Kathy’s Christmas Cookies

Butterballs

8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
2 cups ground pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Additional powdered sugar

This dough gets pretty stiff, so you’ll want to use a hand mixer. Butter and sugar, first. Add the vanilla once they’re creamed together, then the pecans. If you use the chocolate chips, add them now, too. Flour goes in last, a little at a time. Stick the dough in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 325. About the time the oven’s ready, you can take out the dough and roll it into 1″ balls. Put them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. Roll immediately in additional powdered sugar. Makes about 32.

Jam Thumbprints

2/3 cup of Crisco butter flavor shortening
1/3 cup of sugar
1/8 t salt
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 c seedless raspberry jam stirred smooth

Use a hand beater to beat smooth. Beat Crisco and sugar, first. Add salt, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Add flour gradually until fully incorporated into wet mix. Chill dough in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 350. About the time the oven’s ready, take the dough and roll it into 1″ balls. Put them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Make an indentation in each ball with your thumb. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool, and then fill indentations with jam. Makes about 32.

Peanut Blossoms

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup Crisco butter flavor shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 T milk
2 T honey
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 t salt
3/4 T baking soda
32 unwrapped Hershey Kisses

Beat Crisco, sugar, milk, and honey in a large bowl with hand mixer. Add egg. Beat until just blended. Add salt and baking soda. Mix well. Gradually add in flour. Refrigerate while preheating oven to 350. When oven is ready, roll dough into 1″ balls. Put them on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Cool slightly, then push an unwrapped Hershey’s kiss into the center of each cookie. Makes about 32.

Mrs. Bob’s Cream Cheese Cookies

1 stick softened butter
1 8oz. package cream cheese – softened
1 egg
1/4 t vanilla
1 box Yellow Cake Mix

Cream butter and cheese. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add cake mix (dry) a third at a time, mixing well after each addition. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Drop by scant teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes.

Melissa’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

1  8oz pkg softened cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 18oz roll chocolate chip cookie dough  roll (cut off 1/4 of roll for topping)
Heat oven to 350*F.  Best together cream cheese,  sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Using an 8×8 pan, press 3/4 portion of dough into an ungreased pan. Flour fingers to help smooth it out. Once the bottom layer is smooth, add cream cheese mixture. Spread over bottom cookie layer. Using the remaining 1/4 dough portion, dice into small chunks and sprinkle over the cream cheese. Leave holes and gaps so you can see the yummy cream cheese filling once baked. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the center no longer jiggles. The edges will be golden brown. Cool in pan completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy!

Ritz Peanut Butter Cookies

1 box Ritz crackers
1 small jar of peanut butter
1 package of milk chocolate melting pieces

Make peanut butter sandwiches out of the crackers. Melt chocolate over low heat or for a minute or so in the microwave (check often so it does not burn). Using a fork, dip crackers in melted chocolate, covering both sides. Place on wax paper until chocolate sets up and can be removed from paper easily.

Pecan Tassies

CRUST:

1 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 stick butter

For the crust, have all ingredients at room temperature. Mix together and chill for at least 2 hours. Pinch off dough and shape into two dozen 1 inch balls. Place balls in 1 3/4 inch ungreased muffin tins. With thumb, press dough against bottom and sides of tins. Set aside and mix filling.

FILLING:

1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. soft butter
1 tbsp. vanilla
2/3 c. chopped pecans

For filling, mix all ingredients together. Fill each tassie 3/4 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool on cake rack. To remove, run sharp knife around edge and lift out. Makes 2 dozen.

Candy Cane Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring or enough for desired color
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Into a mixing bowl, measure flour, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, salt, and egg. Beat with hand-held electric mixer at low speed until mixture is well blended, scraping bowl a few times. Set aside half of the cookie dough.

Into remaining dough in bowl, knead in red food coloring and peppermint extract until well blended. Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, using hands, take 1 teaspoonful of plain dough and roll into a 4-inch rope. Repeat, using tinted dough.

Place the ropes side-by-side and gently twist together. Pinch ends lightly to seal. Curve one end to form candy cane. Move cookie to ungreased baking sheets with a spatula. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies at 375° for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Remove to racks with a spatula; let cool. Store in tightly covered container for up to 1 week. Makes about 4 dozen candy cane cookies.

Dark Chocolate Maraschino Cherry Christmas Shortbread

1 cup softened salted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup diced maraschino cherries
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup nuts- optional

Drain your cherries and place onto a few sheets of paper towel to remove most of the cherry juice, then dice.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together your butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.  Now mix in your flour.  Fold in your maraschino cherries and chocolate chips.  

Knead your dough in your hands to remove and air bubbles and form into a log shape.  Roll your dough log in Saran Wrap and refrigerate over night.  

Preheat your oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Unwrap and slice your dough in thick slices.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Sunshine State Snow Day Cookies

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest 2 Meyer lemons
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup orange blossom honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 cup powdered sugar, for coating

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  Set aside. 

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, lemon zest, sugar, and agave nectar. Mix until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides. 

In a small cup, combine the lemon juice baking soda. With the mixer on low, add in flour mixture and lemon juice mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix the dough by hand a few times to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients. 

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Place the baking sheet on the middle rack in your oven and bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, just until cookies are slightly brown on the edges. 

It is better to under cook them slightly than over cook them. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Toss them lightly in powdered sugar and place on cooling rack.

Hamentaschen

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
14 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
14 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. apricot preserves
2 tbsp. raspberry preserves
1 egg white, beaten

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat with a mixer until fluffy. Add flour; beat. Form dough into a thin disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap; chill for 30 minutes.
Transfer dough to a floured surface; roll to a 3⁄16″ thickness. Using a 2 12” round cookie cutter, cut dough into rounds. Reroll scraps; repeat. Transfer the rounds to 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Place about 12 tsp. apricot preserves in center of half the rounds; place about 12 tsp. raspberry preserves in the center of remaining rounds. Brush egg white around edges. Fold in edges to form a triangular package, leaving a small opening at the top. Refrigerate filled cookies for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350°. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen.