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10 Christmas cookie recipes from our archives

Happy holiday baking!
Christmas cookie illustration
Christmas cookie illustration [ Illustration by Lisa Merklin ]
Published Dec. 10, 2021

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you probably remember our annual Christmas cookie issues, in which we ran a collection of reader-submitted recipes each December. Our team back then baked and tasted every recipe, and we have dozens in our archives.

Ten years ago, we celebrated the 10th Annual Christmas Cookie Issue with a list of our favorites by that point. It felt appropriate a decade later to dip back into those archives and republish some of our top cookie recipes.

Happy baking!

Brickle

Brickle
Brickle [ Times (2002) ]

60 or more saltine crackers

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 (12-ounce) package chocolate chips

Chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover large jelly roll pan (about 13 by 15 inches) with foil. Coat lightly with nonstick spray. Place saltine crackers in single layer on foil.

In saucepan on stove, melt butter and brown sugar over low heat. Bring to full boil and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove and pour over crackers. Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Leave until melted. Spread out the chocolate and sprinkle with nuts.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Break into pieces.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Freezeworthy: no.

Makes at least 3 dozen pieces.

Originally published in 2002; submitted by Judith L. McVaugh, Beverly Hills, and Carol Latta Milner, Seminole

Santa’s Whiskers

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup finely chopped red and/or green candied cherries

¾ cup finely chopped pecans

¾ cup flaked coconut

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add milk and vanilla and beat well.

Add flour and beat until well mixed. Stir in cherries and pecans. Divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 7-inch-long log. Roll each log in ¼ cup of the coconut to coat. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Cut into ¼-inch-thick slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool cookies on wire rack.

Freezeworthy: yes, but cool completely first.

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Makes about 6 dozen.

Originally published in 2005; submitted by Kathryn Rem, Springfield, Ill.

Dipped Gingersnaps

Dipped gingersnaps.
Dipped gingersnaps. [ Times (2008) ]

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

2 eggs

½ cup molasses

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

Additional sugar for rolling

For dipping:

2 (12-ounce) packages white chocolate chips

¼ cup shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in molasses. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Shape into ¾-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cool.

For dipping: Melt chips and shortening in microwaveable bowl. Dip cookies halfway and place on waxed paper to harden.

Freezeworthy: yes, but let melted chocolate harden first.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Originally published in 2008; submitted by Janet Starr, St. Petersburg.

Peppermint Wands

Peppermint wands
Peppermint wands [ Times (2004) ]

2 cups all-purpose flour

⅛ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For coating:

4 ounces German sweet chocolate, melted

10 red and white peppermints (or candy canes), crushed, or finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a log, about 2 ½ inches long. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies 1 ½ inches apart.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until very pale golden at edges. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.

For coating: When cookies are cool, dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate. Return to wire rack. Sprinkle each dipped end with ¼ teaspoon crushed peppermints or finely chopped nuts. Cool on racks in refrigerator for 20 minutes to set. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Freezeworthy: yes, and they are even delicious frozen!

Makes about 7 dozen.

Originally published in 2004; submitted by Marion Haupt, Zephyrhills

Chocolate Pistachio Fingers

¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

⅓ cup sugar

3 ounces (about ⅓ cup) almond paste

1 egg yolk

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup finely chopped natural pistachios

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Add almond paste and egg yolk; beat until light. Blend in flour to make a smooth dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, cover and refrigerate until firm.) Turn out onto lightly floured board. Pull off 1- to 2-teaspoon pieces and roll into a finger shape. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Melt chips in small bowl over hot water. Stir until smooth. Dip both ends of cookies about ½ inch into melted chocolate, then dip the chocolate ends into pistachios. Place on waxed paper and let stand until chocolate is set.

Freezeworthy: yes, but cool completely first.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Originally published in 2010; submitted by Gail Sloan, Tampa

Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars

Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars
Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars [ Times (2003) ]

¼ cup pine nuts

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet and toast in oven, stirring once or twice to prevent burning, until they are a shade darker, about 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to prevent further browning and set aside.

In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat and stir in sugar, rosemary, salt and pine nuts. Combine until sugar is dissolved. Stir in flour to make a stiff dough.

Spread the dough evenly into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake about 20 minutes until the dough is golden around the edges and firm in the center. Cool pan on a rack for a few minutes, then cut dough into bars or squares. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing.

Freezeworthy: yes, but cool completely first.

Makes 16 squares or 18 bars.

Originally published in 2003; from Short & Sweet: Sophisticated Desserts in No Time at All by Melanie Barnard (Houghton Mifflin, 1999)

Almond Fudge Cups

For the pastry:

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

⅓ cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon almond- or fruit-flavored liqueur such as Cointreau, or water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

¾ cup blanched almonds

2 eggs

½ cup sugar

Dash salt

To prepare pastry: Lightly grease 3 dozen miniature (1 ¾-inch) muffin pan cups or small tart shells. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Add flour, liqueur and vanilla extract; stir to make moist crumbs. Divide crumbs evenly among muffin cups; press to cover bottoms and sides of cups completely. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare filling: Place chocolate chips and almonds in food processor or blender. Process until finely ground. Beat eggs in medium bowl until thick; stir in sugar and salt. Blend in chocolate mixture. Spoon filling into unbaked pastry shells. Bake 20 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pans on wire racks. Store in airtight containers.

Freezeworthy: yes, but cool completely first.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Originally published in 2012; submitted by Becky Lamson, Riverview

Lace Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup Quick Quaker Oats

1 cup sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, well beaten

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together. Line cookie sheet with parchment. Drop dough by the teaspoonful onto paper, about 2 inches apart. The dough will spread quite a bit as it bakes.

Bake for about 7 minutes or until outer edges of cookies are brown. Cool completely and peel from wax paper.

Freezeworthy: yes, but you might want to separate each completely cooled cookie with wax paper. They are very fine and could break if you have to peel them apart.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on size.

Originally published in 2014; submitted by Cleo Ann Druzbick, Spring Hill

White Chocolate-Orange Dream Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

⅔ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon grated orange rind

2 teaspoons orange extract

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups white chocolate morsels

Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, orange rind and orange extract, beating until blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to first mixture, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in white chocolate morsels. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake cookies in preheated 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Freezeworthy: yes, but cool completely first.

Makes 3 ½ dozen.

Originally published in 2009; submitted by Gayle Hackbarth, Summerfield

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup peanut butter

1 egg

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup raspberry jam

Glaze:

2 tablespoons margarine

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder, and mix well. Reserve 1 cup dough. Press remaining dough into ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread with jam, then crumble reserved dough and sprinkle over jam. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Cool while preparing glaze.

For the glaze: Heat margarine over low heat. Mix in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, till smooth. Drizzle glaze over top and cut into 2- by 1 ½-inch bars.

Freezeworthy: no.

Makes about 35 bars.

Originally published in 2008; submitted by Dolores A. Haase, Clearwater

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