Cookies and the holidays go hand in hand. Everyone awaits their favorites, everyone expects them and when they're made at home with the best ingredients possible and a lot of love, everyone wants to eat them right up. The weeks leading up to Christmas at my home begin with a list of cookies I want to bake and an inventory of what I have and don't have in my pantry. A few batches are always made early in December & handed out to the people who live nearby. I then put together my treat boxes that go out to certain family members who aren't nearby and send them on their way ahead of time. The last of the baking is done the weekend before I take my trip to visit the extended family on the west coast. These cookies either get mailed out or are carried by me on the airplane (never check them in with your baggage or they will arrive in pieces--trust me!). After I've baked hundreds of cookies (no exaggeration) and the kitchen has calmed down, I begin to think about next year's baking projects.
Christmas treats getting ready for shipping.
With Christmas upon us I thought I would make a list of my top 10 favorite cookies that I've baked and shown here on the blog. Take a few moments this weekend to bake some goodies for your loved ones, because I just know they're all going to be raving about what you make for them. I don't know about you, but I actually find it such a relaxing task to mix up cookie doughs and bake them by the dozens because it is so simple. The rewards of cookie baking are sweet, to say the least, and if you share the fruits of your labor it's an even better feeling! Get the kids to help you mix ingredients. I've done this with my nephews & niece in the past and they seem to like the way these edibles get made. It's a good learning experience.
These cookies are loved by all. If you must know, using mini chocolate chips makes them look even more enticing. I know some people who prefer white chocolate chips or some who only like bittersweet. Create a custom mix for those picky ones. The dough is made in no time!
The spiciness of these cookies is irresistible. Christmas is not the same without gingerbread or gingersnap cookies. Everyone likes their deep flavor. I suggest doubling the recipe so that you have plenty on hand for those unexpected pop ins at home. You never know!
A bit like linzer cookies, these raspberry sandwich cookies do not contain any nuts in the dough. They still have that familiar flavor and if you want to make them very festive, make a shapely cutout on the tops of the cookies before they bake. Sift confectioner's sugar over the cut out tops before sandwiching and eat them the day they're assembled. So tasty.
I made these to ship out to family members because they are really good! I can't get enough of them. I ran out of dried cherries at some point during the week and used cranberries instead. They're just as delicious and no one will every know!
I'll be making these for my little niece over the weekend. She expects them and I will not disappoint! Martha's recipe makes such a buttery dough that is so tender and addictive. If you have a few oranges add the zest of one to make them even better. Don't forget to roll them in fine sanding sugar to make the cookies sparkle! It's such a special cookie.
Sugar cookies are a must during the holidays. A soft, puffy cookie that is simple to make is just the thing to bake in the afternoon with the little ones. I add sanding sugar to the tops, but they do just as well without it.
Look at what my friend Joy from Idaho made! She baked a batch and packaged them up into a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon. On it she included a beautiful tag and named them "David's Sugar Dreams!" How nice is this? I'm glad you liked them Joy!
For some reason mom has always included brownies to the cookie display during our Christmas gatherings. She makes them a bit more decadent and ices them with a rich fudge frosting. To each square she places a plump walnut or pecan. Go right ahead and do this if you want, but my brownie recipe is already rich. It's up to you!
This cookie is just waiting to be iced with royal icing. I developed this not-too-sweet recipe so that it could stand on its own, but it is a perfect canvas for your icing projects. The cookies do not spread out and they do not puff up in spots. I love this roll out cookie dough.
Mom's Cinnamon Orange Cookies are the stuff of legend. They are ALWAYS included for Christmas and many is the time that mom and I will bake them even when everyone else is asleep. The aroma that emanates from the oven is so wonderful and very much of the season. The cookies come with a warning though: watch out! You will not be able to eat only one.
I became an instant aficionado of this Hungarian butter cookie recipe when it was given to me by my baking pal, Darlene. If you roll them out and cut them into whatever shapes you want, all they really need is a sprinkling of sanding sugar to make them wonderful. Use an assortment of colors and stack them up for everyone to eat. If you have some cake stands pile them high. They look very nice.
I'll let you in on a little secret about this butter cookie dough. Little Snowball Cookies can be made if you do the following to the dough. Using a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop out even-sized pieces and roll them between your palms to form balls. Space the dough with about 1" in between each on prepared baking sheets and bake them at 350° F (177°C) for 15 to 17 minutes (just until the edges begin to take on some color). Let them cool completely. Roll in sifted confectioner's sugar once cooled. They last for at least a week. Yummers. This makes approximately 11 dozen Snowballs!
I hope all of you do some form of baking in the coming days. Have fun doing so!