Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Cookies’

Introducing: The Twelve Cookies of Christmas

Friday, December 18th, 2009
I'm getting ready to fill my cookie tin!

I'm getting ready to fill my cookie tin!

 
Welcome to a new monthly feature of In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens.
 
Nothing says “Christmas” like a plate of cookies, preferably accompanied by a glass of crisp cold milk or a mug of steaming hot cocoa.
 
After all, we wouldn’t give Santa anything less than our best.
 
A few days ago I came up with the idea of doing a series called “The Twelve Cookies of Christmas.”
 
Unfortunately, I don’t have the energy or the waistline necessary to make (and perhaps consume) twelve different kinds of cookies between now and December 25, 2009.
 
So I’m aiming for Christmas 2010.
 
Once a month from now until next December I plan to post a Christmas cookie recipe. When December rolls along the twelve cookies will all be in place. (You’ll have to supply the milk and cocoa yourselves.)
 
I hope readers and friends will submit their favorite cookies as the months roll by.
 
My “Partridge in a Pear Tree” cookie comes from Marcia Powell of Norwalk, Connecticut.
 
Marcia’s cranberry lemon cookies are unusual because their base is a cake mix. She writes that she and her grandchildren Allison and Cooper adapted the recipe from one in The Cake Mix Bible.
 
The cookies’ yellow-and-red color is striking. Their flavor is sophisticated enough for adults but sweet enough for kids. My nephew Michael and his friend Carson loved them.
 
I have a feeling I’m going to try them with orange cake mix and peel next………. Yum!
 
 
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Marcia Powell’s Cranberry Lemon Cookies
 
Ingredients:
 
1 package lemon cake mix (According to Marcia, The Cake Mix Bible calls for for Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Cake Mix. She has also used a Shop Rite mix)
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter, melted (Marcia uses vegetable oil, but I used butter for flavor)
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1-1/2 cups (half of a 12-ounce bag) cranberries
 
Instructions:
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with silicone or parchment. (Marcia actually uses an ungreased cookie sheet, but my cookie sheets are old, and I tend to be paranoid about sticking.)
 
In a large bowl combine the cake mix and melted butter. Stir in the eggs, followed by the lemon peel and the cranberries.
 
Drop the cookies by rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets. You may also make them larger—up to a tablespoon. Mine were about 2 teaspoons.
 
Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies turn light golden brown.
 
Cool the cookies for 1 minute on their baking sheets; then remove them to wire racks to cool completely.
 
Makes 20 to 48 cookies, depending on how large yours are.
 
 
Carson was happy to help test the cookies.

Carson was happy to help test the cookies.

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Illumination Cookies

Friday, December 19th, 2008

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I invented these cookies for my town’s recent Illumination Party. Just be sure to use homemade or high-quality eggnog when you make them!
 
Ingredients:
 
for the cookies:
 
3/4 cup sweet butter (1-1/2 sticks) at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar plus sugar as needed for rolling
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup eggnog
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
 
for the icing:
 
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter at room temperature
1/4 cup eggnog
confectioner’s sugar as needed (probably about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla
holiday sprinkles if desired
 
Instructions:
 
Start with the cookies. Cream together the butter, 3/4 cup sugar, and vanilla. Add the egg and eggnog, and beat until light and fluffy. Blend the dry ingredients and stir them into the creamed mixture. Wrap the dough in wax paper, and chill it for at least an hour.
 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll small balls of the chilled dough in sugar, and place them on greased (or parchment-covered) cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms brown lightly. Let them cool for a minute or two on the sheets; then remove them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
 
Next, make the icing. Beat together the butter and eggnog. Beat in confectioner’s sugar until you have a smooth but not wet icing. Add the vanilla, and spread the icing on the cookies. If you like, throw on some sprinkles for color.
 
Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.
 

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