Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap 2012

Send us your favorite holiday cookie recipe! Melissa Clark will be on the Leonard Lopate Show on Tuesday, December 18, to talk share her holiday baking advice, and she'll pick her favorite recipes from listener submissions and talk to those who shared them! Submit your recipe by Friday, December 14, at 8 pm!

Filter results:

December 11, 2012 06:02:35 AM

These aren't quite a "cookie" by definition--they straddle the line between cookie and candy. However, they are my Grandmother's recipe and they are the epitome of Christmas to me!

Date Balls
1/2 lb package of dates (not dried) - cut fine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1 package sweetened coconut

Cook the eggs, sugar and butter in a saucepan until thick. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Remove from heat and gently mix in 3 cups of the rice cereal. The mixture will be extremely sticky and not very coherent. Using a pair of spoons--scoop out a ball of the rice cereal mixture into a bowl of coconut. Working quickly, form the cereal into a compact ball and coat with coconut.

Leave a comment
December 10, 2012 02:19:10 PM

Austrian Vanilla Kipfer (crescents)l:

14 Tbsp softened shortening (butter preferred by my family)
1 cup ground nuts, not too fine (walnuts are traditional here and preferred in my house)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus 1 cup later)
1 pkg vanilla sugar (found in European specialty stores but also whole foods these days)
Mix the flour, ground nuts, softened butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar and let the dough rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Cut same size portions from the dough and roll a ball in your hands from each piece (quickly, the dough softens fast), pull two ends out of the little ball and form a alltogether small but kind of big bellied crescent. Place on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 360 F for about 10 minutes until they turn a very light color (don't brown them!). Let them cool about 10-15 minutes and when they are still warm you toss them carefully in a bowl with the cup of powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar so there warmth makes the sugar stick to them but not melt it completely). Keep in a tin (if you can, they usually don't stay in there for long, no matter if it is your family discovering the tin hiding place or just yourself. My friends call them heavenly nothingness.

Leave a comment
December 10, 2012 12:58:32 PM

New Zealand Filled Holly Cookies:


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup sweet cream butter (chilled)
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg beaten


2-3 teaspoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red cinnamon candies
Green food coloring


Combine first 5 ingredients (all dry ingredients)
Cut butter into dry ingredients
Make a well into the center if dough
Combine egg and 1/4 cup milk and pour into well
Stir dough until moist
Flour surface and roll dough out to 1/8" thickness
Cut out cookie rounds and place on cookie sheets
covered with parchment
Bake ar 375F for 8-10 minutes and cool on rack
Place approx. 1/2 teaspoon on 1/2 of the cookies then place a cookie top on each one.
In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and stir until smooth
Spoon over each cookie top a little glaze covering teach cookie and place 2 or 3 red candies into the. Glaze of each cookie and let harden completely.
With a small brush, paint holly leave on top of each cookie and let dry.

Leave a comment
December 09, 2012 10:00:16 PM

Poppy Seed Cookies
1 cup sugar (7 ounces)
Peel of 1 orange
1 egg yolk
1 cup unsalted butter(room temperature) cut into 8 pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour(5 ounces)
1 cup cake flour (4 ounces)
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Food Processor
Steel knife: Combine sugar and orange peel in work bowl and mince finely. Add egg yolk and mix 1 minute. Add butter, salt, and nutmeg and mix until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and mix using 4 or 5 on/off turns; do not over process.
Divide dough into 4 equal portions and shape into 2 x 4 inch cylinders. Seal in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350*F. Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Leave a comment
December 08, 2012 01:58:22 PM


CRANBERRY TURTLE BARS were the cookie chosen to represent 2001 in "The Gourmet Cookie Book: The Single Best Recipe from Each Year 1941-2009"

These cookies look really festive and are such a hit wherever I take them. The tartness/freshness of the cranberries is really welcome.

The recipe makes a lot. (I cut them a bit smaller than the recipe says.) Plus, they keep for quite awhile. They are really worth making!
Cranberry Turtle Bars Recipe at
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 2 hr
Yield: Makes 3 dozen bars
NOTE: I cut the bars smaller than the recipe indicates and get much more. The bars are rich--smaller, even bite-size pieces, are fine.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed; 63/4 oz), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups pecans (12 oz), toasted and cooled , then coarsely chopped

2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), very finely chopped

Special equipment: a candy thermometer
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides. Butter all 4 sides (but not bottom).

Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small (roughly pea-size) lumps.

Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer.

Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.

Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245°F on thermometer, about 8 minutes.

Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245°F.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.

Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 crosswise strips, then 6 lengthwise strips to form 36 bars. (See NOTE on bar sizes.)

Melt half of chocolate in top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth.

Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a tiny piece of 1 corner to form a small hole, then pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about 1 hour.

Bars keep in an airtight container (use wax paper between layers) 1 week.

Leave a comment
December 07, 2012 06:27:01 PM

Peanut Meringue Cookies from the New York Times 1999
These are easy, inexpensive, light and delicious
1 egg white
1/2 cup superfine sugar
a tiny bit of cream of tartar
3/4 cup whole salted peanuts
heat oven to 325'. ZLine a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
Beat egg white until stiff. slowly beat in sugar to make a meringue ( is this the best way to beat in the sugar??)
3 drop the meringues by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet, They do not spread much at all, they just dry out. Bake 45 minutes at 325'. turn off the oven, leave the cookies in for 15 more minutes. Remove, cool before eating or storing.
store a room temp in a tightly sealed container at room Temp for as long as a week. (never tested, consumed too quickly)
My husband, who hates meringues LOVES these. It is the salty sweet thing.
Yield 2 to 2 1/2 doz cookies

Leave a comment
December 07, 2012 01:53:42 PM

I make at least 6 kinds of cookies each holiday season that I give as gifts to friends, family and my kids' teachers and bus drivers. This is by far the most time cosuming one to make but it is often the one that most people rave about.

It's an old Betty Crocker recipe. I use butter (not margarine), make extra filling and I change the method to speed things up a bit but here is the original, not-to-be missed recipe.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
Granulated sugar

Creamy Filling
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon extract or peppermint extract
Food color, if desired

1. Mix flour, 1 cup butter and the whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
2. Heat oven to 375ºF. Roll one-third of dough at a time 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface. (Keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to roll.) Cut into desired shapes with 1 1/2-inch cookie cutters. Generously cover large piece
of waxed paper with granulated sugar. Transfer cutouts to waxed paper, using pancake turner. Turn each cutout to coat both sides. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Prick each cutout with fork about 4 times.
3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or just until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, mix all Creamy Filling ingredients until smooth. Add a few drops water if necessary. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon filling between bottoms of pairs of cookies.

Leave a comment
December 06, 2012 08:24:47 AM

Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

These are made with olive oil, not butter, and are so incredible, you'd be advised to pack copies of the recipe wherever you bring them!

1/4 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups unsifted unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 350º. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick baking spray. In a large bowl beat the olive oil and sugar together. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and eggs, beating until the mixture is completely blended. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking powder with a hand whisk. On low speed gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Slowly beat in the cranberries and pistachios.

Divide the dough in half and form into two logs about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. (If the dough is too sticky to work with, wet your hands with cool water.) Bake for 30 minutes or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, cool for at least 15 minutes and cut slices on the bias. Place cut cookies on a cooling racking placed on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes flipping cookies once midway.

Leave a comment
December 04, 2012 09:19:56 PM

Headline Idea: Veganize any recipe for health and simplicity

Copy idea:

Vegans Carol Schneider of Boca Raton, Florida, and her daughter Suzannah, an environmental major at Tulane University, have found their four-year vegan life-style is much easier than they thought it would be. The ease of converting their favoriate recipes crossed over into their entire lifestyle, simplifying everything. Carol's new work/lifestyle simplicity business is just taking off (, and Suzannah got a nice surprise last Holiday season when her food blog recipe below was picked up by the The Huffington Post. Enjoy her healthy answer to the classic Southern bourbon balls (Suzannah's blog in HuffPost: )

Photo Credit: Small Kitchen College
Pecan Pie Truffles

Adapted from The New York Times' Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2010
Makes 24 truffles

2 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped and toasted
1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs, available in any grocery
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon (can substitute with Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 ounces dark chocolate

- Combine pecans, crumbs, sugar, and salt in bowl. Add maple syrup, alcohol, and vanilla; ixing with clean hands works best!

- Form mixture into walnut-sized balls. Freeze on a cookie sheet for 2 hours.

- Melt chocolate in double boiler or in medium stainless steel bowl set over pot of gently simmering water.

- Dip the frozen balls into melted chocolate with fork. Then place on parchment lined baking sheet. Let sit for 15 minutes until firm.

Carol Schneider

Leave a comment