Ask Jen about her favorite Christmas Cookie Baking adventures

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Ask Jen Christmas lights

“Hey Jen, I just love reading your column every week, and wanted to know what your favorite Christmas Cookie recipe is, since you love cookies so much.”

— Shirley S. of Navarre, Ohio


Hello, and thanks for writing, Shirley!

I am so happy that you like the column! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (*wink*).

I certainly do love cookies; that’s a fact. I kind of consider myself a cookie connoisseur. I have been thinking about how to answer your question for several days now. I honestly don’t think I have just one favorite. Rather (since you know how much I love to count things down), let me give you my top three.

3. Old School Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodle cookiesThese are just one of those ‘easy to make and teach the kids how to make cookies’ recipes. Oh, and I could eat them by the dozen.  

Snickerdoodles

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2-3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix the 1-1/2 cups of sugar, butter, shortening and eggs. Stir in the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Shape dough into balls and roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove cookies to cool on wire racks.

2. Chocolate Chunk Cookies

chocolate chip cookies and milkWith an overload of chocolate chips, chocolate chunks AND red and green colored candy-coated chocolate, these babies should come with a gift certificate to visit the dentist. They’re only to be eaten warm with a ginormous glass of milk. Trust me.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2-1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened (NOT margarine)
1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (NOT imitation)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 cups chocolate chunks
1-1/2 cups chocolate chips OR colored candy coated chocolate pieces, or a combination of the two

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. In another medium sized bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars, and beat in the vanilla and eggs until creamy. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, then add your chocolate pieces by hand. Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Preheat oven to 375°. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; this step is very important. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into oblong balls and place on parchment paper standing on the tall end, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes, or until edges are barely golden. They will look underbaked! Cool on the baking sheets for 8-10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

And finally, my all-time favorite Christmas Cookies are…

1. Russian Tea Cakes

Russian tea cakesThese make the list because they’re obviously delicious, but mainly because I make these every year with my mom — the best mom in the world. And we may or may not eat half of them by the time we’re done. Ah-hem…

Russian Tea Cakes

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla (NOT imitation)
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Red and green sugar crystals, optional

Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup powdered sugar, the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Next, beat in flour, nuts and salt until dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 1 inch apart. Bake 12-15 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Place 3/4 cup powdered sugar in small bowl. Roll cookies in powdered sugar. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar again – this time, you can add the colored sugar crystals for variety.

Well Shirley, I hope I’ve answered your question to your liking! Have a Merry Christmas!

Go make something awesome,
Jen

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