The Holidays are underway and its time to start baking. These two delectable Christmas Cookie recipes are perfect for beginners and experts alike. Bring them to a party, or eat them all at home. Either way, bake up a few batches of my delicious Christmas cookie recipes.
I’ve loved to bake since I was a child, helping my mother bake Christmas cookies for weeks on end. I passed my love on to my daughter and have kept the tradition alive, baking cookies nonstop for Christmas. Everyone can bake up Christmas Cookies because baking is fun and easy.
What’s not to love about baking, especially my Christmas cookie recipes? Sugar, butter, and chocolate; such wonderful ingredients all in one place. Baking is very precise, but once you get some experience feel free to add some personality and flare. Isn’t that what Christmas is about?
I start baking Christmas cookies December 1st and stop when I run of time on Christmas Eve. I try out one or two new Christmas Cookie recipes each year, finding new favorites for my holiday tradition. The two recipes below, for Sandies and Anise Biscotti, are two of the very first cookies I made with my mother. They’re easy to make and out of tradition I make them every year. Plus they are super delicious and fan favorites. The Sandies are especially wonderful to make a few weeks early, because they keep well.
Christmas cookies make wonderful gifts to share with family and friends. And so many beautiful boxes, bags, and tins can be used as containers for your cookie gifts.
First a few tips to help the novice bakers:
– Read the entire recipe before you start and then assemble everything that you need. Do all the prep work first, so if the recipe calls for chopped nuts, chop them up and set them aside. This makes the flow of baking much easier.
– Only use unsalted butter. I love Cabot, it’s made in Vermont by the cheddar cheese people.
– The first time you try a recipe, always bake for less time than the recipe calls for. Then add additional minutes if needed. Every oven is unique and nothing is worse than over baked cookies.
Now for the recipes!
1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons water
2 cups flour (My favorite is King Arthur)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup confectioners sugar
Cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and water. Add flour and mix well. Stir in pecans.
Shape mixture into small balls. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in 325 F oven for 20 minutes. Remove. Cool slightly.
Roll in confectioners sugar.
An easy way to coat the cookies is to put the sugar in a plastic bag and then add 3-4 cookies and gently shake them around to coat. Or you can put the sugar in a bowl and roll around one cookie at a time to coat.
2 1/2 cups flour (King Arthur brand is my favorite)
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1-2 drops pure Anise oil (*See Below on where to buy) or 1 tablespoon crushed Anise seeds (Use mortar and pestle or put in plastic bag and crush with rolling-pin)
2 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
Ingredients for Dipping Chocolate:
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I like Ghirardelli)
3 tablespoons shortening
In a large bowl mix 1 1/2 cups flour with sugar, butter, Anise, baking powder, salt, and eggs. Combine at low-speed until just mixed, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes, scraping sides of bowl with spatula.
Add remaining cup of flour and finish mixing with a large wooden spoon.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour until firm (or place dough in freezer for 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 375 F and grease one large cookie sheet. Divide dough in half. On floured surface, shape each half into a 10 x 3 inch loaf. Place both loaves on the cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove cookie sheet from oven and immediately slice each loaf crosswise, into 3/4 inch thick slices. Turn slices cut side down on the cookie sheet. Bake cookies for an additional 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove cookies to rack and let cool.
Microwave the chocolate and shortening on low for 1 minute, or until chocolate melts. Stir to combine.
Dip one end of each cookie (cooled) into melted chocolate, letting excess drip back into bowl. Place dipped cookies on wax paper and let dry until firm. Store cookies in tightly covered container.
Give baking a try, it is so much fun! I have plenty more Holiday cookies to make and Christmas Cookie recipes to share leading up to Christmas. Check back soon and leave comments for recipe requests!
* Anise oil can be purchased at an Italian market or on-line. I love anything by King Arthur Flour