A collection of my favorite cookie recipes collected over 20 years of hosting our Annual Christmas Cookie Party. These are the recipes that have become perennial fixtures on the cookie table and the professed favorites of my family and my guests. Many of them have origins in my childhood in small town Ohio, where Christmas baking was seen as a requirement to usher in the season.
You can read about more of my food adventures on my blogs and in my podcasts at DouglasEWelch.com
COOKBOOK PREVIEW (15 recipes)
Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge This is about as simple as it gets when it comes to fudge. 4 ingredients but very, very tasty! Lots of peanute butter flavor.
Baker's Chocolate One Bowl Microwave Fudge Found on the inside of every Baker's Chocolate Semi-sweet box. I make this as part of my Christmas Cookies every year.
Green Gables Lemon Biscuits I can no longer locate the exact book where we found this recipe, but we have been making it for years. It is one of my wife's favorite cookies. I usually end up making a quadruple batch of these, as the recipe doesn't make very many cookies.
Christmas Cornflake Holly I have never been a big fan of rice cereal treats, but combine marshmallow with the lightness of cornflakes and I am in heaven. The original recipe was entitled Christmas Wreaths, but when you are making 80-90 dozen cookies for a party, time consuming tasks such as shaping the wreaths go out the window. That and the fact that you end up burning your fingers -- a lot -- so I simply spoon these out into cupcake liners, decorate with some cinnamon candies and call it Christmas Cornflake Holly.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Nutella Schmear I have been making these peanut butter cookies for years, but after a recent trip visiting family in Sicily I came up with this wonderful addition -- a Nutella icing that bakes right onto the cookie. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before, but now I will make a batch of each -- one with and one without the Nutella -- each time.
Strawberry Milk Chipsters A wonderful and nostalgic combination of Strawberry Nestle Quik and white chocolate chips. A strawberries and cream cookie that always starts me dreaming of my 1970's Ohio childhood.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
Oatmeal Cookies with Pumpkin Pie Spice Another traditional recipe from my Annual Christmas Cookie Party. A fairly standard recipe, but I spice it up a bit. It makes a nice chewy oatmeal cookie, great with a glass of milk.
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Cocoa Nibs A traditional classic kicked up a notch by including cocoa nibs for hint of dark chocolate flavor and a bit of crunch.
Cornmeal Wafers A lovely, crunchy icebox cookie. Mix up an double batch, put them in your freezer and have cookies ready in minutes whenever you want them. Just slice and bake.
Pecan Puffs Also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies. Favorite of my wife, so an extra batch or two is always required. A very traditional cookie during the holiday season. Similar types, with different spices, include almond crescents and Pfefferneuse.
Angel Bars I found this in the Joy of Cooking when I first started my Annual Cookie Party 20 years ago. The story in the cookbook reads that these are called "Angel Slices" and a reader relates "her family is sure these are the cakes that St. Peter gives little children at the Gates of Heaven, to get them over the first pangs of homesickness. All I know is my guests gobble these up quite quickly.
Old School M&M Cookies A very traditional M&M Cookie recipe. I have always loved these cookies, but when the company introduced the M&M Mini, all their recipes switched over to using them. The problem is… M&Ms are made with milk chocolate and M&M Minis are made with dark chocolate. I like eating the minis out of hand, but didn’t enjoy them nearly as much in the cookies, so I have reverted back to the old-school style.
Peanut Butter Blossoms or Kiss Cookies Our guests love these well-known cookies (one of my own favorites) and they are usually the second to run out on party day. They take a little more work than I usually like and are a bit hard to store, but they are popular enough to warrant keeping them on the yearly list.
As I mentioned before, the combination of peanut and chocolate is a big winner for me, so I would probably continue to make these, even if only for myself.
Peppermint Reindeer Feed Found among my Internet recipe travels. This became a new hit at my Annual Cookie Party with guests nibbling, nibbling, nibbling until it was quickly gone. Quite addictive (and easy, too) and probably a dangerous item to have around the house at any other time than the holidays. (LAUGH)
Italian PIzzelle I learned about pizzelle from my wife's Sicilian family. They were regular inclusions in the care packages her Aunt sent to her in college. I prefer them without the anise flavoring myself -- just dusted with some powdered sugar.
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