Five Christmas cookie recipes to bake over break

Pictured above is a display of Christmas cookies. Photo by A.Daumit/Setonian. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year; snow is falling, children are starting to write their letters to Santa and Christmas music is playing softly. Santa and the elves are finishing last minute touches on the toys and getting ready to load their sleigh. While presents are getting wrapped, and Christmas music is playing in the background, it is the perfect time to get ahead on holiday baking! It is a tradition in my family to bake cookies and holiday treats every year, so here are just a few of my family recipes!

Soft Ginger Root Cookies

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ cup molasses

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon cloves and salt. Set this mixture aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar. Beat in the egg and stir in the water, molasses and ginger root. Then slowly blend in dry ingredients. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then shape the dough into walnut sized balls and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 9 minutes and place on rack to cool.

Crisp Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter or oleo
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon salt

Cream the butter with sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. You may have to use your hands to mix the dough well. Chill the dough, and add more flour as needed. Roll out on floured board until ⅛ inches thin. You can make this treat more festive by cutting into various shapes such as Christmas trees or reindeer. Decorate them with colored sugar before baking, and bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes, or until light brown.

Lemon Sours

1 cup flour
⅓ cup butter or oleo
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup coconut
½ cup chopped nuts
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Confectioners’ sugar

Mix flour and butter. Press mixture in the bottom of 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Beat eggs and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Pour over first mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until set. Make thin icing of lemon juice and powdered sugar. Drizzle over all and cut in squares when cool.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

1 ¼ cups butter, softened
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
⅓ cup baking cocoa
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chocolate sprinkles

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Shape into 1 inch balls; dip tops in chocolate sprinkles. Place sprinkled side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until set. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Frosted Cranberry Drop Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons hot water

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add milk, egg and orange juice; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, heat the butter in a saucepan over low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes, transfer to a small bowl. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Frost the cooled cookies.

Published By: Stephen Dumnich

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