Cookie Recipe Swap!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

'Tis the season...for our holiday cookie recipe swap! Leonard and Ruth Reichl talk about the fabulous recipes you've sent to us.

You can read a few of the submissions discussed on air (including Ruth Reichl's oatmeal cookies recipe) here.

If you can't see the video click here


Ruth Reichl

Comments [81]


This is a marvelous old recipe from Southern Living magazine.


2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 (8 ounce) package chopped dates

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl that is big enough to allow room to add more ingredients and stir.

Melt butter is saucepan and sugar and dates. Let simmer for about 10 minutes Stir occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking. (Or you can use a candy thermometer and simmer till temperature reaches soft ball 240 degrees F). Pour cooked mixture over the dry ingredients and shape into small balls. One easy way to form the balls is with a small melon ball scoop. Coat hands and melon ball scoop with butter and work into balls while the mixture is still warm. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Using a 1 1/4 inch melon bal scoop will make 36-40 cookie balls.

Dec. 31 2007 05:02 PM

These were a huge hit when I made them this year. I got the recipe from the blog Slashfood (


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 - 10oz bag toffee candy bits (Heath)
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups sliced almonds

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and mix until creamy. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Add these dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture. Add the toffee, oatmeal, coconut, almond mixture to the dough and mix by hand. The dough is very stiff, but you want to mix it well so the cookies stay together. Drop by tablespoons onto parchment paper (recommended). Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on wire racks and try not to eat all of them in one sitting.

Dec. 31 2007 05:01 PM
Stephen from Dallas, TX

I tried to make the Sand Dabs from the show last night and they were completely gross. I must have done something terribly wrong. The cookies were dry and crumbly. I think I may have not let the butter soften enough before I creamed it with the powdered sugar and I had to add more butter to the dough to get it to stick together. I was really disappointed because they sounded so good and easy. Also, it only made about a dozen so maybe I made them too big...and they were supposed to cook for 45 minutes, right?

Dec. 13 2007 09:06 AM
sheryll bellman from New York

In case I'm not is a short but heavenly Macaroon recipe. I wrote the book, America's Great Delis-Recipes and Traditions from Coast to Coast, but the delis did not give a Macaroon recipe. This one is all mine!

5 1/3 Cups Sweetened Coconut
3 Egg whites
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract

Mix together with hands, make 1" balls, place on greased cookie sheet 1" apart and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Could dip 1/2 into melted chocolate. Perfect for Passover.

Dec. 12 2007 07:44 PM
Jenni from Madison, WI

I heard this show through the archives today and was delighted to hear my friend Carol discussing her Green Tea shortbread cookies. I can say, as a recipient and eater of these cookies, they are every bit as unusual and delicious as they sound!

Also loved the description of Ruth's oatmeal cookies, and can't wait to give them a try at home.

Dec. 12 2007 12:49 PM
Carol from new york city

This was a thoroughly fun segment and I was thrilled to be able to talk to Leonard and Ruth (about the green tea shortbreads!) Plus, now I've got a ton of other recipes to try which is always a bonus. :)

In case anyone is interested, you can see my finished cookies at

Dec. 11 2007 10:32 PM
Lyn Schwartz from Monroe Twp. N.J.

I love your show but unfortunately the reception in my home office is very poor--lots of static. In the other parts of my house, I can get the station at all times.

The cookie recipe idea was great and I've printed many and will add them to my own collection. In fact today a new range was installed in my kitchen and I'm very anxious to get baking tomorrow.

Thanks for interesting guests and topics.

Dec. 11 2007 08:29 PM
Rose from Ramsey, NJ

Thanks for the great ideas, but I can't find Ruth's personal recipe. Is it posted?


The Lopate Show responds:
Ruth's recipe can be seen when you click the link for recipes discussed on the air.

Dec. 11 2007 05:50 PM
crystal from NYC

What a deliciously fun program and wonderful recipes!! I don't cook any more, so these all added such a joy to the season.
Forwarded many to my relatives :)
Thank you, one and all, and Leonard and crew.
Holiday Blessings,

Dec. 11 2007 05:21 PM
Reynold Rieger from Dumont, NJ

I enjoyed the discussion about the Hungarian kifli recipe! As a second-generation Hungarian-American, I think I can shed a little light on the subject of lekvár. According to my big Országh Hungarian-English dictionary, lekvár = jam or preserves. It's a generic term all by itself. There are several kinds of lekvár, but the most common is prune lekvár or szilvás lekvár. The best came from places like the long-ago Paprikás Weiss in Yorkville, But you can get very decent substitutes in the jam/jelly section of just about any good supermarket. The two brands I've seen are Simon Fischer and Max Ams. Bambi Orbán is correct: kifli (the correct spelling as given in Országh) = crescent.

Dec. 11 2007 03:32 PM
Arthur White from New York City

How am I able to print the recipes?

The Lopate Show responds:
There's no direct way to do it, but it should work if you highlight the recipe, copy and paste it into a Word document and then print it.

Dec. 11 2007 02:38 PM
jawbone from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

The Aunts' Chocolate Chip Cookies

I meant to submit this recipe earlier, but, well, forgot. My Aunt Mildred made these to send to her brothers during WWII--she got the recipe from one of her husband's aunts, Aunt Leone--and my mother made them all the time for our family, including Christmas because we loved them so much. It's not fancy, but homey and tasty.

They apparently held together during shipping overseas, staying moist and chewy. Given weather conditions they may vary from chunky and pointy even, or slightly flatter Do not overcook.

The Aunts' Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed firmly
1 c. shortening (or butter)
Cream above ingredients.

1 tsp. vanilla (I am a bit generous here)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 Tbs. hot water
Add to creamed mixture.

3 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Sift together.

1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. cut dates
2-2 1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped nuts (or 1 c., if wished)
Stir into flour mixture to coat fruits especially, then add to egg mixture gradually. Dough will be stiff. Be sure to scrape bottom of bowl to incorporate all the flour mixture.

Drop from teaspoon onto baking sheets--they will spread only a little, usually.

Bake at 350 degrees approximately 12 minutes.

Cool slightly and remove from baking sheets.

Store separately from other cookies as they will draw moisture from other cookies.

Dec. 11 2007 02:30 PM
Sabrina from NYC

The recipe set from Ruth doesn't include the oatmeal cookies that she praised so highly.

Dec. 11 2007 02:22 PM
mark b from ann arbor, MI

My grandmother is a Hungarian immigrant and the Keifli has been a cookie staple in our family for ever, do you self a favor and make them you will not regret it, kids love em as they are extremely tasty and a great alternative the the usual sugar iced Santa cookies!

Dec. 11 2007 02:03 PM
Nina Galletta from Brooklyn, NY

In listening to Ruth talk about the number of ingredients in the simpler cookies I must submit my Butter Cookies that I make every year from a recipe from my husband's German great-aunt, Tante Minna:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

Cream butter & sugar, add flour. Shape into a flat disc and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll out dough to under 1/4" thick. Cut out with cookie cutters and bake about 10 minutes in 350 degree oven. Length of baking depends on thickness. Keep checking. Baked cookies can be decorated or they can be decorated with colored sugars before baking.
Amazing what three ingredients can produce!

Dec. 11 2007 02:01 PM
Bambi Orban from work

My Hungarian Grandmother made Keifli every time we visited her and we continue the tradition for Christmas. My understanding is that Keifli means 'crescent' in Hungarian and describes the shape of the cookie when finished. They are absolutely delicious!

Dec. 11 2007 01:56 PM
Diana Davis from New York City

I believe lemon cheese is how lemon curd is sometimes refered to in England.

Dec. 11 2007 01:50 PM
Michael Boonstra from NYC

This fruit cake is such a winner because there is no candied fruit. This will become the only one in existence that gets continually regifted! I once gave it to my boss at the time, James Clavell, and he and his wife liked it so much he commissioned that I make them one each time they came to New York. Enjoy!

Brazil Nut Sensation Cake
(With no candied fruit!)

3 c. Brazil nuts ­ shelled*
1 lb. pitted dates
1 c. maraschino cherries ­ drained
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
1tsp. vanilla

* 3c. = 2lb. unshelled
3c. = 1lb. shelled

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan and line
with waxed paper and grease again.
Combine nuts and fruit in large bowl. In smaller bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pour over nuts and fruit to coat. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir to combine. Put into prepared loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour 45 minutes (or 1 hour 20 minutes for two small loaves).
Cake is done when brown on top and toothpick will come out dry. Keep refrigerated and slice as thin as possible with a very sharp knife.

Dec. 07 2007 12:43 PM
Michael Boonstra from NYC

My mother used to love serving up the toffee and challenging anyone to guess the secret ingredient. A real crowd pleaser and easy to make.

Easy Toffee Bars
(From Farm Journal¹s Choice Chocolate Recipes)

An absolutely fabulous candy! Tastes and looks like butter crunch.
And it starts with a little soda cracker. Your friends will never
guess the basic ingredient.
35 soda crackers with unsalted tops
1 C. butter (2 sticks)
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 (6-oz.) pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces
Chopped nuts (optional)
Lightly grease 15 1/2 X 10 1/2 X 1 jellyroll pan. Line bottom of pan evenly with 35 crackers (7 X 5). Combine butter and brown sugar in a
2-quart heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly,
until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking 3 more minutes,
stirring constantly. Pour mixture evenly over the crackers. Bake in
a preheated 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand just a minute and then sprinkle with the chocolate pieces.
(More chocolate can be added if you choose. My mother uses a whole 12
oz. bag.) Let stand 5 minutes or until melted and spread over
crackers. If using, sprinkle nuts over bars. While still quite warm, cut between crackers, making 35 squares. Chill in refrigerator until
set. Cut again when cold. Makes 35 pieces. (It is possible to cut
each cracker in half thus making 70 pieces.)

Dec. 07 2007 12:42 PM
Kate from Brooklyn, NY


As I've gotten older, I've developed a fondness for gingersnaps, especially this excellent recipe from the Joy of Cooking. These cookies have a warmth that feels very homey in December. I really like lemon with gingersnaps, and instead of making a lemon icing, I made ice cream sandwiches (which have the added appeal of staying fresh in the freezer for several weeks).

Ginger Snaps

3 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark molasses
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp lemon zest

- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchement paper.

- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until very fluffy. Add the eggs, molasses, lemon juice, and zest and combine until well blended.

- Stir in the flour mixture until well-blended and smooth. Pull off pieces of dough and form one-inch balls in your hands. Space about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. You can also use a damp glass dipped in sugar, which will add some sweetness and sparkle to the final product.

- Bake no more than 9-10 minutes for soft cookies; as long as 13 minutes for very, very crunchy cookies. Cool on a wire rack.

Dec. 06 2007 11:49 AM
Carol Becker from Armonk, NY

The recipe for these cookies, called Romanian Nut Horns, first appeared in the McKeesport (PA)Daily News sometime in the 1950's and we have had them for the holidays every year since. The dough has to rest in the refrigerator for several hours, so start early in the day or make tit the day before.

Romanian Nut Horns
1/2 C butter, softened
1 T veg. shortening
pinch salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 C sour cream
2 C flour
1 lb ground waluts
1 C brown sugar

Dough: Cream together the butter, shortening and salt. Mix the egg yolks and sour cream, then combine with the butter mixture. Fold in the flour and work the dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least six hours or overnight.

For Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together walnuts, brown sugar and the reserved egg whites, which have been beaten lightly. Sprinkle a sheet of wax paper with white sugar. Place a piece of dough (about the size of a plum) on the paper, flatten it into disk, sprinkle with additional sugar and top with another piece of wax paper. Roll dough into about a six inch circle (the dough should be very thin) and remove top piece of wax paper Invert a saucer over dough and cut off the uneven edges (scraps can be rerolled). Cut the dough into 8 wedges. Drop about 1/2 teaspon of nut mixture onto wide end of edge wedge and roll up. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes, but be sure not to let the cookies brown.

Dec. 06 2007 10:46 AM
Lore Lorsch from Forest Hills. NY

Rum Cookies:
1 package Vanilla Wafers crushed (about 2 1/2cups
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons cornsyrup
1/4 cup of rum
Mix incredients, except sugar, roll into balls, roll in sugar and enjoy.

Dec. 06 2007 09:34 AM
Patty Elwood from Glen Ridge, NJ

Sorry for the error. I forgot to add the instructions: Peanut Butter Cookies

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes on a cookie sheet. I use the Pampered chef baking sheets, but you can use any type of baking sheet. Take out and let cool before taking off.

Dec. 06 2007 09:29 AM
Patty Elwood from Glen Ridge, NJ

I love to make Peanut Butter Cookies. For a special look, I'll add Christmas sprinkles and decorations on the top before I bake them.
I started making these cookies about 3 years ago when my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (wheat/gluten allergy). I also have it.
Everyone loves them!! My whole family eats them. Here's the recipe:(I usually double/triple it)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
simple, isn't it?? Like I said, I will at least double the ingredients, and sometimes triple depending on what I'm making them for.
I also add chocolate chips or peanut butter chips to make it extra special.



Dec. 06 2007 09:25 AM
Mary aka Breadchick of The Sour Dough from Norwalk, CT

My great grandmother's Sugared Date Bars are a family tradition at Christmas.

This recipe was not written down until about 30 years ago but instead handed down verbally and by rote from oldest daughter to oldest daughter.

Right before my great grandmother passed way, my mother and grandmother stood next to my great grandmother and wrote down this recipe as by making her fill measuring cups and spoons while she made them.

As the oldest daughter, it falls on me every year to make these; a tradition I proudly carry on.

Crandall Family Date Bars

1 pound pitted dates, chopped

1 Cup chopped nuts (walnuts work best)

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

3 eggs

1 Cup sugar

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix dates and nuts and coat with sifted flour mixture and set aside.

Beat eggs until light and frothy. Add sugar gradually and mix well.

Add flour mixture to egg-sugar mixture. Blend thoroughly until combined and bake in a prepared 9-by-9-by-2-inch pan.

Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven about 20 minutes or until top is crackly and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar while still warm. Dust with additional powdered sugar after cool.

Makes 18 bars

Dec. 06 2007 09:22 AM
Carol from new york city

For the last few years I've been giving out cookie boxes as holiday gifts. In my mind, they get more elaborate and more grand, but in reality by the time the holidays roll around and I realize that I have 800 cookies to bake, it's back to the basics! (No more French macarons as gifts!!)

This recipe is always a favorite with the recipients:

Matcha Shortbread
2 C all purpose flour
2 Tb good quality green tea powder (matcha)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 C powdered sugar

Sift flour and green tea into a bowl; set aside. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Sift the powdered sugar and salt in and continue to beat until well combined and paler in color; this should take another 2 minutes. Add the flour and green tea mixture and mix just until everything is combined and the dough sticks together; don't overmix or you'll have tough cookies. Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" and cut into shapes. I like kitschy Christmas tree shapes. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and chill until the cookies are firm (15 minutes or so). Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies are set; don't let them brown or you'll lose the nice pale green color. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Makes 24-48 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. But trust me, you should make more.

Dec. 06 2007 07:16 AM
Anne Pokras from Delray Beach, Florida

Marvelous Mandel Bread Cookies

From my blog:

This is a wonderful crunchy cookie. It's also
good for dunking. Whoever eats this cookie
always asks for the recipe.

4 cups wondra flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 cups dark raisins
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
3 tsp. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together in a large
bowl and make a well, then put 4 eggs
(already mixed), canola oil, and
vanilla into the well, and mix together.

It will form a dough. Knead and divide
the dough into 6 parts. Put on an un-
greased cookie sheet. (You will need
two cookie sheets.) You have to shape
each of the six parts with your hands
to form a rectangular shape. It should be
placed lengthwise on the cookie sheet.

I usually flatten the mixture down when
shaping it so that it will be more crunchy
when baked. If you want, you can sprinkle
some cinnamon on top before it goes
into the oven.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 min. I set my
timer for 15 min., then reverse the trays
in the oven. Depending on your oven, it may
have to be in a little longer.

Remove from oven, and while it's hot, slice
diagonally into one inch pieces.

It may sound like work, but it's not.

Dec. 06 2007 04:35 AM
Judy Pokras from Sarasota, Florida

Judy's Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I created this holiday cookie recipe to be tasty and--as a bonus--good for us. It's a raw vegan recipe, and is dehydrated, not baked. I didn't even put this in my Little e-Book of Raw Holiday Recipes: 40 recipes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day Brunch, so you are the first ones to see it! This requires a dehydrator that can be set at 90 degrees Fahrenheit, like an Excalibur.

You can see the full recipe on my blog:

Dec. 06 2007 12:55 AM
andrea sutherland from NYC

I have to send a second recipe that was given to me by my Aunt Betty who turns 84 this year. I love these because they work well with Whole Wheat flour! They disappear as they melt in your mouth with delicious sugary holiday memories.

Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg, slightly beaten

2 and 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
*1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts or chocolate morsels - Optional for a tasty specialness

Blend butter into the sugar. Add vanilla, almond extract, and egg mixing together well.

Add the dry ingredients mixing well.

Cover and Chill for 2 hours.

Roll chilled dough to 3/16" on a floured board.
Cut with special shape cutters.
Bake 375 degrees for 7-8 min.
Cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy with special friends and family!!
Happy Holidays!

Dec. 06 2007 12:15 AM
andrea sutherland from NYC

My favorite Christmas cookie recipe congers dreamy and delicious memories of childhood Christmases, especially putting warm cookies out on a special plate for Santa with a glass of milk, and carrots for the reindeer. Bless my dear departed mommy - a mother of 8 children. We baked dozens of cookies as a family holiday tradition. Mostly we made the rolled variety with frosting and sprinkles decorating them in holiday fashion. The ones I remember the best were delicately spicy and would melt in your mouth ( I prefer no frosting, but glittery sprinkles are festive!). This keeps the memories of my mom and her hugs and love alive. Here is my mom's best.

Mom's Dutch Almond Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup blanched almonds (optional)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cups unbleached flour

Mix butter, shortening, and sugars blending well. Blend in slightly beaten eggs. Add the dry ingredients mixing well. Chill. Roll. Cut shapes. Shake on some glittery sprinkles (colored sugar). Bake 375 - 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with children of all ages (1-99).

Dec. 06 2007 12:04 AM
Judith Stich from New York City (downtown)

I love these cookies which are easier to serve to friends than the dreaded Christmas Fruitcake.

15 oz package of seedless raisins
1/2 C bourbon
1/4 C butter
1/2 C light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 T soda
1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 t each nutmeg and cloves
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 pound citron, diced
1 pound candied cherries
Soak the raisins in bourbon at least 1 hour to plump. Cream butter and gradually beat in sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour with the soda and spices and add to the butter mixture. Add raisins, nuts and fruit. Drop by teaspoonfuls on buttered cookie sheets. Bake in a 325 degree oven about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container. Makes 120. Yummy with eggnog.

Dec. 05 2007 10:41 PM
Susan Schwartz from queens, new york

Not a political commentary, but simply an excellent recipe for cookies that are always a hit..this appeared in the NY Times when Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton both furnished recipes--

Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies
Adapted from Laura Bush

3 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 T baking soda
1 T ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 ½ C (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 ½ C granulated sugar
1 ½ C packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
3 C semisweet chocolate chips
3 C old fashioned rolled oats
2 C sweetened flake coconut
2 C (8 ounces) chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
3. In a very large bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy. (Can use an electric mixer.) Gradually beat in sugars, and combine thoroughly.
4. Add eggs on at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.
5. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
6. For each cookie, drop ¼ cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart.
7. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Allow cookies to cool.

Yield: 3 to 3 ½ dozen cookies.

Dec. 05 2007 08:59 PM
shelley from englewood

I got this recipe from my Mom about 25 years ago, although she now claims she never heard of it! These are everyone's favorite--family and friends alike. Maybe it's the rum? They really do look like logs after you score the frosting with a fork and grate more nutmeg on top. They also keep very well, if you can keep them around long enough to find out. Do not cheat on the nutmeg--freshly ground makes a huge difference.
Mimi's Nutmeg Logs
Preheat the oven to 350
2 2/3 c flour
1 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 c butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 t vanilla

2 T softened butter
1 1/4 c confectioner's sugar
2 or 3 T light rum
Freshly grated nutmeg

Stir together flour, nutmeg, salt; set aside. Cream butter, gradually adding sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture; mix well. On lightly floured surface, roll pieces of dough into long ropes, 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut into 3" lengths. Place, 1" apart, on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, or until light brown on bottom. Cool on a rack, then frost with frosting:
Cream butter, sugar and rum until smooth and spreadable. Frost cooled logs. Take a fork and mark scratches in frosting of each log to look like bark. Finish by grating fresh nutmeg over the top of each log.

Dec. 05 2007 08:02 PM
Sherman from New York, NY

Meringue Mushrooms

You will need a pastry bag with a plain tip.
3 dozen

1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 tspoon cream of tartar
1/4 tspoon salt
1 tspoon vanilla extract
1 c sugar
1 tbspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
4oz chocolate
1 tspoon lemon or orange zest optional

1. Heat the oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Continue whipping until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar and continue whipping until the eggs holds stiff peaks.
3. Place a round tip into a pastry bag, and fill the bag half way with the meringue.
To pipe the mushroom caps, squeeze out round mounds of meringue onto one of the prepared cookie sheets. Pull the bag off to the side to avoid making peaks on the top.
For stems, press out a tiny bit of meringue onto the other sheet, then pull the bag straight up to make the stems.
Dust the mushroom caps lightly with cocoa using a small sifter.
4. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the caps are dry enough to easily remove from the cookie sheets. Set aside to cool.
5. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl over simmering water, add zest stirring until smooth.
6. Poke a small hole in the bottom of a mushroom cap. Spread chocolate over the bottom of the cap. Dip the tip of a stem in chocolate, and press lightly into the hole. When the chocolate sets, they will hold together. Store at room temperature in a dry place.

Dec. 05 2007 06:37 PM
Harriet Goldberg from Mamaroneck, NY

Please make a correction to the instructions in the cookie recipe I posted, number 28. The first sentence now reads -- "Form dough and divide into four parts." After that sentence, please insert-- "Shape each part into a roll 13 inches long and 3/4 inches thick." The rest of the instructions continue as is. Thank you ver much.

Dec. 05 2007 05:38 PM
Pauline McMahon from Babylon, NY

This is a difficult decision because I have two favorite cookie recipes, one a Swedish gingersnap cookie that was published in the NY Times Magazine several years ago and this one, a perfect sugar cookie found in Elaine Branch's Vineyard Seasons cookbook. They have a beautiful sandy texture and a light lemon flavor and they keep very well. I give them as teachers' gifts every year and my family loves them. Enjoy!

Elaine's Famous Sugar Cookies:

1 c. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 c. salad oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon peel
4 and 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
plain or colored sugar

Cream butter and sugars; add eggs, vanilla, oil and lemon peel. Combine dry ingredients and add them to mixture until well blended. Wrap dough and refrigerate for several hours. To bake, form dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until the edges just begin to brown.

Dec. 05 2007 02:24 PM
Heidi from Manhattan, Little Italy, New York

This Christmas cookie from my native Germany is very easy to prepare - luxurious taste and texture, light and immensely surprising and satisfying, melts truely like a kiss.
Chocolate Kisses
1 Beat cold egg white in a round mixing bowl with a hand blender. Gradually add sugar. As soon as egg whites are stiff, carefully fold in grated bitter chocolate, roasted almond sticks and amaretto with a spatula. Preheat oven to 160oC.
2 Using 2 teaspoons, place small mounds of dough onto cookie sheet lined with baking paper. Dry cookies in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes. Chocolate kisses still have to be soft in the middle since they will harden during the cooling process.

Yields about 45 cookies

2 egg whites
150 g sugar
125 g roasted almond sticks
125 dark coating chocolate, grated
1 cl amaretto

Dec. 05 2007 01:54 PM
mannar from nyc

while on a trip in arizona, i bought cookies at a local supermarket. my friends and i liked them so much, i replicated the cookies using a combination of other cookbook recipes and made adjustments according to my memory. they should be moist, cake-like and pungent. the result: close enough but with no preservatives.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into chunks
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg; set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add pumpkin, then sour cream and beat until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough in mounds (2 level tbsp each) at least 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. As you work, chill any remaining dough until ready to bake.

4. Bake, rotate sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown but still soft to the touch, 12-18 minutes.

Dec. 05 2007 01:43 PM
Julia Erickson from Maplewood, NJ

Date pinwheels mean Christmas to me. This is similar to the Better Homes & Gardens recipe we used.

•1 package (8 ounces) pitted dates, chopped
•1 cup water
•1/4 cup sugar
•1 cup finely chopped pecans (can substitute walnuts)

•1 cup butter, softened
•2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
•2 eggs
•3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon baking soda

In a saucepan, combine dates, water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring date mixture to a boil then reduce and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped nuts.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and eggs until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; stir to blend. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Beat until just blended.

Divide dough into three equal portions. Wrap in waxed paper and chill until easy to handle and not too sticky (about 2 hours).

On floured surface, roll into a rectangle, about 12 x 8 inches. Spread with 1/3 of date mixture. Starting with the 12 inch side, roll dough into a tube. Repeat with other 2. Wrap rolls in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices and place about 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes; cool on racks.

Makes 7 to 8 dozen.

Dec. 05 2007 12:49 PM
James Thompson from Vernon, NJ


Remove over racks & cover with foil
Preheat oven to 350

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chop walnuts

Separate eggs when cold, combine egg whites, vinegar & sugar and vanilla beat (mix) at room temperate until very stiff peaks form.
Fold in chocolate & walnuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto foil covered racks.
Return racks to oven and turn off heat.
Leave cookies in oven for 5 hours or overnight (hence the name).
Makes 4 to 5 dozen depending on size.

Dec. 05 2007 11:55 AM
Leslie Wile from Weston, CT 06883

I've made these very old fashioned Linzer cookies for years. Don't think they can be beat--exquisite and tasty.

1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 teasp. baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cubed
2 egg yolks I
1/2 t. vanilla I Mix tog.
1/2 t. lemon zest I
extra beaten egg
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix walnuts & sugar/set aside

Sift dry ingred. together, then work in butter.
Gradually work in egg mixture until well blended.

Shape into smooth ball. Refrigerate if nec. Roll dough 1/8th inch thick, and cut with 2" round cutter. Place half the rounds onto cookie sheet. Using a floured thimble, cut holes in centers of remaining rounds. Brush all with beaten egg. Holding cut-out rings gently, sprinkle them with the sugar-nut mix. Place them on cookie sheet next to the plain ones.

Bake 15 to 20 min. until lightly browned. Cool
cookies on rack.

Put approx. 1/2 teap. jam in the center of each plain round. Top with nutted round, pressing down very gently. Sprinkle all with confectioners sugar. **like to use Smuckers raspberry because of its brilliant color.

Origin of recipe is The Hungarian Cookbook (actually booklet), put out by the Culinary Arts Institute in 1954. Yum Yum!!

Dec. 05 2007 11:52 AM
Julie Woll from Burbank, California

re: cookie recipes

I came up with this recipe last year when I found a bag of unsalted pistachio nuts at a local market. I served it to friends and it was a big hit. I actually had people call and ask me to make "those pistichio nut cookies" again this year.

1 cup ground pistacio nuts (ground in blender)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (must be butter)
½ cup confectioner's sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract

with hands work all ingredients into a dough, kneading to blend; roll dough into 1-inch balls an place on lightly greased cookie sheets; bake at 300º for 35 minutes; roll hot cookies in sifted confectioner's sugar; place on wire rack to cool; roll cooled cookies in sifted confectioner's sugar again; store in air tight tin

Dec. 05 2007 11:22 AM
Claire from bed-stuy

Walnut Surprises -
a family favorite passed down from my great-grandma. i'm not sure what the surprise is, they're just awesome nutty bars. perhaps it's because they're so moist and chewy, when the only liquid that goes into them is vanilla and an egg.

oven 350
grease an 8 x 8 pan

mix together:
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
then add
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

spread into the pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, so that the middle is still soft when you pull them out of the oven.

Dec. 05 2007 10:47 AM
Ann Allen-Ryan from Brooklyn

I am a compulsive December cookie baker. I start early and end up with many sealed tins in my refrigerator - with about 10 different kinds of cookies selected for a balance of flavor, texture and color. One of my favorite recipes is for Chocolate Spice Cookies - ice box cookies that can be frozen for later baking. A favorite because the recipe was given to me by a dear friend and I think of her when I make it and because it has superb flavor and can me mixed well in advance of baking and gifting ---

Chocolate Spice Cookies (Gourmet Sept. 1980)
Cream 1 stick unsalted butter (softened) and 2/3 c sugar; add 3 oz unsweetened chocolate melted and 1 lg egg (lightly beaten)
Sift together 1 1/4 c all purpose flour, 1 tsp double-act baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp each of ground cloves, allspice, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper. (I can't resist increasing the amount of spices; 1/8 tsp seems so little)
Stir the dry mixture into the butter mixture. Chill dough covered for 1 hr so it is firm enough to shape. Form dough into 12 in log on doubled wax paper and seal with foil wrap; can be stored in freezer until ready to bake.
To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees; cut log into 1/4 inch slices, arrange on baking sheet lined with parchment; bake for 10 min. (Note: I heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 9 min for a slightly softer cookie)

Dec. 05 2007 09:10 AM
Karen Roemer from Howard Beach, Queens

Since I am Jewish we celebrate Chanukah. I found this recipe years ago and make it very year for our family holiday dinner. The original recipe called for butter, but since I keep kosher I substituted margarine to make the cookies parve(which means neutral.) This way I can serve them after a meat meal with no problem. I decorate the cut out Chanukah shapes- menorah, dreidel, 6 pointed star with colored sprinkles and everyone adults and children alike love them.

Chanukah Cookies
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup(2 sticks) parve margarine
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp bak soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

1.Mix confectioners' sugar, marg,and egg. Mix in vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Wrap in plastic wrap for refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight( dough will be hard.)
2.Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheets. In small amounts, roll out dough on generously floured cutting board. Using Chanukah cookie cutters, cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Place cookies apart with room to spread.
3.Bake at 350 for 12-15 mins. Let cool on rack.
4.Eat and enjoy and Happy Chanukah to all.

Dec. 05 2007 02:31 AM
Sigrid Lindo from Montclair, NJ

Here is a recipe which is fairly unique and delicious. The challege will be in locating ammonium carbonate, which is used for leavening. I got it from a sales rep for a drug company twenty years ago. A little goes a long way.

1 Cup Shortening (Spry or Crisco)
½ Cup Butter or Margarine
1 tsp. Powdered Ammonium Carbonate
2 Cups Sugar
2-1/2 Cups Sifted All-purpose Flour
1 Cup Shredded Coconut (Original) or Finely Chopped Hazelnuts (I started a few years ago and prefer),

Cream shortening and butter or margarine. Add ammonium carbonate and sugar gradually, creaming well. Add flour a little at a time and then add coconut or hazelnuts.

Form balls about ¾” in diameter. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet about 1” apart.

Bake at 325 F for 20-25 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet. Hot cookies are very fragile.

Important: Ammonium Carbonate has a strong ammonia smell. Be careful when handling not to take a deep breath. Be careful when opening the oven door while baking, too.

Dec. 04 2007 10:07 PM
Terri Needham from NYC

Chocolate Earthquakes.
Well everyone loves chocolate cookies, but my family craves these because of the secret ingredient: cayenne pepper. You can't really taste a peppery flavor, just a warm sensation in your mouth. Afterwards, you are so intrigued by the unexpected sensation, you have to have more.

Makes 4 1/2 doz.

1 1/2 sticks butter
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1/3 cup for rolling the cookies)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. hot cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 cups all purp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc. chips

preheat to 375

Heat butter in large saucepan until just melted. Remove from heat.
Whisk in cocoa, sugars, cayenne and salt until smooth. Stir in eggs.
Sift the flour and baking soda into the pan and stir until completely blended. Stir in choc. chips.
If dough is too soft to work with, cover and chill until firm. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the additional sugar. Arrange the balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 mins. or until the tops are cracked. The cookies should be very soft. Do not bake the cookies longer or they will lose their chewy texture. Let the cookies cool completely on the sheets and transfer them to airtight containers.

Dec. 04 2007 09:51 PM
Ben Austin from Brooklyn

My mother-in-law Evelyn is a good cook, a great grandmother, and a truly extraordinary baker.

I have included her lemon squares recipe here, with her permission and a note.

Lemon Squares

Lemon Squares have been my signature confection for at least 30 years. They have appeared at numerous events and are expected to be served at all of my parties. I first saw the recipe in a recipe book published by a Baltimore Museum.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine in food processor:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
pinch of salt

Process until ingredients become coarse meal and then a ball.

Pat evenly into a 10 x 13 inch metal pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. The crust should be barely golden.

Meanwhile mix together in the food processor (I do not wash the bowl):
4 eggs
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Grated zest of one lemon or two if a more pronounced lemon taste is desired.

Do not overbeat.

Pour over partially baked crust. Bake 25 minutes more. Top should be set but not brown. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

I trim the edges for a clean look. Sometimes, instead of powdered sugar, I have frosted the squares with a thin icing of lemon juice and powdered sugar.

Dec. 04 2007 09:12 PM
Pat Bennett from Monroe, NY

I have made these butter cookies for almost 30 years and they always come out delicious. My family and friends look forward to the holidays because they've come to expect a box of these cookies. The original recipe accompanied a package of cookie cutters made by the Wilton Company. It is a simple recipe that can be rolled into cut out shapes. Sprinkle with colored sugar before baking.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups sifted flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. The dough will be very stiff; blend last cup in by hand. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball in a circle approximately 12" in diameter and 1/8" thick. Dip cutters in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet on top rack of oven for 6-12 minutes depending on size, or until cookies are lightly browned.

Dec. 04 2007 08:21 PM
Kaye from New Jersey

My husband whines for these every Christmas (and sometimes after the holiday season!). One year a friend of mine had her house on the market and she wasn't able to use her oven by dictation of her realtor. With her kitchen off limits, she commissioned me to bake her some cookies for a holiday swap and I baked these. Everyone loved them. They're like a delicious virus you can't wait to pass on.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordial Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teasp. baking soda
1/4 teasp. baking powder
1 egg
1 1/2 teasp. vanilla
10 oz. jar of maraschino cherries (drain but reserve the juice)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Mix cream butter and sugar together. Add cocoa, baking soda, flour, egg, baking powder, and vanilla.

Roll into cookies.

Press a cherry onto the top of eat cookie.

Melt the chocolate chips with the condensed milk. Add 4 teasp. of the cherry juice into the chocolate mixture. Pipe or spoon the mixture over just the cherry on the cookie.

Bake for 10 mins.

Dec. 04 2007 07:45 PM from toms river nj

My 12 year old grandson Charlie has found that baking cookies is great fun and great eating.

The recipe is from the chocolate chip bag and has been renamed to Charlie's Chocolate Chip Champs.

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate morsels
1 cup nuts (optional)

preheat oven to 350 degrees
combine flour baking soda, salt in a small bowl.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time , beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.
Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased sheets.
Bake for 9-11 minutes.

These familiar cookies are really CHAMPS

Dec. 04 2007 06:51 PM

what fun.

Dec. 04 2007 06:45 PM
Frank Schifano from Valley Stream, NY

This one is my mother's recipe, and it is darned good.

H-O Crispies Oatmeal Cookies

• 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3 cups quick oats
• ½ cup chopped nuts
• 1 cup margarine or butter
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine flour, salt, and soda. Stir in oats and nuts.

Cream butter with sugar and eggs. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients. Blend thoroughly and form into 2 rolls. Roll in wax paper, then place in refrigerator for several hours or, even better, overnight. Cut rolls into slices and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven (350 deg F., 175 deg C.) for 10 to 12 minutes. Yields 5 to 6 dozen cookies.

Dec. 04 2007 06:10 PM
Harriet Goldberg from Mamaroneck, NY

My mother was a wonderful baker and nothing pleased her more then to make cookies with my sister and I as her helpers. Our bonus was to lick the pan if there was something to lick and to get the first taste of the warm, delectable cookies. These cookies were made during the winter and around holiday time and any other time we begged for them.

Pillsbury Prize Cookies
Sift together-2 cups flour,2/3 cups sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder
Blend in--3/4 cup soft butter, 1 egg, 2 tsp. vanilla
Form dough, divide into 4 parts. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Make a depression 1/4-1/3 inches deep down center of roll. Fill depression with red jam or jelly. Bake at 350 for 15 or 20 minutes until light,golden brown. While warm, cut diagonally into bars. Cool on wire rack.

Dec. 04 2007 06:01 PM
John Polinsky from Suffern, NY

Spritz Cookies
(like my mother taught me to make)

§ 2 cups flour (do not pack down)
§ ¼ tsp. Salt
§ ¾ cup butter
§ ½ cup sugar
§ 1 egg yolk
§ ½ tsp almond extract

Cream softened butter then gradually add the sugar, beating until light. Add the egg yolk, almond extract and salt and blend thoroughly. Add the flour slowly (so it doesn’t fly all over the place) and mix until smooth.

Force through a cookie press and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes (I do half the time on the upper rack and half the time on the lower.

Remove to a cooling rack and fend off all your new friends.

I have made these cookies since my mother taught me to make them over 5 decades ago. The original recipe comes from a wonderful cookbook, the Womens Home Companion Cook Book, originally published in 1942. I used to give them to the secretaries where I work and now, if I don't have the goods come Holiday season I'll get run out of town. Last year I made over 200 dozen and still there aren't enough. They are easy and extremely tasty. Enjoy.

Dec. 04 2007 04:59 PM
Flo Woolsey from Croton, NY

What a great idea! I wish I had known about it sooner. Hopefully you will do it again next December and give a bit more time to find those cherished recipes.

Dec. 04 2007 04:01 PM
Doris Sher from Maplewood, NJ

If cookies were made with oatmeal my mother overlooked the fact she was eating sweets and enjoyed herself. I concocted this recipe for her years ago and it is now a family and holiday favorite. I call it Lil's Oatmeal Wonders! Here's the recipe:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 cup oats (not instant)
1 12-ounce bag Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Chop the oats in a food processor and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate large bowl beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop 1 rounded tblspn of dough onto sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies are golden - about 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

This recipe makes 4 to 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

Dec. 04 2007 04:00 PM
Barbara Kiszonas from New Jersey


This is a super simple cookie recipe I got from my husband's aunt the first year we were married. Now our family, including grown daughters, doesn’t consider it Christmas without these cookies. (No sugar is needed in the dough since the preserves and powdered sugar add enough.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2 cups flour
1-1/2 sticks butter
1 - 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
Preserves (we use raspberry or apricot)
Powdered sugar

Blend first 3 ingredients until combined. Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Using one half dough at a time, roll out on floured board to ¼” thickness. Cut in circles with small juice glass. Place on ungreased, nonstick baking sheet and lightly press thumb in center of each cookie. Fill center with ½ tsp. of preserves. Bake about 12-15 minutes until light golden color.

Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack. Place on serving tray and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Dec. 04 2007 03:42 PM
Gary from NYC

Sorry. Even after proof reading, I forgot something. It should read:

Mix thoroughly. Shape into 2" log and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, about 1-2 hours.

Dec. 04 2007 02:49 PM
Gary from NYC

These were baked by my mom many years ago. I think she got the recipe from her sister. Their simplicity is deceiving. How could only 4 ingredients taste so good? My sisters and I bake them every year.

Recipe- Snowballs
Makes 30-35

1/2 cup salted butter
3 TB powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped

Mix thoroughly and wrap in plastic wrap.
Roll in small (3/4"-1") balls. Can be placed close on sheet as they do not spread.
Bake at 325F for 20 mins. until just golden.

Cool 5 mins. Roll in powdered sugar. Let thoroughly cool. Sift more sugar on them before serving.

Note: Because of powdered sugar coating, these do not ship well. They should be stored carefully in layers of waxed paper or parchment.

Dec. 04 2007 02:41 PM
Nicki Barrett-Lennard from Old Greenwich Connecticut

I grew up in Australia - this is a recipe for 'biscuits' - Australian for cookie that my great grandmother made in a wood stove, in the middle of nowhere in Western Australia.

Now, my mother makes them and send them to my brothers in China and Singapore - with true Australian sexism though - I have to make my own. The smell as I coat them takes me home instantly - in fact just thinking about them makes me a little homesick ..... a perfect holiday cookie

Nutmeg Butterballs

11/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/2lb unsalted butter
1/2 cup blanched, finely chopped (not crushed) almonds
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the coating:
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
2tsp grated nutmeg

Cream butter and sugar, work in almonds, sifted flour, vanilla and salt. Mix until the mixture comes together as a smooth dough. Shape balls the size of marbles with your hands and chill in fridge until firm. Bake on greased tray in fairly slow oven (around 300 degrees) for about 15 mins or until crisp and light golden brown in colour.

Roll the cooked biscuits in mixed icing sugar and nutmeg mixture while still hot - cool on rack.

Dec. 04 2007 01:59 PM

Nu? nothing for Hannukah? Not strictly for this holiday, but Rugleach are always a great idea. Check out this recipe (and discussion) at

Dec. 04 2007 10:37 AM
Mary Davidson from New York City

Every Christmas from the late 1950's on, I have made the recipe below (found in either Better Homes & Gardens or Ladies' Home Journal) because my mother had told me when I first saw it that I could not do THAT! It was like waiving a red flag at me - I had to do it.
Christmas Almond Cookie Wreaths
1/2 c. butter softened
1/2 c. sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teasp. almond extract
1/4 c. finely chopped almonds (be generous)
1 c. flour
1 egg white
1 teasp. water

Cream together butter, sugar, salt; beat in egg yolks then add finely chopped almonds. radually stir in flour until dough is stiff enough to handle; chill thoroughly. Roll small amounts of dough in hands to make a small coil and shape into a wreath circle about the size of a silver dollar. Place each cookie on a greased baking sheet. Mix together egg white with water until frothy andbrush each cookie on the top. Sprinkle with colored sugar if you wish and then bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Cookies may brown around edges but should not
brown on top. When cookies are cool, remove gently from cookie sheet. Using a cake decorator, you may make green leaves on
cookie at point coil joined and then place 2 small cinnamon candies to look like holly. Parchment paper on cookie sheet makes for easier removal from sheet.
Now I am retired, when I make these cookies I still feel the spirit of rebellion I had when I was ten or 12 and was told that that recipe was too difficult for me to make!

Dec. 03 2007 12:49 PM
Dana from NY, NY

This recipe was part of the Operation Cookie I organized to ship cookies to a Marine batallion in Afghanistan. There is still time to ship cookies to Iraq.
Chocolate Spice Biscotti
They keep for 2-3 weeks. Makes 5 dozen.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons anise seed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups almonds, coarsely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
2. Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, spices, and salt. Stir in the sugars, then mix in the nuts. Add the eggs and vanilla. Using a fork, then your fingers, blend the ingredients thoroughly into a soft dough.
3. Divide the soft dough into 2 parts. On the baking sheet, smooth and shape each half into a log as long as the baking sheet. Flatten each log slightly. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the logs are well-risen and firm. Cool them on the pan.
4. When the logs are completely cool, place them on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut them each into 1/2-inch slices.
5. Place the sliced biscotti back on the lined baking sheet. Stand them up so they are close, but not touching. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the biscotti are dry and crisp. Store them in an airtight container.

Dec. 03 2007 10:39 AM
Karen Diane from Parsippany, NJ

When I was a young military wife and the mother of two tiny tots their father was sent away for seven months of duty. Over the winter holidays we sent him cards and little gifts we could scrape together on a meager salary, but the best gift he received were these little Meringue Turtledoves, as they reminded him of his two little doves at home.

2 egg whites
1/2 teaspooon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
Miniture semisweet chocolate pieces

Line cookie sheet with parchment. In a small mixer bowl beat room temperature egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar until sft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff peaks form. Put egg whites into a decorating bag with a 1/2 inch tip. Form doves by piping a thick letter S strting at the top. When at the end curve cross over the middle like horizontal line on the letter G. Put chocolate pieces on head for eye and beak, and bake in a 300* degree oven for 15 minutes or until slightly dry. Turn off the oven and dry cookies with door closed for 30 minutes. Makes 24. These are delicate cookies so pack in tissue paper and enjoy them quickly.
Better Homes and Gardens Cookies for Christmas.

Dec. 02 2007 01:59 PM
Peggy Polaneczky from New York City

Here's my recipe -

Dec. 02 2007 12:06 AM
The Foodcommander from Brooklyn, NY

Spitzbuben (pronounced: Sh-pits-boob’n)

(German: Rascals; presumably named so because only little rascals would dare to sneak one of these delicious cookies out of the cellar without mom’s permission)

Spitzbuben are traditional Christmas cookies whose recipe stems back to the Viennese court of the 19th Century. Making them is a true act of love, for it is quite an intricate and time-consuming procedure. Once you get to taste them, though, you will know it was worth every minute of your efforts.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups of white sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 sticks butter, softened
2 cups whole almonds

2 cups red currant jam

3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 egg white
3 tsp Grand Marnier or similar liquor

Using a food processor, grind almonds, vanilla seeds and sugar into a fine powder. Add flour and butter and knead until you have a smooth dough. Chill the dough for one hour.

Pass the red currant jam through a fine mesh sieve to remove all seeds.

Roll out the dough to a good 1/8 inch thickness und cut out equal numbers of small rounds and rings of 1 1/2 inches diameter. Bake at 350˚F on parchment paper-lined baking sheets until light golden, about 8 minutes.

Put a small amount of jam, onto each round (turned upside down) and press a ring onto it.

Make a smooth glaze out of the confectioner’s sugar , egg white and liquor. Apply a small circle onto each cookie ring. Store the Spitzbuben in a parchment paper-lined tin box.


Dec. 01 2007 09:54 PM
Carole from New Jersey

My contribution is old - a variation of meringue; delicately crunchy on the outside, almost marshmallow-y inside. A slack oven was one that had already been used for a baking run or two & had cooled off to a more moderate temperature). They'd be the last thing made on Christmas Eve. The tray of kisses would go into the hot oven, which was then turned off. We'd leave the kitchen, hang up stockings, & go to bed. The cookies would be done in the morning like magic! They're very sweet, but melt on your tongue; 1 or 2 are enough to remind you how sweet was when you were little. Just typing this makes me miss those days.

Okay, enough of this--the recipe:

Kisses for a Slack Oven

3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash salt
1 cup sugar

red & green food coloring (optional)

Note: be sure hands, bowl, & beaters are scrupulously clean & grease-free-very important!

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or bakers parchment.

Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla, & salt in a mixing bowl; beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, beating well; the mixture should be smooth & glossy. If desired, divide mixture in half, stir red coloring into one half, green into the other (I prefer them white).

Drop from a tablespoon onto a baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Place filled sheet in oven; IMMEDIATELY turn oven off. Leave cookies in overnight-no peeking! In the morning, they will release easily from the sheet. Enjoy!

Nov. 30 2007 03:02 PM
sally webster from upper west side

"Maple Raisin Cookies"
1 cup quick-rolled oats
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
3/4 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
3/4 teas. salt
3/4 c raisins
1/3 c pecans (optional)

Combine oats and brown sugar. Stir in oil, egg, and maple flavoring. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to oat mixture, blending well. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 40 cookies

What's special about them--the maple flavoring. They're also real easy to make. My husband and son made them, long with other cookies, at Christmas time. For several days the kitchen and dining room would house an assembly where they made batches of these cookies along with sugar cookies cut with cookie cutters, M&M cookies, and black and white ribbon cookies. Our son now lives in St. Louis with his wife and three children. We're going out early to help set up the Mid West branch of the Webster cookie factory

Nov. 29 2007 08:28 PM
Laurie from Pittsburgh, Pa

This is my Grandma's Sand Tart recipe. Its by far our families favorite cookie. There would be anarchy if there were not tins upon tins of these cookies every Christmas. This recipe makes a ton, but she still makes several batches because we devour them. They are small and crisp with a lovely toasted pecan on top. Christmas would not be the same without this cookie. And when I think of Sand Tarts I think of my Grandma who I love more than words could say.

Sand Tarts

2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups butter
2 eggs
4 cups flour

1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons sugar mixed in
Pecan pieces or halves

Cream butter in large bowl until soft. Beat in sugar and cream until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat until smooth. Add flour 1 cup at a time mixing well after each addition. Form dough into 2 inch wide logs and wrap in aluminum foil. Chill overnight.

Thinly slice the cookies and lay on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush lightly with egg white. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and top with a pecan piece/half. Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes.

Nov. 28 2007 09:26 PM
Lynn Brailsford from Teaneck, NJ

These cookies were made by Grandma Hines and will forever be associated with feelings of being loved and cherished. Our family is from Mt. Airy, NC (aka Mayberry of Andy Griffith fame) so I always thought this was a southern recipe. I have seen and tasted northern 'imposters', but none have come close to the delicate, mouthwatering melting of butter, flour, and powdered sugar accompanied by the delicate crunch of pecans in your mouth! Grandma called these 'Sand Dabs'. Mom makes them for us and the grandkids now...I hope this posting passes on the love for another family!

3/4 cup butter
4 tsp powdered sugar
2 cup flour
2 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Cream the butter and sugar. Combine other ingredients. Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll it into a ball. Place on cookie sheet. Bake 45 min @ 325. After cooling, use a sifter to sprinkle cookies with powdered sugar.

Nov. 28 2007 06:39 PM
Gena from New York City

I love these biscotti because, besides tasting great and having a pleasing contrast of chewy and crunchy within, they look so festive! Each cookie is studded with bright green pistachios and deep red cranberries. The white chocolate coating reminds me of a blanket of snow.
Please visit my website for more recipes:

White Christmas Biscotti
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shelled, unsalted pistacchios
1 cup dried cranberries, plumped
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350.
Roast pistachios on cookie sheet for 5 minutes; set aside. Pour one cup boiling water over cranberries; set aside.
In standing mixer, cream butter and sugar until light in color; add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; add to butter mixture while mixer is running.
Drain cranberries. Fold pistachios and cranberries into dough. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a log, about 12" long and 1" high. Bake 25-30 minutes, until logs are cooked through and edges begin to brown. Cool for 30 minutes, slice into 1/2" sections, and bake for 7 minutes. Flip cookies, and bake for additional 7 minutes. Let cool, then dip one end of each cookie into the melted white chocolate. Let harden on a wax paper-covered surface. Makes 25-30.

Nov. 28 2007 02:53 PM

The link didn't post correctly. Trying again.

Nov. 28 2007 02:19 PM

This only became my holiday cookie tradition last year but don't punish the cookie for that! It's a molasses spice cookie from Carole Walter's "Great Cookies." Everything I dream about a wintertime cookie is here -- spice, ginger, softness -- it goes well with all holiday treats from hot buttered rum to eggnog. I sound like a commercial but it's because I love the cookie so!
Go here for the recipe (it was too long to post here):

Nov. 28 2007 02:13 PM
Nicole Fealey from Astoria

My great-grandma used to make these and now my nuclear family continues the tradition for the whole family each Christmas (2-4 batches a years). We get to spend time watching Christmas classics as we roll them out.

Grandma Cookies (makes 100-125 cookies)
1 lb butter
1 dozen eggs
1 lb sugar
2 Tb vanilla
4 tsp baking powder
1 5lb bag of flour
Milk for moistening dough

For the Icing:
1 lb Confectioners sugar
Milk (slowly added until the sugar is a thick consistency like honey)
Vanilla to taste

Cream eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add baking powder and then the flour in batches. Knead it until all the flour is incorporated. Add milk to dough if the flour will not incorporate.

Take lumps of dough and roll out into thin ropes about 2-4 inches long (depending on how big you like your cookies). Coil ropes so that they look like snails tucking end underneath the cookie so that they won't unfold during baking.

Put cookies on an ungreased cookies sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown (tops should not brown but you do not want to see raw dough if you pick the cookie up and peer into the coil). Cool Completely. To ice, prepare the icing in a deep bowl. Put top of the cookie in the icing being careful not to coat the bottom. Shake off excess. The icing will be thick. You will need to put them on a clean surface (plasticwrap is the best) over night for drying.

Nov. 28 2007 02:10 PM
Bailey Anderson from Brooklyn, originally from Decatur, GA

I love this holiday cookie because I believe it is perfect in taste and easy to make, but I have cherished it for years because of its name, Moldy Mice. For years I have shared these with friends and enjoyed the looks on their faces when I tell them what they are eating. Many people know this cookie, but by a different name. I did a little searching online and found that this cookie is common in many places all over the world. The recipes vary a bit, but they all have in common creamy butter, rich nuts and sugar. The recipe comes right out of the original Charleston Receipts, published by the Junior League in 1950.

1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
xxxx sugar

Mix butter and sugar. Flour nuts and put together. Roll in small bars about the size of your thumb. Bake 425 about 15 minutes. When done roll in sugar while very hot. Yield: 3 dozen.
Mrs. W.H. Barnwell (Mary Royall)

Nov. 28 2007 02:06 PM
Laura Marchese from Montclair, NJ

I have the easiest cookie recipe of all time:
It's called 'Amazing Chocolate Chocolate Chips'. Here it is:

1 box of Duncan Hines chocolate cake mix
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 big bag of chocolate chips (or more if you like, or peanut butter chips, or anything you like)

Mix it all up, bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

This recipe was on the back of the cake mix box in 1966. My mother first made it for my brothers and I to bring to school on our birthdays (when everyone wanted to be our best friend to get the last cookie!), and then when I was a teenager I took them over for Christmas. They got us through late night munchies, as breakfast with coffee, and to me, are the taste of Christmas. Now we are all in our 30's and 40's, and everyone expects me to bring these cookies to my mom's, where we still all gather for Christmas. Now our children are fighting over the last one!

Nov. 28 2007 11:26 AM
James Cury from New York

We just published an article about our favorite holiday cookies at Epicurious, here:

Nov. 28 2007 10:47 AM
Barbara Jones from Chester, NJ

My absolute favorite cookie is a not too sweet tiny pastry-like cookie from (I believe) Hungary:
3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1 C sour cream
1 egg white: for pastry's edges
Nut mixture:
2 egg white
1 C sugar
1 tsp salt
2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp lemon juice
confectioner's sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shift four and salt together.
2. Cut in butter.
3. Add yolks and sour cream, mix well. Chill for 1 hour.

4. Make nut mixture. Beat egg whites till they form peaks. Gradually add sugar. Add lemon juice. Fold in chopped nuts.

5. Roll out portion of dough on a floured surface. cut into 1 1/2" squares. Spoon on 1/2 teaspoon of nut mixture onto the square. Using extra egg white, fold opposite corner together with a touch of egg white. Can glaze top with egg white (forms little boats w/ 2 corners of square together on top).
6. Bake for 18 minutes till browned. Cool on rack. When cooled, dust with confectionery sugar.
7. Can freeze for future consumption! Makes aprox 8 dozen cookies. Recipe can be cut in half.

Nov. 28 2007 08:08 AM
CH from NYC

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

First, find a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Copy the recipe for "Toll-House Cookies" (or find your own favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe which calls for butter instead of shortening). Use the ingredients as called for in the recipe, but make the following substitutions:

Use white chocolate chips (instead of semi-sweet chocolate)
Use dried cranberries (instead of raisins)
Use chopped black walnuts for the nuts
Use Light brown sugar only, no granulated (substitute brown sugar for all granulated)

Follow the mixing and baking directions in the original recipe.

Nov. 27 2007 10:21 AM
Deb Schiff from Somerset, NJ

This is excerpted from an entry at my blog Altered Plates (

This recipe is a very altered version of Halvah Shortbread from "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant."

I grew up with my Dad. When my Mom would visit we'd drive to the local cheese shop for fresh halvah, a lovely sesame candy. The shop owner would carve a thick slice from a giant wheel and pack it in stiff white paper before handing it to me for safekeeping until we could sit somewhere and enjoy it.

These halvah cookies are very rich. The tahini gives the cookies an other-worldly flavor. I think they're heavenly.

Here's the recipe as I made it:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup tahini
pinch of salt
1 cup agave nectar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup toasted pecans, ground
1/4 cup pecan halves (for decorating)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a tart pan.
2. Cream the butter with the tahini.
3. Mix in the salt and agave nectar until smooth.
4. Slowly add the flours until well incorporated.
5. Mix in the nuts.
6. Spread the mixture into the pan and decorate with the pecan halves.
7. Bake for an hour, but check it every 15 minutes so that it doesn't become too brown.
8. When the edges begin to brown, use a piece of aluminum foil to cover the edges.
9. Let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove from the tart pan. Cut into 1/4 in. slices. Cool the slices on a rack.

Nov. 27 2007 10:09 AM

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