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My Best Ever Christmas Cookie Recipes

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Christmas is my favorite holiday. I have collected traditions, decorations, and recipes to make it fun and festive. I want to share the joy.

Enjoy my Christmas cookie collection!

Enjoy my Christmas cookie collection!

My Family's Favorite Christmas Cookies

One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking special cookies- cookies that I don't make any other time of the year. Another tradition is eating them, but I should be a little less enthusiastic in my celebration of that beloved activity. In no way does that put a damper on baking, since there are always plenty of happy recipients who can step in for me.

Good thing, because these family favorite cookies must be made with real butter, delicious flavors and additions such as jam or cream cheese, and warm inviting spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon. A great Christmas cookie should not skimp on ingredients for the sake of calories. Let the New Year take care of those considerations!

I hope you make some of these recipes your own best and beloved baked traditions.

Cutouts Are Favorites

Bake a variety of cookies to create a festive treat for friends and family.

Bake a variety of cookies to create a festive treat for friends and family.

The Best Christmas Cookies

My absolute favorite cookie recipes for Christmas should be made with real butter, unless specified otherwise.

Try out the cardamon spice if you are not yet familiar with it. It is warm and lends a delicious flavor to baked goods and even a dash in your coffee will surprise you with its pleasant aroma. Scandinavian cooks are famous for their use of this wonderful spice, and though expensive in the grocery store, if you have an Indian grocery nearby, you may find it more economically priced there.

Bar Cookies

Three of my favorite Christmas chocolate cookies are the easy bar type. Baked in one pan, then cut into bars. Most will pack and ship well; the "Chocolate Cherry Squares" are an exception- those need to be refrigerated.

Molded Cookies

Special shapes, often rolled in confectioners sugar or nuts, these are fun and easy to bake. The "Kris Kringles" are an example of those.

I always try to bake a "gingerbread" type of cookie and my favorite is the Moravian Spice, which is a hard cookie, wonderful as a keeper and for dunking in a warm drink. They deserved their own featured recipe article,"The Moravian Spice Cookie".

Hungarian Cookies

Kifli are Hungarian favorites and I have this cookie listed on my Famous Hungarian Food lens. There are so many recipes, each truly delicious, but the one for this collection of recipes is my easiest one. "Hungarian Apricot Foldovers" have just a few ingredients, and are easier than pie!

Moravian spice cookies

Moravian spice cookies

Delicate, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Goodies

Auntie Marys

Auntie Marys

Auntie Mary's with Cream Cheese Dough, Rich Chocolate Filling

This is -hands down- my children's favorite cookie. It is very rich and due to cream cheese dough is not a long keeper, but it is meltingly delicious. Try our family favorite, and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Finish with:

  • Confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix on medium speed, butter, cream cheese, and sugars until well creamed and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide dough into quarters and wrap. Chill overnight or minimum of 2 hours.
  2. Make filling: in saucepan cook sweetened condensed milk with chocolate until melted together. Remove from heat, stir in nuts and cool.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F and grease cookie sheets. On floured surface, roll each quarter of dough to 10'' by 6'' rectangle. Spread 1/4 amount of filling down the center of rectangle. Fold in thirds over the filling and place seam side down on cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes until light brown. Cool on racks. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar once completely cool, and cut into slices.

Try Them and Vote Your Approval

Softened

Recipes that call for softened butter or cream cheese simply mean that the stick is at the temperature of a warm kitchen, it does not mean to melt it, or liquefy.

loving-christmas-cookies

Kris Kringles, Cookies with Cardamon

A buttery rich cookie with the special fragrance of cardamon spice. Making tiny pretzel shapes makes this cookie different and appealing.

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/2 cup soft butter, or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, hard-cooked and sieved
  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 Tblsp. lemon peel, grated
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
  • 2 Tblsp. sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
  2. In medium bowl, with wooden spoon: beat butter, sugar, egg yolks, cardamom, and lemon peel til well blended.
  3. Stir in flour;mix with hands to blend.
  4. On lightly floured surface roll out 1 of two parts of dough to a 7x6 inch rectangle.
  5. Cut each rectangle in half, and then cut crosswise into 12 strips (you will have 48 strips in all).
  6. With palms of hands, roll each strip 4 inches long. Form into a ring or pretzel shape, pinch to seal.
  7. Place on cookie sheets and brush with egg white beaten with 1 TBSP water.
  8. Make topping: Combine almonds with sugar. Sprinkle over tops of cookies .
  9. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes til golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool

Make Bunches of Cookies

loving-christmas-cookies

Chocolate Walnut Sensations

Batter:

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablsp. flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels(divided)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In small bowl mix flour,baking soda and salt; set aside
  3. In large mixer bowl,beat brown sugar,butter, and vanilla til creamy
  4. Beat in egg;gradually add flour mixture;
  5. Stir in the Chocolate morsels and the walnuts
  6. Spread into greased 9 inch baking pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining cup of morsels, let soften and spread evenly over top. Garnish with some coarsely chopped walnuts.
  8. Cool; chill briefly in refrigerator and cut into 2 x 1 1/2 inch bars.

Rich and Delectable Bar Cookies

Linzer Squares are bar cookies with panache.

Linzer Squares are bar cookies with panache.

Linzer Squares

Rich and very delicate, my dad's favorite!

This cookie is so worth it!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups +2 Tblspn. flour, unsifted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder, double acting
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz.) ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, (or margarine)
  • 1 Tblsp. lemon peel, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten

filling:

  • 3/4 cup thick raspberry jam

to finish:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp.water

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 9 in. square pan.
  2. In large mixer bowl add 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nuts, and butter. Mix til well-combined. Add lemon peel and egg, stir til ingredients are moistened.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup dough. Pat remaining dough into pan and set aside.
  4. To reserve dough add 2 Tblsp. flour. Roll between two sheets of waxed paper into 9 in. square. Freeze for 5 minutes to firm.
  5. Spread jam over dough in pan leaving a 1/4 in. border.
  6. Take reserve dough, peel paper off and cut into 18 strips 1/2 in. wide. Make lattice top with 9 strips parallel and 9 crosswise over the top.
  7. Stir egg yolk and water together in small bowl; brush strips. Bake 30 minutes until top is golden brown.
  8. Cool completely, cut into 36 little squares. About 95 calories each.

Hungarian Cream Cheese Foldovers

These Hungarian Pastries (Kifli) are tender cream cheese dough with delicious filling.

This was given to me by a friend. Fast, easy, rich, delicious. She used apricot filling, which is a perfect pairing with the cream cheese dough, but any of your favorite preserves or a nut fillings would be delicious.

Surprise Fillings in Tender Cooky Envelopes

loving-christmas-cookies

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces block of cream cheese
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Apricot preserves

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese together with large spoon.
  2. Add flour, mix and roll out thin. Cut into rectangles or use circle cookie cutter
  3. Fill rounds with spoonful of jam. Pinch closed and place on ungreased cookie sheet
  4. Bake at 350° F. til golden (10 min.?) Don't overbake, adjust time to your oven.
  5. Cool.Turn over in confectioners sugar to coat.
magic cookie bars

magic cookie bars

OK- this one gets baked anytime. It tastes like a candy bar, but better.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk, (14 oz.)
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate morsels, (6 oz.)
  • 3 1/2 oz.(1 can) flaked coconut
  • 1 cup nuts (I like walnuts), chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In 13x9 in. baking pan, melt butter
  2. Sprinkle crumbs over butter; pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs.
  3. Top evenly with layer of coconut, then chocolate morsels, then nuts; press down gently.
  4. Bake 25 to 30 minutes til lightly browned. Cool thoroughly before cutting into bars.
  5. These store well if you can keep them long enough!
  • Ilona's Favorite Chocolate Desserts
    Everyone seems to love chocolate desserts , including me. That is why I put together m family's favorites: the best dessert recipes , tested through the years and found to be delicious.

Chocolate Cherry Squares - with the taste of chocolate cheesecake

This came from an old Hershey cocoa ad, years ago. It won't keep long without refrigeration, but it is too yummy not to have on hand.


loving-christmas-cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 8 oz. cream cheese-softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. 1/2 cup chopped candied red cherries
  • candied red cherry halves for each square

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter (cut into chunks) in large mixer bowl.
  2. Blend on low speed to form fine crumb, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in nuts.
  3. Reserve 3/4 cup of crumb mixture for topping; press remaining crumbs into ungreased 9 inch square pan.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes @ 350° F until lightly browned.
  5. Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, milk, egg, and vanilla in small mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Fold in chopped cherries.
  6. Spread mixture over warm crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top; garnish with cherry halves evenly over the surface.
  7. Return to oven and continue to bake for 25 minutes @ 350° F until lightly browned and filling is set.
  8. Cool. Cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.

Mrs. Janssen's Pecan Drops

Rich, Easy, Delicious

One of the easiest Christmas cookies I bake- the whole pecans on top make them special. A drop cookie that is really something special, especially for those who love pecans.

This recipe can be doubled.

loving-christmas-cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • pecan halves one per cookie

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Stir in flour and chopped pecans.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla; beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Drop by heaping 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet- about 1 inch apart.
  4. Press pecan half into each cookie.
  5. Bake in preheated 300° F oven until rich golden brown, about 23-25 minutes. Remove at once to wire rack. Cool.
Cookbooks yield great cookie recipes

Cookbooks yield great cookie recipes

  • Starring Your Favorite Spice Cookies
    The smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, allspice, mace and molasses fills the air when you bake these well loved cookies. The crunch, the chewiness, or melting softness when dunked in your coffee, it tastes like Christmas and brings memories to...

Finding Good Recipes

Old-fashioned, Tested Recipes

Once I had baked for a few years, it became apparent from looking at a recipe whether it was a winner or not. Before that I tried many and collected from old recipe books and magazines. I still buy cookie recipe magazines every year.A few good ones were handed to me from friends, including both my Kifli recipes.

I think a wonderful gift for a new bride or for someone who likes to bake would be a cookie collection written out in a pretty recipe book. I think I should do that for my children this coming Christmas!

Jam Crescents

Another cream cheese dough- this time with jam filling

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 cup preserves, (your choice of fruit) for filling

Instructions

  1. Mix flour with sugar and salt. Cut in the cream cheese and butter to cornmeal-like crumbs.
  2. Stir in sour cream with fork until dough holds together, form into ball.
  3. Wrap and chill for an hour.
  4. Heat oven to 325° F and grease 2 cookie sheets. Work 1/4 dough at a time.
  5. Roll dough into 10'' square on floured surface, then cut into medium size circles. Place 1 teaspoon filling in center of each circle.
  6. Moisten fold, seal, prick top. Bake for 18-20 minutes until light brown
loving-christmas-cookies

Everyone Recommends This Mixer - The KitchenAid

For good reason, everyone has this mixer on their list! If you don't' have one yet, I think you should add a Kitchen Aid Mixer to your list of essentials. Add it to your wish lists and give hints for holidays and birthdays until you get one!

This heavy duty mixer will make you very happy, if you are a person who bakes and cooks anything that needs mixing. I can't hype it enough.

If you have dreams of baking or cooking on a large scale, this mixer is solid, dependable, and comes in professional sizes. It is easy to keep clean, and the design works and looks good. There is a reason it is the top of the line in mixers.

I can vouch for all the good things people say about it. One of my sons bought one for me for Christmas, a number of years ago. It has been terrific to work with and I especially like the way it whips cream and stirs dough for my sweet rolls.

I also use the meat grinder attachment to make fresh cranberry relish. I get a lot of use from this one machine during the holidays.

A Kitchen Workhorse

© 2011 Ilona E

Christmas or any time - write your greetings here

Sarah Spradlin from Little Rock, Arkansas on October 23, 2017:

I mentioned your recipe in my article!

Here is the link!

https://holidappy.com/holidays/How-To-Really-Get-I...

Sarah Spradlin from Little Rock, Arkansas on October 19, 2017:

If you don't mind, I would like to add your link to an article about Christmas that I'm working on. I will of course give you credit. : ) I'll take it down if it's a problem.

Frischy from Kentucky, USA on December 20, 2011:

The cookies look delicious. I love your vintage cookbooks. And, your intro pic is just delightful! Nicely done lens!

squid-pinkchic18 on December 14, 2011:

Great lens! You gave me lots of great Christmas cookie ideas. Blessed by a squid angel :)

lucybrz1 on October 05, 2011:

I eat too much sugar. Better I don't copy paste your recipes. but they look delicious.

Ilona E (author) from Ohio on June 27, 2011:

@Psycho-Gamer: The lens is pretty new and people tend to want to bake cookies during the colder months maybe. I'm glad you are trying the recipes, because they are really good ones- a bit fancy sometimes, but worth the time to make. Freeze them and you don't have to eat all at once;)

MasterPsycho from Earth on June 20, 2011:

i am really surprised how is it possible people not to show some love for such an excellent lens....don't they like cookies ?.....u r killing me girl....every time i visit your food lenses i write down the recipes ...buy the ingredients and make the resipes.....i ll get fat if i do not be careful

brilliant lens...

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