Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes – The Early Years

Since I shared some of my FAVs at Christmas, I thought I would share some a little more about each one, this is the Christmas Cookie Edition.

I’ve been making Christmas cookies ever since I was a kid. I remember making cookies with my Mom every year. We kept it simple – 3 types of cookies: Nestle Toll House Choc Chips, Snowflakes and Oatmeal Crispies.

At some point my Mom went to work part-time (I believe I was in high school), so to help her out, my Dad decided to help me make the cookies. My Mom and I used margarine for all of our cookies. All of the recipes called for butter (all were handwritten recipes we used). My Dad insisted we use the butter (even though I insisted we always used margarine) (which makes me believe maybe I was in middle school when my Dad took over)…none of the cookies tasted right that year. So if you go into my parent’s recipe box you will see butter margarine.  **I switched all cookies back to butter about 10 years ago.**

Here are the recipes of the staples (I’ll add another post with ones I’ve added over the years that have turned into favorites as well):

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip:  2 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup butter (I use unsalted – softened), 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 large eggs (room temp), 2 cups choc chips, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – i prefer pecans – walnuts will work too).  Preheat oven at 375 degrees.  Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Bake 9 to 11 minutes.  *I usually pull out of the oven at the lower time as they still bake on the pan when you take them out of the oven*

Snowflakes:  These are also known as cream cheese spritz cookies.  1 cup butter (unsalted – softened), 1-3 oz cream cheese (I always use Philadelphia brand), 1 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk (room temp), 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp finely grated orange rind, 2 1/2 cup sifted flour. 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp vanilla, green & red food coloring.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift flour with salt and cinnamon.  Cream butter and cream cheese well.  Add sugar gradually and continue creaming.  Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and orange rind.  Add to flour mix to creamed mixture.  You can either split the dough in half to add the food coloring to have red and green cookies.  Add food coloring and mix in.  Don’t over mix.  If you are going to using a cookie press- I suggest putting the dough in the refrigerator to assist with it going through the press.  We used to make green trees and red bells (usually 2 batches).  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes (watch initially if small they could burn on the edges).  You can add additional  decoration to the cookies once they come out of the oven – colored sugar, cinnamon or chopped almonds (or before you bake).  Yields 6 – 7 dozen.

Oatmeal Crispies:  1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp soda, 3 cups oats (quick cooking), 1/2 cup chopped nuts (almonds work well – optional), 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 2 eggs (room temp) and 1 tsp vanilla (or mix it up and use 1 tsp almond extract instead of vanilla).  Sift and measure flour, re-sift with salt and baking soda.  Stir in oats and nuts.  Cream butter with sugar and eggs until very light and fluffy.  Add creamed mixture to dry ingredients.  Blend thoroughly & form into 2 logs (you can put in your cookie press and push through to create a log).  Wrap log in either wax paper or plastic wrap.  Place dough in refrigerator either overnight or a few hours.  Cut in thin slices with sharp knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Yields 6 dozen.  **I love this dough raw vs. baked – note there are raw eggs and it is recommended not to eat raw eggs** (that is my disclaimer).  The cooked ones are very tasty with a big glass of milk.

Enjoy.  What are your favorite recipes?

PS:  I have some pictures over the years I’ll post, just have to find them.

 

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