Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap Favorites

Caraway Kringles "Christmas Cookies and Candies"
Submitted by Barbara Myers

Cream: 1/4 lb butter and 1 cup sugar.
Add 1 egg, 2 tsp caraway seeds

Sift 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt

Alternate adding flour mix and 3 tbs brandy to above butter mix.

Chill 2+ hours.

Roll 1/8 inch.

Cut, dust with confectioner’s sugar, bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes – until lightly browned.

Notes: Important to use fresh caraway seed (homegrown is nice) or at least not old seed. Brandy can be good cognac, Drambuie (my favorite), or Irish Mist, or your choice.

Candy Cane Cookies
Submitted by Helen Leah Conroy

This was one of my favorite holiday treats when I was a child. It still is! Like many of the cookies that were new to our family during that decade (the sixties), this one probably was clipped from “Woman’s Day” or “Family Circle.” I make these every December and ship them off across the country to my parents and siblings, and now to my grown nieces and nephews. My husband, sons and neighbors look forward to them too! If you don’t care for a strong almond flavor, feel free to use a tablespoon of vanilla extract instead. You could also substitute a much smaller quantity (1/2 teaspoon) of peppermint extract if you like. The key to these is dusting the cookies with the candy cane powder while they’re still warm, so the scented pink sugar will stick. Enjoy!!


1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I use Spectrum organic.)

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or 1/2  teaspoon peppermint extract)

2 1/2 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (or more, if necessary)

2 ounces candy canes (to make 1/2 cup, crushed)

1/2 cup granulated sugar


Cream the butter, shortening and confectioners’ sugar. I use a stand mixer on medium speed for about 4 minutes, scraping down after 2.

Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond (or peppermint) extract and mix well to combine (another 2-3 minutes should do it).

Sift the flour and salt into the creamed mixture and fold it in, to combine.

Divide the dough in half. (On a kitchen scale, I get about 320 grams per half.) Into one half, mix the food coloring, using the back of a spoon. It should be a bright pink! Wrap the half batches of dough separately and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or 325 if using a convection oven and your manufacturer recommends that reduction).

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

When ready to bake, take heaping tablespoons of each dough, roll them (separately) into 6-7” logs between your palms, then twist a pink strip with a plain strip and form into a candy cane shape, flattening very slightly onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Leave about 2 inches between canes.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until very slightly browned on the edges.

Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet.

While the cookies are baking, blitz the candy canes in a food processor with the sugar until you have a fine powder speckled with tiny red shards. While the cookies are still warm (and leaving them on the cookie sheet), sprinkle them with the pink candy cane and sugar powder, pressing very gently to help it melt and thus adhere. Gently transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

N.B. I take a somewhat industrial approach to shaping these, adopting the following efficiency-increasing procedures. I first plop little lumps of chilled dough onto a parchment lined sheet, making an effort to keep them uniform, and truing up any that aren’t. I also check to make sure I have equal numbers of pink and white! I roll the dough into logs, but when they’re about 3 inches long, put them down onto another cookie sheet (parchment covered) and quickly roll them back and forth on the sheet. It shapes them more evenly. Once all the logs are rolled, I wrap and shape all at once.


Browned Butter Cookies
Submitted by Gretel

My mother found this one some years ago—I have modified the filling from her version.

1 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups all purpose flour

1/8 tsp salt + pinch

Get a big bowl of ice water ready in sink. Melt butter over med heat stirring occasionally until it browns and turns caramel colored. It will Foam up once it is browned.

Place pot in ice water to stop cooking—let it cool about 5 min. Add sugar and vanilla stir Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mix to form dough. Let sit out 2 hours then into fridge overnight.

Use a spoon to form cookies by packing a deep teaspoon with dough then sliding off onto a ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 for about 10-15 min, until golden. Let the cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then on rack. Once cool create filling of raspberry jam. Mom uses sour cherry by warming it in sauce pan. You can add a splash of liqueur of choice. Create sandwiches.  Enjoy! Wait 2 days before eating for best flavor

Poppy Seed Cookies
Submitted by Jean

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 degrees. 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.


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.