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Favorite Cookie Recipes and the Best Cooking Gifts

By Jane Butel  December 7, 2018

Holiday cookies are so much fun to make, bake and share.  I love to create cookies and then share them with friends and people who have done  favors throughout the year.  My daughter and grand daughter and I have often had  fun making Gingerbread cookies in all shapes and sizes with a variety of frostings, sugars and sprinkles of many types.  One year, we even made very thick and highly decorated cookies for hanging on the Christmas tree.  I have numerous favorite recipes--and think that gingerbread cookies are the most delicious for cutout cookies.  Sugar cookies run a close second.

My favorite drop cookie is Jingle Bell Cookies, which are like a bit of the best of fruit cake.  They are made with only the most delicious  ingredients--candied pineapple and cherries, dates and  three kinds of nuts--hazel nuts, almonds and pecans.  With these yummy ingredients--how can you miss having fabulous flavors?

So  you can have more time baking and take shopping easier--keep in mind our special holiday discounted cooking class gift certificates--all 2019 classes are 20% off until December 24.  Also, our great Culinary Tour to Oaxaca would make a fabulous present.  And, our holiday gift boxes with an autographed book take all the trouble of wrapping and shipping  presents away--we ship them for you.  Cookbooks are easy to wrap and ship--and I am happy to autograph each one for you! 

Here are my favorite 2 cookie recipes I mentioned above--

GINGERBREAD COOKIE DOUGH 


This dough has a great flavor and is intended for cookies, not gingerbread houses.  They are quite flavorful .  You can make the dough days ahead and refrigerate for the greatest of ease in rolling out the dough.  The recipe can be doubled or tripled for more cookies.


Yield:  approximately 36 to 48 cookies, depending on size
Temperature: 350 F
Time: 10 minutes


¾ cup butter  (1 ½ sticks)
¾ cup granulated or brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking  soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger (can halve for milder cookies)
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (can halve for milder cookies)
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
¾ cup molasses (prefer the amber)
¼ cup water
3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (can substitute 1 cup whole wheat for 1 of the cups of flour)


1.  Cream butter and sugar, using high speed of the mixer.  Add salt, solda and spices.  Stir in the molasses and water, using the medium speed.

2.  Using lowest speed, add the flour 1 cup at a time and mix.  After last addition, mix very well to combine well.  Turn dough out of mixing bowl and place between layers of waxed paper.  Chill a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator or faster in the freezer.  Roll when well chilled and firm.  At this point dough can even be frozen.


3.  Roll out dough, half at a time and cut out cookies.  Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets in preheated 350 F. oven until light brown around the edges, about 10 minutes.  Remove to cooling racks.  


4.  When cool, frost as desired with buttercream frosting. 

JINGLE BELL COOKIES

This recipe came from my Aunt Virginia who always made them for the holidays.

Yield: 10 dozen cookies

1 cup butter

2 eggs, well beaten

1 ½ cup brown sugar

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

4 slices candied green pineapple, cut in pieces

1 pound red candied cherries, cut in half

1 pound dates, cut into pieces

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup whole filberts

1 cup almond halves

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Cream butter and add sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla and salt.

2. Add cinnamon and baking soda to flour and mix well. Add fruits and nuts. Add sugar and butter mixture and mix well.

3. Drop by teaspoons on greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until firm.

 

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