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5 Festive Cookie Recipes for the Holiday Season

5 Festive Cookie Recipes for the Holiday Season
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With the holidays rapidly approaching and being that it’s National Cookie Day (yes, they made a day for our favorite treat), Chic Chat decided to round up some of our favorite holiday cookies for you to bake up this season. Even if you’re looking to stay fit over the next month, it can’t hurt to show up at your friend or family holiday party with a bowl of delicious homemade cookies.

cookie cutouts

Decorated Holiday Cutout Cookies

It’s rare to go through a holiday season without coming across the cutout cookies. If you do see them, you might want to grab them quickly before they run out. These rich, buttery cookies are a staple at holiday parties.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Tinted frostings, colored sugars, edible glitter and nonpareils

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, add cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in thickness. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutters of your choice. Using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.
Decorate cookies with frosting and colored sugars. Yield: 6-7 dozen (2-1/2-inch cookies).
Recipe originally published as Decorated Christmas Cutout Cookies in Taste of Home Christmas Cookies & Candies 2007, p27
peppermint cady

Peppermint Candy Cookies

If candy canes are your thing, then you’ll want to consider these buttery peppermint treats that are sure to melt in your mouth.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cups butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Green and red paste or gel food coloring

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, add cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour, salt and extract and mix well. Divide dough into four portions. Tint one portion green and one red; leave remaining portions plain.
Divide each portion into thirds; shape each into a 6-in. log. Flatten into triangular logs, bending the top of one point slightly (to give finished cookies a pinwheel effect). Assemble one large roll by alternating three green and three plain logs. Wrap in plastic. Repeat with red and remaining plain dough. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
Preheat oven to 375°. Unwrap dough and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on pans 1 minute. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Cut 6-in.-square pieces of cellophane or plastic wrap to wrap each cookie; twist ends securely or tie with a ribbon. Yield: about 4 dozen.
Originally published as Peppermint Candy Cookies in Country Woman November/December 2001, p43
snowflake cookies
Gingerbread Snowflakes
While it’s snowing outside, why not curl up by the fireplace with these crunchy gingerbread snowflake treats.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • FROSTING:
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and water. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with 2-1/2-in. cookie cutters dipped in flour. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
In a small bowl, combine frosting ingredients; beat until smooth. Transfer to a plastic bag. Cut a small hole in a corner of the bag; pipe frosting onto cookies. Yield: about 5 dozen.
Originally published as Gingerbread Snowflakes in Taste of Home December/January 2002, p37
anise cookies
Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies
Some of you may remember these from grandmom, but for those who weren’t privy to the anise sugar cookies over the holidays, why not start your own tradition by whipping up a batch from the recipe below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon anise extract
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ICING:
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk
  • Colored sprinkles, optional

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
For icing, in a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla, and enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost cookies; place on waxed paper. Decorate with sprinkles if desired; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 7 dozen.
Originally published as Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2010, p64
red velvet spritz cookies
Red Velvet Spritz Cookies
Likely not as traditional as some of the other holiday cookies, these cookies are you to make you the standout of the party — or at least at a cookie party.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons red paste food coloring
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Nonpareils or sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, food coloring and, if desired, extract. In another bowl, whisk flour and cocoa; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
Using a cookie press fitted with a disk of your choice, press dough 1 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. In a small bowl, mix egg white and water; brush over cookies. Decorate as desired with nonpareils or sprinkles. Bake until set, 10-12 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Freeze option: Transfer dough to a resealable plastic freezer bag; freeze. To use, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight or until soft enough to press. Prepare and bake cookies as directed.Yield: about 8-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Red Velvet Spritz Cookies in Cookies & Candies Bookazine 2015, p4
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