Christmas baking can mean many things to many people. Some have their favorite cookie recipes that they dig out each year to bake. While others can’t have the holidays go by without making that special recipe of baked bread or even candy.
Several years ago I baked up Christmas cookie trays for people. I had done a little research and learned that baking Christmas cookies was one of the first things that people scratched off their already full list during the busy Holiday season. I came up with the idea that I could do the baking for people and they could still enjoy fresh baked cookies even if they did not have the time. Many of the varieties I offered had to make a big batch & store well. Here is a list of other good tips you may want to read over if you plan on doing some Christmas baking.
Baking Tips For Christmas Baking
Here is a great list from The Spruce Eats about what you need to know about cookie baking!
I would like to share some of my favorite cookie recipes as well as some other special recipes I have collected along the way!
At the bottom of my post, I have included some links for a few baking items; this is an affiliate link to Amazon where I make a small commission at no cost to you! I only recommend what I have used or have in my kitchen!
I think if you asked 10 people their favorite sugar cookie recipe you would get 10 different answers. The first one below is one I have had for quite a while. It uses Crisco shortening instead of butter, which was popular years ago.
Soft Sugar Cookie
- 1.5 Cups Sugar
- 1 Cup Crisco shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 4 tsp Baking Powder
- 5 Cups Flour
- Cream together the shortening, sugar & eggs till creamy; add vanilla
- Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add Milk and flour mixture to the creamed sugar mixture. Alternating each . The dough will be stiff once all the flour is added.
- You can chill the dough for about 15 minutes which sometimes makes it easier to roll; out. Once ready roll out dough rather thick with your cookie cutters. I find the metal ones are easier to use with less sticking.
- Place on a ungreased cookie sheet at 350* degrees for about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove and place on wire rack to cool. Once cooled they can e frosted and decorated.
This next one is a delicious sugar cookie with a slight difference in texture. The basic difference is making the dough using powdered sugar instead of white granulated sugar. Also butter is used in place of Crisco.
- 1 Cup Butter softened
- 1.5 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2.5 Cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Crème together the softened butter and sugar
- Add egg to this mixture and mix until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla
- Mix flour and all other dry ingredients into a separate bowl, mix well
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar. dough will be stiff
- You can chill dough at this point so it is easier to roll out.
- once dough is chilled you can roll out dough, no too thin and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake in a 350* degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- stand mixer
- 6 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 Cups Unsalted Butter at room temp.
- 2 tsp vanilla or flavor of your choice
- 2-4 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
- If you have a stand mixer prepare with whisk attachment. If you do not have a Kitchen Aid syand mixer you may want to consider putting one one your Chirstmas List this year!
- You can also use a hand moixer but it will take time as you have to Mix until well belnded & creamy
- Whisk Butter until creamy ( 3 minutes approx)
- Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar (aka icing sugar) 1 Cup at a time until well blended
- Increase spped to Med and beat 3 minutes
- Add vanilla and 2 TBS of heavy cream and continue to beat on meduim speed for about 1 minute.
- Add more cream as needed until desired consistency is reached ( I add all 4)
- Whip for a few minutes to get it noce and creamy & well mixed.
- **TIP This recipe makes a lot of frosting, you can easliy half the recipe and still have plenty for a couple dozen cookies!
- 1 pound Powdered Sugar (icing sugar)
- 3 Tab. Meringue powder
- 6 Tab. Warm Water
- Combine all ingredients
- Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes
- Once mixed you will see this recipe makes the icing just right for piping; to achieve icing for flooding add a little water at a time to get the consistency pourable like heavy cream!
- TIP** Powdered Sugar is usually sold in 2 pound bags so half of the bag would be needed for this recipe.
This next recipe is the best orange cookie recipe I have found. It makes a lot but it’s always a nice cookie to add to a tray.
- Kitchen aid mixer or hand mixer
- 1 Cup Butter
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 rind Grated rind from one orange Can also use orange peel, found in the spice section Approx.. 1 Tab.
- 1 Juice from one orange this is mostly for flavoring but will be approx.. 1/4 cup or maybe a little more depending on the size of your orange
- 4.5 Cups Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Milk
- Cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Stir in orange juice and orange rind
- Mix flour and all dry ingredients together ( add the dried orange peel in this step)
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, alternating with the milk.
- Mix well
- Drop onto cookie sheet with a teaspoon ( or Tablespoon for a larger cookie).
- Bake at 350* degrees for approx.. 12 minutes
- Remove to baking rack once cooled
- These can be frosted with a Orange icing: 1 box of powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons softened butter and orange juice. Beat well.
The next recipe is a SOFT ginger or molasses cookie & one of the best I have found!
Ginger Cookie (Soft)
- 2 1/4 Cups Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp Ginger
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Cloves** (optional)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- ! Cup Brown sugar
- 3/4 Cup Shortening (Crisco)
- 1 large Egg
- Preheat Oven to 375*
- Stir together the first 6 ingredients in a bowl & set aside.
- Mix Brown sugar, shortening, molasses & egg and beta well.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to the sugar mixture.
- Once mixed well form 1 inch balls and roll is sugar
- Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 10 minutes and remove from cookie sheet to baking rack
I couldn’t do a blog post on Christmas baking if I did not include Pecan Tassies, one of my favorites. It’s like a bite sized taste of pecan pie! They are a bit more involved but do bake up quite a few.
Pecan Tassies ( Pecan Pie Cookies)
- Mini muffin tin, Pecan Tassie stomper! Food Chopper for Pecans
- 6 0z Cream Cheese softened
- 1 CUP Butter at room temperature
- 2 Cups Flour
Filling for Cookies
- 4 Tab Butter softened
- 1 1/2 Cups Brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 Cups Pecans, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 325* degrees
- In a large bowl cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy
- Beat in the flour 1/2 Cup at a time until dough is smooth
- Put a small amount of dough in each muffin tin, then using a "tassie stomper" or your thumb press so dough covers bottom and up the sides of each individual tin.
- Set this pan aside while you prepare your filling
- In large bowl cream together the butter and the sugar
- Add eggs and mix well.
- Add in the vanilla then stir in nuts ( you have already chopped these fine)
- Add a spoonful of the "filling" mixture to each muffin tin, until about half full
- This filling will rise as it bakes in the oven. Do not over fill
- Bake for 25 minutes, the top of the filling will be light brown.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool; you can remove them with a tip of a butter knife.
This last recipe doesn’t fall under the cookie category but is such a nice treat to add to your Holiday dessert tray I wanted to include it.
Peanut Butter Balls ( aka Buckeyes)
- Double boiler
- 2 Cups Peanut Butter
- 2 TBS Milk
- 1 stick butter ( margarine can be used)
- 1 pound Powdered Sugar ( this is equal to 3 3/4 ~ 4 Cups of powdered Sugar
Chocolate for Dipping
- 1 bag Semi Sweet chocolate chips If you can find blocks of chocolate this would work well too with a small amount of coating chocolate added.
- Beat softened butter, peanut butter and milk together.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar
- Once mixed well, slowly start to form 1 inch balls (or smaller) and place on baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
- Once both trays are full Chill in Freezer for 30 minutes or in fridge for an hour. This step can be skipped but the balls will dip better when chilled.
- While they are chilling prepare your chocolate
- Add bag of chocolate to a saucepan & turn on low heat, if using a double boiler the chocolate will be placed in the top pan. TIP I have used a saucepan with hot water and add a glass bowl to top of pan. The chocolate will slowly melt in the bowl.
- Once the Peanut butter balls are chilled you can dip them into the chocolate with a fork or toothpick. Tap side of bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
- Place them back on the baking sheet until the chocolate is set. If you are making these where the weather is cold you could even set them outside to firm up!
- Once firm place them in an air tight container. Can be frozen but they do keep a week in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy some of these recipes & maybe even try a couple. As always I will leave a list of items that will help in your cookie baking. Many of the items listed I have used myself and definitely recommend them. My Tassie stomper was bought years ago at a local hardware store , so maybe check there first.
I love promoting small businesses so if you are able to buy any of the baking items locally it would be much appreciate I’m sure.
If you are new to baking be sure to check out a couple of my previous posts about setting up your pantry and essential baking items you need in your kitchen.
Here is a link to some great baking items you need if you are just setting up your kitchen
Kitchen Aid Mixer
My favorite Cookie/Candy Books:
Mini Muffin pan