Easy Christmas Cookies - 1 Dough Made 5 Ways!

Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas Cookies Made Easy!

The five Christmas cookies shown in this lens all start with the same basic sugar cookie dough. So whether you are hosting a holiday party, going to a neighborhood cookie swap, or just want some goodies for your family to enjoy during the Christmas season, you'll be able to whip up 5 different and delicious cookies using one easy and simple recipe.

I found this unique and delicious combination of cookies in my December 2009 issue of Midwest Living. It is one of my favorite magazines for recipe ideas and baking inspiration. I hope you enjoy these goodies as much as my family has!

Basic Cookie Dough Recipe

Before mixing the dough, be sure to check out the instructions for the specific cookie variation that you are creating. Some require small substitions to be made to the dough during the mixing process.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1 cup butter, softened

1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch and flour; set bowl aside.

2. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.

3. Continue as directed in the five cookie variations as shown below.

Cookie Dough Storage Tip

To store the basic sugar cookie dough, place it into an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. If you freeze it, simply remove the dough the day before you want to use it and thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Red Shining Star Sandwich Cookies

A spiced red jelly blend fills the center of these star-shaped sandwich cookies that are dusted with white powdered sugar for a sweet finish. Of course, if you prefer seedless strawberry or raspberry jam for the filling, feel free to skip the spices and substitute. As long as the color goes with your Christmas party theme, you'll be all set with a delicious cookie that everyone will be raving about (and asking you for the recipe!). Don't forget that you'll need graduated or different sized star cookie cutter favors to create the star-shaped window on these beautiful sandwich cookies.

Ingredients

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup cherry or currant jelly or apricot jam

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon

Powdered sugar

Cherry or currant jelly or apricot jam, melted and cooled

Directions

1. Prepare the basic sugar cookie dough as directed above. Then, divide it in half and tightly wrap each dough piece with plastic wrap. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough (keep remaining dough in refrigerator) until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick using a rolling pin. Using a 2-1/2- to 3-inch star shaped cookie cutter, cut dough into star shapes. Using a 1- to 1-1/2-inch star shaped cookie cutter, cut holes in the centers of half of the cookies (this will make the star hole where the jelly shows through the top cookie). Place cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Roll out the other 1/2 of dough and keep picking up dough scraps and rerolling until you've used up as much dough as possible to create star cut-out cookies. TIP - use silpat on your cookie sheets to make them super easy to remove after baking.

3. Bake cookies in a 375 degree F oven for 6 to 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Recipe should yield about 40 Christmas cookies.

4. For filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup jelly, almond extract and nutmeg until well combined. Skip this step if you just want to use a seedless raspberry or strawberry jam for the filling.

5. To assemble, sift some powdered sugar over tops of cookies with holes in centers. DO THE POWDERED SUGAR SPRINKLING BEFORE ASSEMBLING!! Spread filling on the bottoms of the cookies without holes. Put on enough filling to hold sandwiches together, but not so much that it will squeeze out the sides of the cookies (I usually leave a 1/4 to 3/8" border around the edges with no filling). Top each of these cookies with the powdered sugar cookies that have the holes. Fill the hole of each cookie with a small spoonful of additional jelly.

Christmas Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs

Ingredients

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)

3 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint, rum or almond extract

Assorted colors of paste food coloring

Clear or white edible glitter, pearl sugar, fine sanding sugar and/or coarse sugar

Directions

1. Prepare Basic Sugar Cookie Dough and then divide it in half and tightly wrap each half with plastic wrap. Chill dough for 1 hour or until it is easy to handle.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough (keep remaining dough in refrigerator) until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using assorted 2-1/2- to 3-inch cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes such as mittens, Christmas trees, snowmen, santa claus, etc. Place cut-out cookies about 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Remember that after you cut-out the cookies, you can pick up the remaining dough, ball it up and roll it out again to cut-out more cookies. Just keep repeating the process (and roll out the 2nd half of the refrigerated dough) until you've used up as much of the dough as possible. You wouldn't want to waste any of these delicious morsels!

3. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 6 to 7 minutes or until edges of cookies are firm and bottoms are lightly brown. NOTE - I usually rotate my cookie sheets once during the baking cycle to ensure even browning of the cookies. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

4. To make the icing....in a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glazing consistency. If you like, tint with paste food coloring. Glaze cookies with white or tinted icing. Sprinkle with glitter or sugar. Let set before serving. Depending on the cookie cutter size and shape, this recipe should yield about 48 holiday cookies.

Storing Baked Cookies

The cut-out sugar cookies can be baked and stored (unfrosted) between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Dethaw at room temperature and frost prior to serving.

Christmas Cookie Decorating Video

Coconut Dream Layer Bars

The Easiest of All Five Cookie Variations!

Ingredients

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)

1-1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup snipped dried apricots, dried cherries and/or dried cranberries

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1/2 cup white baking pieces

1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degF.

2. Prepare Basic Sugar Cookie Dough using the recipe shown above. Press and flatten dough with your hands to evenly cover the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan (jelly roll sized pan). Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes or until edges of dough are golden brown.

3. Upon removing dough from the oven, sprinkle coconut, apricots (or other dried fruit), pecans, semisweet chocolate pieces, and white pieces evenly over the cookie dough base. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly over all.

4. Return pan to the oven and bake about 20 minutes more or until top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into about 36 bars. These bars can be stored in an airtight container.

Brown Sugar Holiday Thumbprints

NOTE - This recipe makes modifications to the Basic Cookie Dough!

Ingredients

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground allspice

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 egg white

1 Tbsp. water

1 cup very finely chopped almonds

Candied red and/or green cherries, halved

Directions

1. Prepare Basic Sugar Cookie Dough as directed, except substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar and add cinnamon, allspice and ginger to the recipe. Continue as directed above stirring until dough is completely blended. Tightly wrap the dough in Saran wrap and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator (to reduce dough stickiness).

2. Lightly grease cookie sheets or use a silpat on each cookie sheet; set aside. In a shallow glass dish, use a fork to lightly beat egg white with water. Personally I just use 2 small cereal bowls - one to hold the beaten egg and one to hold the finely chopped almonds.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I use a small cookie scoop to help get evenly sized balls). Roll balls in egg white mixture, then roll in almonds. Place balls about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Press a cherry half in center of each cookie.

4. Bake in a 325 degF oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges of cookies are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute and then move the cookies to cool completely on wire racks. Recipe makes about 55 cookies.

 

Chocolate Drizzled Crescent Cookies

NOTE - The basic sugar cookie dough is modified for this recipe!

Ingredients

Basic Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)

2 Tbsp. whiskey, rum or brandy (substitute for vanilla)

3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 tsp. shortening

3 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped

Directions

1. Prepare Basic Sugar Cookie Dough as directed, except substitute the 2 tablespoons whiskey for the 1 tablespoon vanilla. Continue as directed. Tightly wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2. Pinch off pieces of dough the size of a walnut (about 1 1/2-inch balls). Personally I use a cookie scoop to make sure that all my 1.5" dough balls are the same size

. Roll each piece into a 3-inch log and bend logs to shape into crescents, tapering ends slightly by pinching them. Place crescents about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake at 325 degF for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges are firm when touched lightly and bottoms are very lightly browned. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERBAKE! Remove from oven and cool for about a minute before moving the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Recipe should make about 36 crescents.

4. To decorate your crescent cookies, in a heavy small saucepan, heat and stir bittersweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the shortening over low heat until melted and smooth. In another heavy small saucepan, heat and stir white baking chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon shortening over low heat until melted and smooth. Place your crescent cookies on cookie sheets lined with wax paper and use a fork to drizzle each crescent with some of the bittersweet chocolate and some of the white chocolate. Let the crescents stand until the chocolate sets up and then store in an airtight container. I love giving these crescents as holiday gifts to my friends because they all love chocolate! They are the perfect cookie gift.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...