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Yup, cookies are a big deal in most traditions around the winter holidays. Have any special recipes you'd like to share? And we'd love to hear any anecdotes about them...

Tags: Christmas Cookies, Hanukkah Cookies, Kwanzaa Cookies, Winter Holiday Cookies

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Here's my most asked for cookie. The recipe will look familiar, but they taste very different than Swedish wedding cakes, and the like.

A funny example of how much people like these: Living across the street from me are an elderly couple--a judge and his wonderful wife--Jim and Joan Horn. They are truly diminutive people--at 5'7", or a bit more, I dwarf them. They are so tiny, they eat very little. These cookies are an exception, however. One year I delivered a can of cookies to the Horns, and as I passed the can to Joan, it slipped from her hands onto the front lawn. There was a second's pause during which I began to say, "No problem. I'll make you some more," but before the words had left my lips, Jim and Joan were scooping the cookies off the lawn and into their mouths, laughing. "Five second rule!!!" shouted the judge. ツ

PECAN PUFFS

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (salted)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecan meats (chopped very fine)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • confectioner’s sugar in which to roll cookies (twice)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beat butter until light. Blend in sugar.

Combine, in separate bowl, pecans and flour.

Stir flour and nut mixture into butter mixture until thoroughly blended.

Roll dough into small balls (size of walnut or slightly smaller).

Place on greased cookie sheet (these cookies don’t spread much).

Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 45 minutes ( until light golden brown and you can smell toasted pecans).

Gently roll (don't shake in a bag) cookies while hot in confectioner’s sugar. When cold, roll once more.

Store cookies in an airtight container. They are very fragile, so don’t bang them around.

This recipe makes 2 dozen walnut-sized cookies. I double it because people really gobble them down!

YUMM! 

I don't do scratch cooking much anymore. Most things would go bad before the two of us could eat them but those cookies would definitely would be worth the effort.

They really are worth making, Layla. They're grown-up in that they're not too sweet and are perfect with tea or coffee; but, kids LOVE them too because they're so rich and "poufy" as my son said, and they're great with milk. Also, they're easy. 

Consider making them as gifts, and save a few for yourself. ツ

Here's another plain cookie recipe from a good friend that looks familiar but ends up being a bit different.  I'm actually not a lover of most plain vanilla or vanilla/cinnamon cookies, but the cake-like texture of these makes them addictive.

SUSANNE'S CINNAMON/VANILLA PUFFS

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soft butter (If necessary, I soften it in the microwave for about 30 seconds)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Mix together in a separate bowl:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Hefty dashes of cinnamon (maybe a teaspoon, depends on your taste)

Set aside

  • 5 tablespoons of half-and-half or milk (Sue uses half-and-half)

Cream together butter and sugar, add vanilla and eggs, & beat till light-colored and creamy (2 or 3 minutes).

Alternately beat dry ingredients into butter mixture with 5 tablespoons of half-and-half or milk.  Chill resulting dough for at least an hour in fridge (the chilling ensures the cookies' nice round shape and cake-like texture).  You can stop here and freeze dough if you want to bake it later.  

Drop by spoonfuls (Sue uses a regular cereal spoon, not a tablespoon) onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or sugar sprinkles of your choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them after 12 or 13 minutes. They do NOT brown on the tops. You have to watch the edges of the cookies for browning--they brown on the bottom.

When the cookies are done, take them off the sheet after a minute--if they stay too long on the cookie sheet, they stick to it.  Cool on racks.  Eat till you pop.

Kolachy Cookies are a traditional Hungarian Christmas Cookie made with a cream cheese dough and stuffed with fruit. You will love this traditional Christmas cookie recipe and will find yourself making it year after year.

Kolachy Cookies

Course Dessert

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 12 minutes

Total Time 42 minutes

Servings 24 cookies

Author Amanda@Old House to New Home

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese softened
2 tbsp. powdered sugar plus more for dusting
1 can crushed pineapple drained very well
or whatever you like!

Instructions
Cream together butter and cream cheese, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Slowly add in the flour and salt, mixing until incorporated. Roll dough into two balls and covered with plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours.
Remove from fridge and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.Prepare filling by mixing the powdered sugar with the cream cheese.
Roll out one ball of dough until very thin. You want it to be as thin as you can make it.
Using a pizza cutter, cut your dough into a big square, removing the edges. Then cut your big square into small 2 by 2 squares.
On the diagonal, smear a bit of cream cheese then pineapple. Fold one edge in and then the other, sealing with water.
Bake on baking sheet for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yum! Thanks, Aggie.

My Kids Coconut Squares

Prep Time: 15 minsTotal Time: 40 minsServes: 24, Yield: 6 cookies
About This Recipe
"My kids loved helping me make these cookies so much that one of them taught her children to make them so they have been a family tradition for 45 years. They are excellent shippers and keepers."

Ingredients
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup sifted flour
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 ounces flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts...... if you want
1/4 cup sifted flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Directions
Into a large bowl put:.
1 / 2 cup soft butter.
1 / 2 cup packed light brown sugar.
beat until fluffy then add:.
1 cup sifted flour
mix well then pat into a greased 12 X 9 X 2 pan
and bake this cookie dough at 350 for 10 minutes.
While the above is baking using that same bowl:.
place.
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt.
2 teaspoons vanilla.
4 ounces of flaked coconut.

Directions
1 cup of any walnuts
1/4 cup sifted flour 1 cup packed light brown sugar.
mix well and spread over the.
cookie dough that just came out of the oven and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
As soon as it comes out of the oven ( and is still hot) score it into
1 inch squares and this should make 6 dozen one inch cookies.
leave in pan to cool then take out and separate -- Freezes well and ships well.
NUTRITION FACTS
Serving Size: 1 (39 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving% Daily ValueCalories 170.8 Calories from Fat 8147%Amount Per Serving% Daily ValueTotal Fat 9.0g13%Saturated Fat 4.2g21%Cholesterol 27.7mg9%Sugars 15.5 gSodium 99.2mg4%Total Carbohydrate 21.3g7%Dietary Fiber 0.7g2%Sugars 15.5 g62%Protein 2.1g4%

The toasted coconut and nut topping must make these really rich and scrumptious nuggets. They sound great, especially for sending in "care" packages.

I love that they have become a multi-generational tradition. 

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