aside.

2. In large bowl, beat 1 cup granulated sugar and butter with electric mixer on low speed or with spoon until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, nutmeg and egg. Stir in flour and baking soda. Shape dough by teaspoonfuls into balls. Place 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.

3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Store covered in airtight container.

Chocolate-Toffee Thumbprint Cookies (Makes 48 Cookies)

Ingredients for Filling and Decoration:

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

2 Tbsps. heavy whipping cream

1 Tbsp. butter

2 tsps. Betty Crocker Decorating Decors Jingle Mix nonpareils

Ingredients for Cookies:

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix

1/3 cup natural cocoa

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 Tbsps. water

1 egg

1 cup milk chocolate toffee bits

Steps:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, mix cookie mix, cocoa, softened butter, water and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in toffee bits.

2. Shape dough into 48 (1 1/4-inch) balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets. Using back of round metal measuring 1/2 teaspoon, make 1-inch circle indentation in center of each cookie, wiping spoon occasionally to reduce sticking. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

4. In small microwavable bowl, microwave Filling ingredients uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir. Continue to microwave in 10-second increments until chips are melted and mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon 1/2 teaspoonful of the filling into indentation in each cookie. Top with nonpareils. Let stand about 2 hours or until filling is set. Store covered in refrigerator.

Peppermint Candy Cookies (Makes 30 Cookies)

Ingredients:

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tub Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White Frosting

1 tsp. peppermint extract

Betty Crocker red decorating sugar

Steps:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg and flour until dough forms. Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass.

2. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

3. In small bowl, mix frosting and peppermint extract. Spread each cookie with frosting. Using small spoon, sprinkle red sugar onto cookies in spiral design to look like peppermint candies.

Related posts

State Police remind drivers to be cautious of farm equipment on roads

Network Indiana

Angela Boulevard Improvement Project set to begin April 15

Jon Zimney

Majority of workers report experiencing ‘Sunday Scaries’

Alyssa Foster

Leave a Comment