CHRISTMAS WOULDN'T BE the same without plenty of cookies, according to our readers.
We recently asked our readers to send us their favorite Christmas cookie recipes and the reasons these cookies are special. Many of our readers wrote to say they are making the same holiday cookies as their mothers and grandmothers made.
This is our version of the Christmas cookie exchange where a group of friends gather together. Each person brings a batch of cookies and after some sampling each person takes home a few of each kind of cookies.
Use these recipes to supplement your regular holiday baking or to increase the number of Christmas cookie recipes you usually make.
Diane Crosby of Reisterstown says she remembers making these Holiday Nugget cookies with her mother. "Christmas isn't Christmas without them," she writes.
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup coconut
Cream butter, add sugar. Stir in egg. Add lemon rind. Add flour and salt to cream mixture. Stir in raisins, walnuts, cherries and coconut. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet by tablespoonsfuls.
Bake at 325 degrees until brown. Makes about three dozen.
These tasty butterscotch cookies are from Mary Ruzicka Crook of Timonium. She said the recipe has been passed down from her grandmother. Mary likes the cookies because the butterscotch flavor is subtle and "not at all artificial." We used a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut the cookies.
1 cup margarine or butter or combination, softened
2 tablespoons Crisco
2 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt, optional
Mix all ingredients together, except pecans, in order of recipe. Chill dough overnight. Roll out as thin as possible and cut with cookie cutters. Sprinkle a few chopped pecans on top. Bake at 400 degrees for eight to ten minutes.
These delicious cookies are a chocoholic's dream, writes Connee Sheckler of Baltimore. "I made these cookies for my sister-in-law Sandi when she visited us over the holidays. I have been passing it on to other chocolate lovers ever since," she writes.
Black and White Chunky Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 -inch chunks
6 ounces white chocolate, cut into 1/4 -inch chunks
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. In small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, using electric mixer at low speed, beat butter for 45 seconds until creamy. Gradually add sugars; beat at medium speed one to two minutes until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Using spoon, stir in flour mixture. Add chocolate chunks and pecans; stir until well combined. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet, leaving one-inch between cookies. Bake ten to 15 minute until cookies are puffed and lightly browned around the edges. Cool cookie on pans for three to five minutes before removing. Make 2 1/2 dozen.
These Snowball Surprises are from Jean Lyssenko of Stewartstown, Pa. "You wouldn't mind being struck by these snowballs because each contains a chocolate kiss."
1/2 pound butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans
15 ounces chocolate kisses
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and nuts. Blend well. Chill dough.
Remove foil from kisses. Shape dough around kisses using one tablespoon for each. Roll to form ball, covering kiss completely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until set but not brown. While warm sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in covered container. These are better the next day.
Annemarie C. Mayer of Towson said this recipe has been in her family for generations. She said she brought this recipe with her when she came to this country from Germany in 1948. The dough is cut with three different sizes of round cutters. "I use a liqueur glass, a cocktail glass and a wineglass to get the terrace effect," she writes. These cookies store well and can be made two to three weeks before Christmas at which time they taste just right, she says.
Terrace Cookies 4 cups sifted flour
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream or half and half
1 beaten egg white
Currant jelly or peach preserves