Merry Christmas Hooligans!
While the holiday season can often be stressful for some, especially when the shopping becomes rather hectic, I have always been able to look past the bad and savor the good. Christmas time has always been a season of pure joy for me, from childhood through today. The sights of twinkling lights in a cozy living room, the sounds of classic Christmas carols, and the smells of delicious feasts and cookies.
Speaking of cookies, I thought I'd share with you all two of my many favorite Christmas cookie recipes that have been made by my family every year since I was a wee-little hooligan:
Christmas Butter Cookies – A classic comfort food cookie, and one I'd often consider a favorite. This recipe has been in my family since at least the 1950's. We've tweaked and modified it since then and I still love making and eating these to this day.
2 ¼ cups sifted Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Butter (2 sticks) 1 cup Sugar
2 eggs (unbeaten)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Almond Extract
1-2 egg whites
Colored sugar (I use red/green)
1 – Sift flour and baking powder, set aside.
2 – Cream butter, add sugar, and mix well.
3 – Add eggs, vanilla/almond extracts and blend.
4 – Add flour/baking powder, mix well. Chill for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400
5 – Roll out thin on a very well floured surface.
6 – Dip cookie cutters in a mixture of flour and confectioners Sugar to prevent sticking. Cut and re-roll as needed.
7 – Get egg whites in bowl, use brush to coat the cookies on one side.
8 – Have fun decorating the cookies with the colored sugar.
9 – Carefully put on parchment-lined baking sheet.
10 – Cook 6-8 minutes. Place on wire rack when done.
11 – Try not to eat all of the cookies in one sitting. (It's pretty hard not to!)
Candy Cane Cookies – A literal twist on your typical Christmas cookie. These festive treats are helped out by real peppermint extract, which subtlety gives the cookies a very unique and irresistible taste and aroma.
2/3 cup Butter (room temperature!)
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Peppermint Extract
3 Cups Flour 1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp each Red and Green food coloring 1 – Beat butter and sugar in mixer on medium speed until creamy.
2 – Add eggs, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, blend well, using spatula if needed to refold and separate from sides of mixing bowl.
3 – Add flour and baking powder, blend well.
4 – Take dough out, divide in half.
5 – Put half of dough back in mixing bowl, add red food coloring and blend until dough is red. Put dough in fridge for at least 2 hours.
6 – Rinse out mixing bowl and repeat step 5 with other half of dough but with the green food coloring instead.
Preheat oven to 375
7 – Divide both the red and green dough into 32 pieces each (64 altogether).
8 – Roll each piece into a 5-inch rope
9 – Twist one red and one green rope together. Once twisted enough, roll dough to blend the pieces into one. Bend at one end to create candy cane shape. Repeat for the remaining cookies.
10 – Place finished candy canes on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Put on wire rack once done.
11 – Eat all of the cookies in one sitting and lie when asked what happened to them.